Jack Vance

In a sad coincidence, Jack Vance (1916-2013) died a few days before Iain Banks. Although I did not read his entire oeuvre, far from it, I do remember most fondly the Lyonesse trilogy, which must be the first fantasy novel I read after The Lord of the Ring… I actually read volumes 1 and 2 in French, before switching to English for the third one. While Vance borrowed a lot to the history and myths of the British and Breton kingdoms, he was a marvellous storyteller, mixing magic with wit battles,  medieval societies with Celtic tribes, with a perfect balance of powers, a delightful lightness in tone, and never with an obvious and predicted ending. Given the strong impact this novel had on my reading tastes, I actually wonder why I never searched for more of his books (maybe because I did not like so much  The Demon Princes…) Another source of summer reads! Thanks, Jack, and fare well on new seas.

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