Meh, what on earth?
I went into the book expecting to like it, and it is nice and short, but after a good start it just went downhill for me. The first couple of stories about a wizard and two identical girls created by magic are great, but the subsequent stories just bored me. The prose is nice and elegant but sometime the extreme eloquence just leave me floundering. Also, in this cynical day and age the Abracadabra!
(not to be confused with the more lethal Avada Kedavra
) kind of unsystematic magic just does not cut it for me any more. My fault I guess, I just can not suspend disbelief when a wizard simply speaks some words (wiggling fingers optional) and POOF! Lo and behold! Something materialize / dematerialize / turns into a frog.
I do not doubt that Jack Vance is a great writer and his prose is beautiful but this book is not my bag. I remember reading the first Lyonesse
book and liking it so I think I will reread that instead of trying any more Dying Earth books. I respect The Dying Earth, but we are just not meant to be together.