In a world where an immense comatose dragon forms a part of the landscape, six stories (including the novella “The Skull,” original to this volume) show that the 6,000-foot-long Griaule, paralyzed by a wizard’s spell long before the stories begin, may not be able to move but can still inspire, influencing two artists as well as the dehumanization of the residents of the Carbonales Valley. Shepard uses this unlikely premise to examine human nature and present intricate and often poetic stories about the people who fall under Griaule’s influence, though Griaule’s indifference leaves the reader with the sense that the individual’s lives are guided more by their own decisions than by any external force. These six stories explore ground far from the high fantasy with which dragons are frequently associated. Fans of Shepard’s unusual and often powerful Griaule tales will be delighted to have them all in one place. (June)
Reviewed on: 04/02/2012 Release date: 05/01/2012 Genre: Fiction
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