cover image Dragon Earl and Troll

Dragon Earl and Troll

Gordon R. Dickson. Ace Books, $21.95 (442pp) ISBN 978-0-441-00098-2

Both medievalists and sword-and-sorcery fans will enjoy this fantasy adventure, as Dickson skillfully inserts interesting facts about chivalric revels into a tale replete with dragons, trolls and knights in shining armor. Jim and Angie, the loving couple introduced in The Dragon and the George, are again in trouble with the Dark Powers-and to complicate matters, an orphaned infant has been dropped in their laps. Learning that the Dark Powers plan to tamper with History at the Earl of Somerset's upcoming, 12-day Christmas revels, the pair attend the celebrations. There, Jim, aided by the trusty English wolf Aargh, the faithful knight Brian Neville-Smythe, the magician Carolinus and a cowardly hobgoblin, must solve myriad problems so that the Phoenix at World's End will fly and Chance and History will retain their proper balance. Many of the plot twists are transparent, but the innovative use of an offbeat nativity scene offers a clever theatrical touch. Ultimately, it's Dickson's ability to wallow joyously in the conventions of the genre that makes this such a satisfying read. (Nov.)