Dilvish the Damned

Roger Zelazny
Dilvish the Damned Cover

Dilvish the Damned


I read "The Changing Land" a long time ago without knowing that the main character, Dilvish, actually had stories exposing part of his backstory. I always assumed that in a cliché fashion, especially with Zelazny, it was all there for a sense of mystique.

Reading that backstory, though, does add a bit to the character. Even though the first - and short - texts are more like poems in prose, by the time the palace of Aache and especially Tower of Ice kick in, Dilvish gets a peronsallity. Consumed by vengeance but having self-awareness, he's a nice little twist on the devil may care idealist from the old Sword & Sorcery era. Similarly, the stories are infused with clichés while sidestepping enough of them to stand out. Also, reading 'The Changing Land' in sequence, there's a nice buildup for Jelerak, the main antagonist.

All in all, reading this collection was a very pleasant throwback not unlike visiting Lankhmar.