The Reluctant Shaman and other Fantastic Tales by L. Sprague de Camp

The Reluctant Shaman and Other Fantastic Tales by L. Sprague de Camp is a collection of fantasy stories. 

These stories show the imagination of Sprague.

It was published in 1970. I am reading fantasy books published in 60s-70s-80s.

One thing that I noticed in these Ace, Ballimont, and Pyramid books is that the fantasy characters were a part of the natural world.

In modern fantasies, the fantasy world is usually hidden by the humans. The fantasy world operates in hiding, and some time to remain hidden is plot devices of the books.

reluctant shaman by sprague - The Reluctant Shaman and other Fantastic Tales by L. Sprague de Camp

Like in the Harry Potter series, they try to hide their world. In The ShadowHunters universe, they are hiding these monsters.

But in this book, all these characters live with humans. Interact with them on a daily basis, and they work as a character, instead of species.

Character vs Species

I can write a complete post on this topic. But right now I am going to tell you in summary form.

A vampire is a species, but Raphael Santiago is a character. 

But still, Raphael Santiago seems more vampire than a character. Cassandra Clare has written a complete story on Raphael Santiago, but still, he never transforms into an individual person.

The fantasy was different in the 70s.

Myriads, Goblins, vampires, Werewolves, Trees, Mermaids, Minotaurs, Centaurs, Monkey King —- They all were part of the one ecosystem.

There were not worlds hidden in the worlds, but they all were divided into the kingdoms.

All the characters had a personality. The personality that made them unique in their species.

But let’s talk about the book.

The Reluctant Shaman by Sprague

Collection of stories. Alla re good and enjoyable. 

But I am only going to talk about my favorite. That is The Hardwood Pile.

The Hardwood Pile is about

The premise of the story perfect for a YouTube video.

Execution of the story can not be better. Excitement, comedy, and Suspense.

It is a story of a Dryad. Fantasy writers really think about details.

Rick Riordan introduced the Drayds to me. But I only knew that Dryads are tree spirits.

They cannot leave there Trees.

Not a single author mentioned that Dryads do have preferred tree species.

There are different Dryads for different Species of Trees. And it is not the Tree that is their home, but the wood.

As in this story, this Dryad fights for her home. In the end, she makes deal with the contractor and gets to live with the Floor made of her tree.

It is an excellent story.

The details make the story awesome, the unique imagination creates the freshness.

Reviews of other Stories

Other stories are also good.

The Mermaid story is too ahead of the time. It is a great depiction of how transgender females are getting unfair advantages in female-oriented activities.

What motivates Sprague to write a piece of content like this.

Then there is a titular story. It was awesome too.

The split-personality Ghost story is also funny with a twist. I mean, split-personality is not a new mental illness, but who thinks ghost having multiple personality disorder. WTH.

The brain of fantasy writers always amazes me. How do they think such stuff?

Overall

You may find pdf of these stories on the net. I don’tknow if these stories are in the public domain.

But they make a good base for video content.

I bought this book from Daryaganz Book Market.

If you want to talk, contact me on Instagram.

Faizan Fahim

Hello, welcome to this blog. Just writing reviews of the book I like. Also, favorite quotes, poetry, sometimes other topics too, but always related to literature. So join me on Facebook or Instagram or Twitter, and talk to me.

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