The Dragon Masters, by Jack Vance Rothdas book review RSS
3.5 Stars

Shut up! Don't make fun of me because of the title, this is *serious* literature. It won a Hugo award back in the 60's, and was the next Vance book that looked appealing. As always, Vance is swift and immensely inventive. Vance has a wonderful skill at creating names for people, coalitions, creatures, spells, weapons, etc; he is the anti-Atwood in that regard. The story here is not as light hearted as the Cugel stories, and is a bit more involved in its developments and characterization and patterns. It also kind of makes me want to make a card game out of the different dragon classes and their combats. Notable features include the Tand, a neat reification of cultural thought and transmission, and an involved and ongoing combat between four vastly different minor powers. It's like a bite-sized version of Dune.