Cover: Keith Parkinson
Tales of Mithgar
Takes place: Various
this, my child,
that when iron bells ring
they can knell in joy or sorrow
An audience with Evil . . .
To one side stood a massive black stone
throne, draped in ebon velvet, and a great darkness clotted thereupon. And Gnasha
hobbled past a huge table set with an iron service for thirteen, and he fell to his face
before the vile shadow upon the thrown.
How long he lay thus he could not say, yet at
last a sibilant whisper came hissing through the darkness: "Ah, good Gnasha,
what brings my moor commander before me?"
"Lord Modru" -- Gnasha raised his
head just enough to speak clearly -- "the outrunners report that a great army has
marched forth from the Gronfangs, just south of Claw Gap, an army of Men and Elves."
Gnasha swallowed, his throat dry with terror, for he feared to say his next words,
yet he knew the penalty to do otherwise. "Master, they bear the standards of .
. .of Agron."
voice lashed out, blackness rushing forth, and Gnasha cringed against the stone . . .
-- Excerpts from the book.
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- Being only my second Mithgarian book I was quite pleased with
this collection of short stories. McKiernan writes in a way that doesn't require a vast
knowledge of Mithgar, but only a basic knowledge of fantasy. The great thing is when
you start discovering the same characters in one story popping up in others. I was happy
to find that some of the characters that appeared in The Vulgmaster, Dreadholt (being my
favorite of the three for it's great battle scene with Baron Stoke) and When Iron Bells
Ring are the same as in the Eye of the Hunter. Other stories of interest to me were: The
Thornwalker and the Wolf and Agron's Army. If you plan on reading Eye of the Hunter
or if you already have for that matter, read this book. out of
- McKiernan here uses his increasingly popular world of Mithgar
as a background for 11 tales told in an inn called the One-Eyed Crow by a bunch of
storytellers gathered to practice their art. Particularly appealing are "The
Thornwalker and the Wolf," "The Dammsel," and "The Ruffian and the
Giant." As in the rest of his creations, McKiernan employs classic fantasy elements,
using them better in each new work. He also reveals an unexpected deftness at writing
short fantasy stories, which is more than can be said of a good many of his colleagues and
may help him avoid turning good short stories into less than good novels as the years roll
on. Any McKiernan fan is bound to ask for and be pleased by this one. Fantasy collections,
proceed accordingly. Roland Green.
-- Copyright © BookList
- From Library Journal: These 11 tales, set in the land of
Mithgar, take place at an inn called the One-Eyed Crow. Whether offering whimsical
"proof" for the existence of giants or relating a somber tale of war's false
glory, the author of The Eye of the Hunter (LJ 9/15/92) displays a genuine flair for
pacing, characters, and drama-all essential to the storyteller's art. A good choice for
most fantasy collections.
-- Copyright © Library Journal
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Dennis L. McKiernan.
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Neal E. Ulen.
Updated: June 11, 2000