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Dilvish, the Damned Mass Market Paperback – October 12, 1982

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"The Arrows of Time"
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Del Rey; 1ST edition (October 12, 1982)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345306252
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345306258
  • Product Dimensions: 6.7 x 4.2 x 0.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 4 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (14 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #96,614 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Psychedelic Cowboy on March 13, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I recommend that you read this book first before you read the Changing Land-which also features the adventures of Dilvish.
The is a very uneven book, no doubt because it is a collection of short stories and fill-in chapters ranging from 1967 to 1982. Still, it has its moments particularly in the two longest chapters, Tower of Ice and Devil and the Dancer. Here, Zelazny was at full power, and I whipped through the book, which had been slow going up to that point. Dilvish is best enjoyed like Conan or Elric-- not for literary style or depth, but for sheer action, adventure and imagination. Of course, I came to like Black, the metal horse from Hell, best of all. He reminds me of Spock in a way. I usually end up saying that a Zelazny book leaves me wanting more, and that was the case this time. Luckily there is more-- The Changing Land.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By MISTER SJEM on April 1, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Zelazny is best known for his AMBER series, as well as LORD OF LIGHT. DILVISH is a compilation of several short stories that Zelazny wrote so each section is broken into different chapters. The pace moves well enough but not as is expected today in the typical 1000 page fantasy epic.
That said there are several fantastic elements in these stories which I rarely find in later fantasy novels so, for that alone, the reading is worth it.
Remember, his best tale would be the first five books of AMBER and DILVISH, THE DAMNED is somewhere between pretty good and good, but not great, like Amber.
Moorcock's pulp stories, which were later put into slim novels, is similar in pacing to that of DILVISH, THE DAMNED.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Joan White on January 1, 2010
Format: Paperback
Title: Dilvish, The Damned
Author: Roger Zelazny
The edition reviewed is the Del Rey paperback of Nov. 1982 which collectes all seven of the Dilvish short stories: Passage to Dilfar (c 1964), Thelinde's Song (c 1965), The Bells of Shoredan (c 1966), A Knight for Merytha (c 1967), The Places of Aache (c 1979), A City Divided, The White Beast (c 1979), Tower of Ice (c 1981), Devil and the Dancer, Garden of Blood (c 1979), and Dilvish, the Damned.

Dilvish is the last of his house which had been stricken from the peerage because of several generations of inter-marriage with Elf-kind. Bereft of his lands,he turns his hand to many occupations. At a time when he was soldiering and had just finished participating in a great battle, he comes across a situation he must try to correct. Being of the High Blood, he is not killed when he breaks Jelerak's circle trying to rescue the girl being used in a sorcerous rite. But he is sufficiently weakened that Jelerak is able to turn his body to stone and imprison his spirit in Hell for over two centuries.

The first story picks up Dilvish at his defeat at Portaroy where he had returned from Hell and also introduces us to his companion Black, a demonic metal horse. The last story ends with a young woman rushing from the woods, imploring Dilvish for help. Black is warning Dilvish "the woman will stab you in the back" and Dilvish is replying "Damned if you do, damned if you don't" as he goes to help her. In between, there is plenty of action as Dilvish leads an army in defense of the city of Difar, encounters Cal-den, his old tormenter in Hell, stays a while with a vampire, tries to win the game forced on him by two sorcerers, and other adventures on his quest for vengeance against Jelerak.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By E. A. Lovitt HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on January 13, 2007
Format: Hardcover
Normally I don't go for Gonads-the-Barbarian clones, but "Dilvish the Damned" (1982) is a collection of short stories that forms a prequel to "The Changing Land" (1981), which is one of my favorite Zelazny fantasies.

Plus Dilvish the Damned has a very cool demon horse named Black, who supplies most of the brains and brawn in these eleven stories. Dilvish spent a couple of years in hell, courtesy of the evil sorcerer, Jelerak, and his gray matter seems to have gotten a bit scrambled. That makes him easy prey for every sorceress-in-distress who falls his way and/or out of her décolleté dress.

Black is very philosophical about these encounters.

Zelazny tossed off these stories in the midst of writing five of his Amber novels, from 1964 to 1981. Like the Amber novels, there is lots of flashy sword-play, and slightly wittier dialogue than is to be found in most thews-thaumaturgy-and-thwack'em tales. The earlier stories such as "Passage to Dilfar" (1964) and "Thelinde's Song" (1965) tend to be written with the verbs in front of the subjects, as in "...neither were his eyes the eyes of Men," and there are mighty curses within. One of my favorites, to be uttered in the full heat of battle, is "May he thrash in the darkness of the darknesses for the ages of ages."

These stories don't always flow one into another as many were written from year to year for the fantasy magazines. Dilvish acquires an invisible sword and a legion of ghosts in one tale, "The Bells of Shoredan" (1966), loses the legion but keeps the sword in the next, "A Knight for Merytha" (1967). He permanently loses the sword in the following stories (well, it was invisible). I'd recommend "Dilvish, the Damned" (1982) for serious Zelazny fans only, or those who are interested in the prequel to "The Changing Land."
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