- Mass Market Paperback: 288 pages
- Publisher: Tor Fantasy; 1st edition (April 15, 1999)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0812572114
- ISBN-13: 978-0812572117
- Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 0.8 x 7 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 9 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #5,565,885 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Child of An Ancient City Mass Market Paperback – April 15, 1999
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Nonetheless, this is actually an interesting theme and was executed effectively by Williams and Hoffman. I'd still recommend it, especially as it could be read in a single sitting, and won't take too much or your precious time.
The main description of this book is all you really need to know, without spoilers. A lost caravan, a vampyr and telling stories to stay alive. Not really meant to be scary, but more of a slightly darker Arabian Nights and a little sad/thought provoking, concerning the vampyr. At least that's how I consider the short story. I, already, can't remember if this book version stayed true to that.
The main story was slightly changed in the book and a few characters added so that Hoffman could add some tales for the vampyr. Not to be down on Hoffman, but I just don't think she and Williams were a good fit. I loved the short story way back when and have reread it several times, but the book bored me and seemed like a poor shadow of the original.
3 stars because of the short story this was expanded from. 2 stars for the book, 4 for the short story.
The most important story in the piece tells of a group of travelers who have been besieged by a vampire during the last leg of their dangerous journey. Picked off one by one, they find that the only way to keep the vampire at by is to tell stories at night for his entertainment. So follows a set of tales reminiscent of the 1001 Nights, with a decidedly grim bent.
While the story was overall fine, it felt like it went on rather long, and the many stories-within-stories was frustrating. It seemed an artistic choice, rather than an effort to write a good, enjoyable story. So I don't see myself reading again, but I could see myself pointing readers to this tale.
As confusing as that sounds it wasn't a confusing read. I like the arabian setting and it was funny at times but nothing really impressed me about it, except for one of the stories told within the main story.
I think it would be more impressive for someone just getting into fantasy as opposed to a veteran. Though as the last reviewer mentioned it may not correctly represent Williams' 'normal' style of writing.
I'm an absolutely _huge_ fan of Tad Williams. I've read everything out there from Talechaser's Song to Mountain of Black Glass (and read MST three times). I've read both of his shorter works: Child of an Ancient City and Caliban's Hour. In reading Child, I found the prose weaker than what I was accustomed to with Tad: perhaps this was due to the condensed nature or perhaps it was that much of the text was actually written by Nina? I'm undecided. On the whole I enjoyed it more than Caliban's Hour. I would recommend this book to fans of Tad but not to the uninitiated.