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The Black Diamonds, by Clark Ashton Smith Book Review | SFReader.com
The Black Diamonds, by Clark Ashton Smith Genre: Fantasy Publisher: Hippocampus Press Published: 2002 Review Posted: 9/21/2006 Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: Not Rated
The Black Diamonds, by Clark Ashton Smith
Book Review by Phillip A. Ellis
Have you read this book?
Until recently, it had not been widely known that the famed poet and speculative author, Clark Ashton Smith, had written a novel. It was really with the publication of The Black Diamonds that this information filtered through to the wider community of Smith fans, causing some measure of excitement.
The Black Diamonds, set in Baghdad, is the story of a young merchant who is sold two black diamonds, and of attempts by his enemy to regain them. In it, there is adventure, unions and reunions, and the story itself is essentially a ripping yarn set in the Orient. There is swordplay, intrigue, and even an element of what may be the supernatural, but this is, basically, not a speculative tale in itself.
What The Black Diamonds does offer the reader of speculative literature is an insight into the imagination of Clark Ashton Smith, and into his youth. For The Black Diamonds is an early work, juvenalia. It had been written in Smith's early teens, and predates slighty his The Sword of Zagan.
It also gives us an idea of just how a fast-paced, plot-driven narrative could be written. It is a very enjoyable romp, a story with more emphasis upon the events than the characterisations, but it is an easy read, and well worth becoming acquainted with. Although here and there the author's youth shows, it stands up with similar tales, and it can easily serve as inspirationfor some latter-day Smith.
Simply, why not try it, and become acquainted with one of speculative literature's more fascinating authors.
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