D uite a ot and sometimes I had to read a
few pages of the chapter to even start to understand what was currently happening That and the writing style which was pages of the chapter to even start to understand what was currently happening That and the writing style which was not for me made me not really care for the characters because I couldn t really immerse myself into the story The plot had some amazing moments and also some slower parts but the story itself was uite uniue and well crafted I got it into my head that this was a dying earth style of book in either homage to or imitation of Jack Vance and found myself at odds with the style of writing and the way the story plays out The finely polished writing is minimalist in comparison and while the darksiders ive in a sort of civilized rivalry of false or real politeness their In De Schaduw Van Yavin Star Wars 2 language and interactions don t have the same sense of play or ornateness I missed Vance s embellishment and found that while there were moments of real effectiveness Jack imprisoned and dealing with the Lord of Bats and Jack journeying the strangely populous underworld to the Forbidden Planet style Great Machine at the center of it all it simply didn teap off the pageWhere it Fucking Frankenstein lost its charm was theightside which by design or default is modeled after the 1960s with references to punch cards cigarettes automobiles and computer time as though using a centralized time share system Its sheer mundanity may be styled as a contrast to the mythicallegendary darkside but I could not bridge the gap between the picture in my head and the supposed future technology force fields that protect The Women On My Couch lightside from the unrelenting sun One of Zelazny s standalones a dark and finely faceted jewel of a bookOh OK fine The world is fixed the East Pole points ever towards the sun and the eastern hemisphere is forever in daylight and ruled by science The West Pole is in eternal darkness and the Darkside is ruled by magic In between of course is a narrow strip of twilight Shadowjack is a thief the greatest in all of the Darkside well certainly he has an opinion on the subject who draws power from shadows as opposed to the other Darksideords whose powers are geographically fixed A potentially routine heist goes badly wrong Stop Dont Read This leaving Jack to make his way back from the West Pole through dangers untold and hardships unnumbered his mind fixed upon revenge upon those who wronged him a uest that will take him through the Twilight into the Dayside and back Theanguage is evocative and precise Zelazny freely owns that the book is his tribute to Jack Vance and is his Zelazny s attempt to emulate Vance s style Certainly he comes a whole The Darkest Surrender Lords Of The Underworld 8 lot closer than most A hard to find novel but worth it if you can track it down My copy fell apartong ago and should I find a new one I l grab itIn a world frozen with a dark side and a ight side science predominates on the Fight For My Heart light side magic on the dark one man functions in both worldsThe dark side of this world is ruled or dominated by magic while theight side is dominated by science and technology The magic beings on the dark side are usually Endangered Hearts Endangered Hearts 1 limited as the their power emanates from aocation Jack on the other hand is different His power emanates or is drawn from shadow While he is almost powerless in full ight or full darkness access to any shadow makes him tremendously powerful Due to his power he can function on both the dark magical side of the planet and the scientific ight sideAs noted I Maru like the book Some may find it a bit frustrating though to say why may constitute a sort of spoiler I do recommend it as it s a well written if short I read plenty of Zelazny when I was younger In fact I have probably read most of his work The one novel that eluded me for aong time was Jack of Shadows This was doubly frustrating because I had heard it was his best book Time passed and my enthusiasm for science fiction and fantasy began to wane somewhat I haven t read any Zelazny for uite a while but I always knew that if I ever managed to get hold of Jack of Shadows I would be eager to read itFinally ast year I saw a second hand copy in a bookstore and bought it Now I have read it What do I think It is very good indeed and yes it is one of his best maybe not uite the best of all One of the amazing things about it is the coherent velocity of the action The plot moves very fast and Zelazny throws in all sorts of twists and turns yet the progression of the story doesn t feel. Tuous Evene One by one Shadowjack would seek them out and have his revenge building his power as he goesAnd once his vengeance is obtained he would come to terms with all others who are against him he would unite the World of High Dudgeon destroy the Land of Filth and bring peace to the Shadowguard But to accomplish all Jack of Shadows must find Kolwynia the Key That Was Los. .
Roger ZelaznyOne of the Grandest Masters of Science Fantasy has yet to disappoint me and Jack of Shadows is no exception Along with Jack Vance to whom this book was an homage there is no author better at stuffing story into ess than 200 pages This GEMtastic example weighs in a svelte 142 pages and contains a full serving of juicy plot with zero filler fat Jack of Shadows takes place on a world that does not rotate
"And So Half Of The "so half of the is always sun side and the other half of the planet is perpetual night The sun side is similar to our world and is governed by science and natural aw The night side is a place of magic where supernatural entities reign supreme In addition and important to the story daysiders have souls and only one Den Samlede Sagaen 1 life whereas nightsiders are soulless and can be resurrected numerous times though a finite number Our title character is a thief powerful wizard and aord of the nightside though even among his brethren Jack is unusual Most of the nightside Cliff Walk lords have places of power where they are at the strongest ie their realms which areike feudal estates Jack has no one place of power but is strongest wherever he can create shadows Inside shadow he has unmatched strength At the beginning of the story Jack is apprehended as a thief and decapitated by one of this rivals OUCH Years War Birds later as resurrection is not immediate Jack awakens in the Dung Pits of Glyve at the West Pole of the world and begins his uest for revenge against those who killed him However this is NOT a simple revenge piece set in an interesting SF world Jack uest for revenge becomes the catalyst for events that will shake the foundations of the planet andead either to a brand new world or the destruction of everything I am not going to give away any spoilers so will just say that I LOVED the ending It has an aspect to it that is Tratado General De Ajedrez Tomo Iv left purposely ambiguous and I think adds to the mystery of the work With one critical exception this story has a very Dying Earth feel to it which is intentional as Zelazny wrote this story as a tribute to Vance For example Jack of the Shadowsike Cugel the Clever and other Dying Earth rogues is a thief and a magician Like Cugel s adventures this story involves an extended journey in which Jack encounters the strange wonders of the world and the many interesting characters La Locura De Dios living in it The one critical exception is that this is a dark serious tale and theight hearted whimsy that Jack brought to his Dying Earth stories is distinctly absent By absent I don t want to imply that this is a bad thing but I wanted to make sure you didn t pick this up ooking for a bag of feel good Jack is REALLY not a nice person He does very
bad things during the course of this book some of them downthings during the course of this book some of them down despicable He s selfish onely angry filled with bitterness and shows zero compassion for those who have wronged him Despite that Zelazny makes you understand Jack and provides not only a reason for his behavior but also a very interesting moment of redemption at the end of the story The redemption isn t perfect it s messy and far from clear cutbut so is The Trader Of Saigon life and I was impressed with how Zelazny handled it Againall this in 142 pages As I have said before about Vance s work Zelazny s talent for providing a rich background and interesting characters with and economy of words is something special and a sign of true mastery over prose craft He does this in a variety of ways One of them is to take a pivotal event that will occur over a significant period of time anday it out in such a way that the impact is immediate and yet the power of the event is not diminished Here is an example So be it he said Yet all that have described to you will come to pass and you will be with me to witness it No I will have taken my The Chase The Double Xx 1 lifeong before I will bend your will and you will ove me You will never touch me body or will You will sleep now he said and when you awaken we will be coupled You will struggle briefly and you will yield to me first your body then your will You will ie passive for a time then I will come to you again and yet again After that it will be you who come to me Now you will sleep while I sacrifice upon his Lord s altar and cleanse this place of all things which displease me Dream well A new ife awaits you And he departed and these things were done as he had said In a paragraph Zelazny provides Signet catalog #W7587 Cover price 150 note no blurb about Author of Amber beneath Zelazny's name An overpowering adventure of a world half in darkness half in ight The Earth no onger rotates Sciences rule the dayside of the globe Magic rules the World of Night And Jack of Shadows Shadowjack the Thief who broke the Compact and duped the Lord of High Dudgeon; who was beheade. Chilling account of the brutal subjugation rape and brain washing of one character by another
Often Dark And Dire Situationsdark and dire situations stories can be gratuitously dragged out FOREVER or else you will find characters fearing promised torments that never come to pass as event intervene to save the characters Here in 9 words and these things were done as he had said Zelazny both makes real the promised horror and closes the door on any reprieve While acking the tension that drawing out the process might bring he injects a powerful image into the readers mind and then moves on with the story eaving the reader to fill in the cracks and catch up because the next evocative moment could occur and probably will in the next paragraph I m sure there are far better examples out there but hopefully this helps somewhat in seeing the effective use of economy Zelazny brings to his works I thought this was a terrific story with a wonderful backstory some memorable characters and an interesting plot Again The Perfect Submissive Boxset loved the ending 40 stars HIGHLY RECOMMENDEDNominee Hugo Award for Best NovelNominee Locus Award for Best SF Novel 2Aug2016 currently rereading with the Sci fi and Heroic Fantasy group here was one of the first Zelazny books I read it s still fantastic The characters aren t complex but I think this is done on purpose The only ones that much time is spent on are Dark Siders who have no soul They re very uncomplicated driven simply by desire pride power Jack personifies most his thoughts are well documented I thought hisame attempts at introspection were great The few glimpses we get of those with souls are normal complicated people The Krynoids last half was grim ugly but hardly pointless as Del Rey said There were a couple of well setup up made points The ending was fantastic7Dec09 A very interesting fantasySF story Jack the hero is an amoral immortal whose self interesteads further further into an interesting uest that ultimately changes the world MacBeth Zelazny blends fantasy with SF until you re not uite sure which William Jordan Junior label applies The story is told in his wonderfully concise style that makes re reads a pleasure while the story haunts you in odd moments Highly recommended Jack of Shadows or Shadowjack is a wizard and rogue the best thief of his age His world doesn t rotate Instead theight side is ruled by science and the dark "side by magic Daysiders have souls Darksiders are eternally reborn in the Dung Pits of "by magic Daysiders have souls Darksiders are eternally reborn in the Dung Pits of Jack gets decapitated in the opening chapter and seeks revenge upon waking in the aforementioned Dung Pits On the way to his goal he gets imprisioned by an old enemy spends time as a professor at a university on the Dayside and finds Kolwria the Key That Was Lost Once he gets his revenge a whole slew of other issues pop upI found Jack of Shadows to be a very original work Not a trace of the usual fantasy cliches Philosophical uestions ike what it means to have a soul are raised Jack reminded me of a magical version of the Rowan Atkinson Blackadder character The ending is open for the reader to interpret For the plot description I shamelessly plagiarized the first two and a half sentences of the official book description The Earth no onger rotates Science rules the dayside of the globe Magic rules the World of Night Jack of Shadows was a thief whose magic was strongly connected with shadows In other words he could not do any magic in complete absence of them H Time to te read some Roger Zelazny stuff Though I re read the Amber series periodically I ve been very ax about revisiting the other stuff of this top tier fantastic author Post Re read I remember reading this AGES ago and I was just disappointed that it wasn t Amber In retrospect as an older wiser and well read person I find that to be a narrow opinionYes this book is definitely not Amber but maybe that s for the best We are spoiled with epic new fantasy now but this classic nonetheless remains a taut compelling read still And for a standalone book there s uite a fair bit if depth to the setting Though that always was Zelaznys strong suit IMOIn short not Amber for better or worse But it s still a hidden gem that deserves attention than it gets 3 StarsI m not sure about this one The story was great and the combination of fantasy elements with science fiction felt new and different But i had a problem with the storytelling The story jumped aroun. D in Igles and rose again from the Dung Pits of Glyve; who drank the blood of a vampire and swallowed a stone Shadowjack walks in silence and in shadows to seek vengeance on his enemiesWho are his foes All who would despise him or ove the Lord of Bats Smage of the Jackass Ears the Colonel Who Never Died the Borshin and uazer winner of the Hellgames and abductor of the volup.