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Download Lure of the Basilisk epub

by Lawrence Watt-Evans

The overman named Garth sought immortal fame. The oracle told him to serve the Forgotten King to get that fame. But this King sent Garth after a basilisk whose gaze could turn men to stone. What sane use could anyone have for a monster like that?
Download Lure of the Basilisk epub
ISBN: 0345314948
ISBN13: 978-0345314949
Category: No category
Author: Lawrence Watt-Evans
Language: English
Publisher: Del Rey (February 12, 1984)
ePUB size: 1468 kb
FB2 size: 1587 kb
Rating: 4.1
Votes: 218
Other Formats: docx mbr lit doc

This book had some interesting ideas, and I remembered enjoying it as a kid. 23 years later it wasn't as spellbinding. Still not bad, but the writing and plot is fairly simplistic. The original Conan series are an obvious influence and better.
Great read, very addictive.
First fantasy series I ever read and now after reading again I can see why I became an avid fantasy reader.
Before happening upon this volume I'd only read one other book by Lawrence Watt-Evans -- his sci-fi novel "Denner's Wreck" -- but I'd been impressed enough by his creativity and knack for storytelling that I felt confident picking up another novel of his. "Lure of the Basilisk" looked like a typical sword-and-sorcery pulp novel, but that's not necessarily a bad thing. Sometimes one just wants a fun adventure story, not necessarily a thick fantasy epic or a social statement wrapped up in fantasy trappings. I wasn't expecting the next "Lord of the Rings" or "Game of Thrones" from this book, just something entertaining.

Entertaining it was, and far more so than I'd guessed at first glance. While "Lure of the Basilisk" falls into some of the cliches of its genre and leaves some loose ends for the sequel, it had enough unique twists of its own to stay fresh, and I greatly enjoyed it.

"The Lure of the Basilisk" follows Garth, a lord of a race of beings called overmen, who ventures from his homeland on a quest to find immortal fame and recognition. A visit to an oracle sends him to a decaying city to find the Forgotten King, who orders him to venture to the tombs of a faraway city and bring back the creature who lives there. A simple enough quest... but Garth knows there's bound to be more to this quest than meets the eye. And when his journey pits him against bandits, a crazed sorcerer, and the very creature of the tombs -- which just happens to be the titular basilisk, a venomous reptile that can kill with a glance or a touch -- Garth has to question just what the Forgotten King wants with this creature, and whether he's doing the right thing...

While this story mostly adheres to the typical tropes of fantasy -- an adventurer on a fetch quest facing the usual bandits and magicians along the way, as well as a wretched-hive of a town complete with distrustful townsfolk -- Watt-Evans does manage to bring some new concepts to the table. The overmen race, in particular, was an interesting addition, and a nice change of pace from the usual elves, dwarves, and orcs that populate most fantasy worlds. We only get brief glimpses into their culture, but those glimpses are fascinating nonetheless. And Watt-Evans does his best to show us how a non-human protagonist views human behaviors -- usually with confusion and even some exasperation. Not to mention that any culture that rides giant hunting cats into battle has got to be awesome...

The story is nicely paced and carries the reader along on a fascinating fantasy quest that, while not as epic as some, is still fun and adventurous in its own way. I think a lot of writers anymore have forgotten that fantasy can be FUN, not just dark and grim, and a good old-fashioned sword-and-sorcery quest that doesn't bog itself down in politics, warfare, and/or social commentary is a rare thing anymore. "Lure of the Basilisk" is a good reminder that fantasy doesn't have to be complex and gritty to be enjoyable.

I didn't realize that "Lure of the Basilisk" was the first of a series until I finished it... but I'm looking forward to picking up the sequels. This book is a fun adventure quest with an interesting non-human protagonist, and its ending ties up satisfactorily while still leaving a few loose ends for sequels to resolve. I'm looking forward to tracking down the next book...
This short book (clocking at only 200 pages) is the beginning of a four-book series.

I haven't yet read the other books, but I must honestly say that the author made good use of description (But it's not slow and boring, like it is in Ursula LeGuin's or Tad Williams' books).

The Main character, the Overman Garth, a renowned warrior among his people, goes on a quest for something any sane person has always wanted, immortal fame.

In order to thus gain what he desires he visits the Forgotten King, an exiled Sorceror Lord residing in the city of Skelleth, who directs him to take a quest to capture and bring to the Forgotten King the first living thing he discovers in the crypts of the lost city of Mormoreth.

Garth proceeds to make his way there, fighting off bandits and the enchanter Shang.

As for the characters, I liked how the author made the chivalrous hero of the story non-human, and how he dealt with how the protagonist's system of values and personal beliefs differed from those of a human being.

The other main characters in the story are a soldier, a bandit leader, and of course, the bad guys.

The three main bad guys are not all villains in the story.

The forgotten king is left mysterious in order to establish himself as a character in the later books.

The Baron of Skelleth, who'd like to see Garth dead, is despite this, somewhat of a sympathetic character, having been placed in a dreadful corner of the world because of a decision of his father's, and has a mysterious illness.

The actual "villain," here, then, would be Shang, Although an enemy of the Forgotten King, Shang seems to be equally as vile in his actions.

Thus it was a quick read, and a good descriptive work with intriguing characters. Recommended.
Garth, Prince of Ordunin, Lord of the Overmen of the Northern Waste, doesn't want much. He is tired of being inconsequential in the grand scheme of things and wants to be remembered by everyone in the world, as long as anyone remains alive. Having demanded advice from the local oracles he gets a surprising answer. Go to the worn out town of Skelleth, and offer his services to a worn out beggar dressed in a tacky yellow robe. He does, and thereby hangs this tale.

Garth receives the first of what will become a series of quests, to retrieve the first animal he finds in the crypts beneath Mormoreth. Easier said, of course, than done. Marmoreth is a deserted city ruled over by the enchanter, Shang. Various robbers and brigands, all in Shang's pay, watch the road to Marmoreth. And Korg, Garth's giant warbeast is perpetually hungry. Oh! I forgot! The only animal in the crypts of Marmoreth is a basilisk. An irritable, poisonous, and generally impossible basilisk.

As Garth works his way through the twists of this quest with an engineer's attention to detail, and a slight tendency to be absent minded at critical moments, we get occasional glimpses of how humans would look to another intelligent life form. Somewhat insane, of course. Even to someone on a quest as insane as moving a basilisk cross-country.

Watt-Evans fills his story with little wry moments that mave all two hundred pages enjoyable. With the advantage of years, we know that this first effort turned itself into an entire series, with Garth becoming the perfect outsider whose encounters with humanity (and the King in Yellow) inevitably have unexpected results.