The Phoenix and the Mirror (Vergil Magus, Book 1)


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Naturally, things change. It's not horrible, and not completely un-Davidsonian, but it's not very good, either. Masters of the Maze The first novel to show real signs of Davidson's true obsessions, and his true, or mature, prose style. It's a weird thing, and I didn't really find it wholly successful, but I found aspects quite fascinating.

I admit I don't remember it well at this remove, but it involved weird alien creatures in control of a "Maze" that allowed travel through space and time, and a failing young writer, and dangerous aliens who need to be stopped. Rogue Dragon Davidson earned a Nebula nomination for this, though it should be noted that in those days this was the first year of the Nebula awards , the rules were different, and the list of nominated works is rather long.

The aliens known as the Kar-Chee came to Earth and brought the Dragons with them, but the Kar-Chee have been defeated, but Earth is an exhausted backwater. Now the Dragons are hunted for sport by rich men from elsewhere in the Galaxy. Jon-Joras, the hero, comes to realize that this sport must cease. A decent, fun, sometimes dark, novel. Parts of it were quite good, parts, particularly the ending, were simply rushed.

The Enemy of My Enemy I don't remember this one well. A fugitive gets surgically transformed to become a Tarnisi, and ends up affecting the course of a hopeless war between Tarnis and some other nations. The solution is slightly unexpected. I don't think this was one of may favorite early Davidson novels, but as I say I don't remember it well. Clash of Star-Kings Very short novel about 38, words, originally half of an Ace Double that appeared on the Nebula nomination list for Best Novella of It depicts a conflict between alien entities as a conflict between the ancient Gods of the Aztecs and the Olmecs, witnessed by a couple of writers living in Mexico to save money.

Pretty good stuff, best I think for the depiction of everyday life for American expatriates in Mexico. Here the source of Davidson's imagination is closer to Greek myth. The novel is set in a strange land with such creatures as Harpies and especially Centaurs.

Unfortunately I remember little else except that I liked it, and that I was saddened to hear that Davidson never wrote the sequels. The Phoenix and the Mirror First published by Doubleday in as far as I know, the Vergil novels are the only Davidson novels originally published in hardcover , then as an Ace Special in , expanded from a novella in Fantastic. Perhaps Davidson's most highly-regarded novel. It is an "Alternate History Fantasy", set in a Roman Empire full of magic, and alchemy, and strange creatures, in which the poet Vergil was a powerful sorcerer.

This novel is about Vergil's search for the perfect Speculum, or mirror, and his involvement with several women. It is the first novel in which Davidson gave full reign to his fascination with the oddities of history and "unhistory", and in which he let his prose style loose to its full flowering of elegant eccentricity.

Peregrine: Primus Perhaps Davidson's single most engaging novel, and the most overtly comedic of them. It's set in another alternate Roman Empire. Peregrine is the younger son of "the last pagan King in lower Europe". When he reaches his majority, his father reluctantly exiles him, in order to prevent trouble with the Crown Prince.

The Phoenix and the Mirror (Vergil Magus, #1) by Avram Davidson - Risingshadow

So begin Peregrine's, er, peregrinations. Accompanied by a faithful page and an aging sorcerer, he roams about "lower Europe", encountering the remnants of an eccentric Roman Empire, a wide variety of mutually heretical Christians, and many other wonders. Apparently set in prehistoric times, and when I asked about it people seemed to think it fairly good.

There is a presumably shorter magazine serial version, "The Forges of Nainland are Cold", from Fantastic in There is also a If novella, "Arnten of Ultima Thule", which may be part of the novel as well. Alan Gordon. The Temptation of Saint Anthony. Gustave Flaubert. The Confessions of X. Suzanne M. Gertrude and Claudius. John Updike. Legends, Charms and Superstitions of Ireland. Lady Wilde. The Romance of Atlantis. Taylor Caldwell. Wolfram Eschenbach. Dark North.

Paul Finch. Orlando Furioso. Ludovico Ariosto. Imaginary LIves. Marcel Schwob. The Evening of the World. Allan Massie. Arthur the King. The Nonexistent Knight. Italo Calvino. The Phoenix on the Sword - Conan the barbarian. Robert E. Katherine Paterson.

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The Reluctant King. Sprague de Camp. A Book Of Folk-Lore. Sabine Baring-Gould. Charles Earle Funk.

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Salome and other Decadent Fantasies. Brian Stableford. A Captive of the Roman Eagles.

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Mary J. GK Chesterton. The Ancient Legends Retold Vortigern. Simon Heywood. The Penguin Book of the Undead.

The Phoenix and the Mirror

Scott G. The Birthday of the Infanta. Oscar wilde. Charles Williams. Cleopatra Dismounts. Carmen Boullosa. Byzantium's Crown. Susan Shwartz. False Ambassador. Christopher Harris.


  • What I'm Reading.
  • Indian Summer: The Secret History of the End of an Empire.
  • Book One of the Vergil Magus Series.

David Kavanagh. Robert Cely.

Henry van Dyke. The Scarlet Banner.

Felix Dahn. Inspired by the legends of the Dark Ages, The Phoenix and the Mirror is the story of the mighty Vergil - not quite the Vergil of our history books This is a classic collection of short stories written by Avram Davidson, one of the most acclaimed fantasists of the 20th Century He was a master in arts magical, but not yet Incantor et Magus.

Now Vergil Magus, the powerful sorcerer-poet, returns This "unhistoric" sea adventure is a deft mix of fantastic fact and fable, showcasing the author's keen attention to the often forgotten connections between them Ran Loman wants only to be left alone, to get away from it all. That's why he volunteers for duty on Pia 2, the most remote, isolated world in the Galaxy Swarthy, hairy, ostracized by others of his tribe, Arnten set off to lead a life of proud and lonely independence in his primitive world of Thule

The Phoenix and the Mirror (Vergil Magus, Book 1) The Phoenix and the Mirror (Vergil Magus, Book 1)
The Phoenix and the Mirror (Vergil Magus, Book 1) The Phoenix and the Mirror (Vergil Magus, Book 1)
The Phoenix and the Mirror (Vergil Magus, Book 1) The Phoenix and the Mirror (Vergil Magus, Book 1)
The Phoenix and the Mirror (Vergil Magus, Book 1) The Phoenix and the Mirror (Vergil Magus, Book 1)
The Phoenix and the Mirror (Vergil Magus, Book 1) The Phoenix and the Mirror (Vergil Magus, Book 1)
The Phoenix and the Mirror (Vergil Magus, Book 1) The Phoenix and the Mirror (Vergil Magus, Book 1)
The Phoenix and the Mirror (Vergil Magus, Book 1) The Phoenix and the Mirror (Vergil Magus, Book 1)
The Phoenix and the Mirror (Vergil Magus, Book 1) The Phoenix and the Mirror (Vergil Magus, Book 1)

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