My review of Keith Taylor's very (very) good Bard just went up over at Black Gate. Whenever I start to get a little bogged down mentally about the reading-reviewing routine I read something like this book and it all goes away. It's books like this one that made me and keep me a fan of S&S.
Somehow this one slipped by me for over thirty years. It was sitting in the attic and I kept seeing it there. I just never picked it up. It only took me seeing several rave reviews for it to make me finally read the dang thing.
Maybe it's me, but I feel like too much Celtic-derived fantasy gets a little too goo-Earth Mothery and crap. All that nonsensical Margaret Murray Horned God stuff gets folded into it as well. The result is some trite, mystical stew of bad history and rotten folklore.
Done right it's as awesomely gloomy and haunting as the best Nordic fantasy is. Which makes sense. The roots are the same sort of misty, northern climate riven by interminable raiding. Taylor's Bard gets it right.
In an utterly unadventurous frame of mind, lots and lots of Thin Lizzy accompanied my writing this past week. Vagabonds of the Western World, the band's first great album, got a lot of airplay.