cover image Sightblinder's Story: Sightblinder's Story

Sightblinder's Story: Sightblinder's Story

Fred Saberhagen. Tor Books, $14.95 (248pp) ISBN 978-0-312-93032-5

Saberhagen established himself in the '60s and '70s with his intense, ambitious Berserker series of space operas. Lately, however, he has devoted himself increasingly to a more relaxed, playful sequence of fantasy adventures, the Books of Swords. Each is a model of action writing, clear-sighted, graphic and agile. The present story limits itself to a single locale, the island castle of the wizard Honan-Fu, where Prince Mark is imprisoned in ice alongside the wizard by the usurper called the Ancient One. Mark's friends find themselves the temporary allies of Honan-Fu's traitorous daughter, Ninazu, and of the magician emperor, currently incognito with a traveling show. Keeping the major players off balance and providing a comic mirror, there is a wild card, a peasant enamored of Ninazu who has chanced on the Sword of Power, Sightblinder, which makes him seem whatever an onlooker most loves or fears. An entertainment of high order. (November 23)