by Jack Vance
In Cugel's Saga, published 17 years after Eyes of the Overworld, the novel that first featured the scoundrel, Cugel against tests wits with Iucounu ... Show synopsis In Cugel's Saga, published 17 years after Eyes of the Overworld, the novel that first featured the scoundrel, Cugel against tests wits with Iucounu and acquires rudimentary powers. Though Vance puts himself in tradition of popular fantasy writers, one might assume that he had also grown up with Ovid and Herodotus, Homer's Odyssey, Don Quixote, and Candide. The Cugel tales lack some of the scope and pathos of the great adventure yarns, but, in the twenty-first century, they may be as close as one gets to the celebration of epic human perseverance. "Cugel the Clever [is] a rogue so venal and unscrupulous that that he makes Harry Flashman look like Dudley Doright. How could you not love a guy like that? .... Judging from the number of times that Cugel has come back ... you can't keep a bad man down." -George R.R. Martin, author of A Song of Ice and Fire. "Cugel the Clever [is] a liar and thief in a doomed world of liars and thieves.... Probably the least attractive hero it would be possible to find, struggling through a universe like a Hieronymus Bosch painting, a hero only in that nearly everybody else he encounters in that universe is on the make too, and yet the Cugel stories are howlingly funny." -Kage Baker, author of Empress of Mars.