Author: Lynn Abbey
Pages: 480 pages
Print Rating: 4 of 5 stars
Audible Rating: N/A
Ah, the little disappointments of eBooks and companies reselling products. I had purchased this book with the expectation that it was an Omnibus Edition of The Thieves World collection sold in the 80s. It is not and I was massively confused as I expected to settle in with a tried and true collection of short stores set in the city of Sanctuary.
Adding to my confusion, this novel is marketed as having three books: Return To The City That Would Not Die!, Return To Thieves' World! and Return To Sanctuary!. All with exclamation points. Structurally, the novel is a single book and it's not really clear if this was ever serialized or three different books. G-- damn Marketroids screwing a good thing up.
This book, which shares the title of the 1982 Omnibus edition is a newer novel by Lynn Abbey.In this story, we follow the adventures of Molin Torchholder as he literally passes the torch to a new generation of characters. This treatment was excellently handled as the new generation of characters are not simply derivative of old characters. They are couched in the term of the old Thieves World characters without actually being those people in a renewed form. They are markedly different even if they aspire to be as famous as the prior generation of anti-heroes.
You would think that Molin would be a bad character to lead the next generation of scum in the city of Sanctuary. And to an extent that would be correct. However, as a survivor and an archpriest to the deposed and hidden god, Vashanka it made a lot of sense. He survives by pigheaded stubbornness, who else could live this long?
The book has many callbacks to the original series, answering many questions while leaving some unanswered. While I was supremely disappointed that this was not the omnibus edition I was looking for, I found it an excellent read. I believe that this novel could be an excellent launching point if one as never read a Thieves World book before, as the callbacks and setting both come across as epic worldbuilding, invoking age and mystery for the reader.
If you prefer a physical copies, check out Sanctuary by Lynn Abbey on Abebooks. This link will take you to a search page with different offerings at prices you can afford.
I will be searching for those original omnibus editions, so stay tuned for more from Sanctuary and Thieves World.