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8 Reviews
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This is one of my all-time favorite Michael Shea books., June 2, 2000
By 
Jim G. (Connecticut, USA) - See all my reviews
This review is from: In Yana, the Touch of Undying (Mass Market Paperback)
I'm a big fan of Michael Shea's Nifft books, but for me, this book beats 'em hands down. The mix of adventure and horror is very similar, but Shea really pulls out all the stops on this one. There are just too many bizarre and grotesquely fascinating things going on in this story to mention here. Just take my word for it, if you liked his other books, or enjoy reading Jack Vance, you will probably also love this book.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars His Best, February 16, 2010
This review is from: In Yana, the Touch of Undying (Mass Market Paperback)
Mr. Shea does not put out lot of material, but what he does release is some of the best fantasy on the planet. If you haven't read "In Yana...", but like Vance or Zelazny or Hodgson or C. A. Smith or Lovecraft, then you REALLY want this book. It is an as yet unrecognized classic, since it didn't sell all that well due to lame cover art. The novel was only released once, so this is it if you can get it.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars thisdarkplace*blogspot*com, November 20, 2005
This review is from: In Yana, the Touch of Undying (Mass Market Paperback)
Richley imagined and darkly humourous, In Yana is a wonderfully drawn world where humans are merely a small part of the food chain and a wizard is worth more for his skin then his knowledge. Highly recommended.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Caution: Dropped Jaws May Occur, February 8, 2014
This review is from: In Yana, the Touch of Undying (Mass Market Paperback)
Commonly my jaw will drop while reading Michael Shea's haunting image-laden prose. IN YANA, THE TOUCH OF UNDYING is his finest work, better than his Nifft stories, which is saying a lot: they induce jaw-dropping syndrome too. Everything author Shea excels at can be found in IN YANA, THE TOUCH OF UNDYING.

The novel begins with a man lunching in an eating establishment. Ironically I learned about this book the same way. I picked IN YANA off a used book rack in a café to kill time while waiting for my lunch. When my meal arrived I put the book back on the shelf and ate, but those first few pages where Bramt Hex decides to order homunculus stayed with me. The next day I hurried back to that café and bought IN YANA before some wiser soul than I absconded with it. I'm glad I did and knew I'd made the right decision a few chapters later when a building is literally sawn out of the ground at its foundation, inhabitants and all, and transported away aerially. By the time Shea got Hex to the tree slums I was hopelessly ensnared in the word pictures painted on the page.

That was almost 30 years ago and I didn't know then just how much Michael Shea was influenced by Jack Vance. I've owned Vance books since Jeff Jones was painting the Ace covers for Vance's Tschai series in the late sixties. Lately I've been reading Vance's Cugel stories (Shea published one himself) and was surprised to find homunculus mentioned at the beginning of THE EYES OF THE OVERWORLD (why I was surprised is surprising because homunculus, or the concept of it, has been around centuries before Vance was born). As entertaining and well-written as Cugel's follies are he comes across like a modernized Arlecchino from Commedia dell'arte, a slapstick sad sack scoundrel, not a hero, and not a very likable character either despite his inevitable and numerous comeuppances. On the other hand Shea intended protagonist Bramt Hex to be a louse too in IN YANA, THE TOUCH OF UNDYING yet Hex is a babe-in-the-woods compared to Cugel, less conniving, more a lazy opportunist than a louse.

[possible SPOILER this paragraph:] Hex's reward at the conclusion of the story is as unexpected as anything that precedes it, almost as if he's transformed, redeemed, absolved of his sins.

By allowing Hex to grow and change as a character, even a little, Shea has done what so-called real novelists purport to do. IN YANA, THE TOUCH OF UNDYING is not a true picaresque novel the way Shea's NIFFT THE LEAN is, but by strict definition IN YANA is literature in spite of Shea operating in the déclassé fantasy genre theater. Like Bramt Hex, the unsavory Nifft is easier to relate to than the unsavory Cugel, but as much as I like the fantastical adventures of Nifft I liked Hex's more. And I don't not like Cugel---it's just that I know too many real people like him.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A ripping fantasy yarn from start to finish, September 7, 2012
This review is from: In Yana, the Touch of Undying (Mass Market Paperback)
This is a great book, don't overlook it if you like fantasy. Shea pulls out all the tricks for this one, vivid grotesque monsters, societies and another fantastically likeable scumbag (As Nifft was but certainly no Nifft) in the Protagonist. From the first description of Bramt Hex I was hooked. A must read for any dark SF F fan.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wierd, Wonderful Fantasy, June 29, 2012
By 
Conanfan (Nashville, Tennessee United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: In Yana, the Touch of Undying (Mass Market Paperback)
Another great fantasy novel from Michael Shea, full of grotesque creatures, strange cityscapes and eerie travels. I really appreciate Shea's unbridled imagination, which reminds me of a grittier, less morally charged Michael Moorcock. If you are a fan of weird sword and sorcery, don't pass this up.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reminiscent of Jack Vance, but a little grosser., July 29, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: In Yana, the Touch of Undying (Mass Market Paperback)
If you liked Nift the Lean by this author, you will definitely appreciate this book.
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3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Reminiscent of Jack Vance, but a little grosser., July 29, 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: In Yana, the Touch of Undying (Mass Market Paperback)
If you liked Nift the Lean by this author, you will definitely appreciate this book.
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In Yana, the Touch of Undying
In Yana, the Touch of Undying by Michael Shea (Mass Market Paperback - December 3, 1985)
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