Review by Booklist Review
Two of genre stalwart Vance's prime attributes dense, intricate verbiage and confoundingly original alien cultures shine through in this adaptation of a celebrated short story. An emissary to the planet Sirene, Edwer Thissel has trouble acclimating to the strange society, where everyone wears masks to indicate their social standing and speaks in a sing-songy language amplified by an assortment of worn musical instruments. Ibrahim's visualization of this world, where any sort of subtle slight could lead to a swift beheading, is fittingly disconcerting and disorienting, and he employs intricately shaped speech balloons to convey the respectively harsh or lyrical tones used to address one's inferiors or betters. That there's a murder mystery is almost secondary, but its cleverness and cunning final resolution helps seal the deal. An introductory essay discusses Vance's stature as a grandmaster who is criminally underappreciated even by readers of authors who cite him as an influence, such as Michael Chabon and Neil Gaiman. This graphic novelization shows just how jarring and weird his stuff is in no way short on fascination but perhaps best for rarefied tastes.--Chipman, Ian Copyright 2010 Booklist
From Booklist, Copyright (c) American Library Association. Used with permission.
Review by Publisher's Weekly Review
Barely out of school, Edwer Thissel is appointed consular representative to the world Sirene, which Edwer soon learns enforces its social norms-including the universal habit of wearing masks-with lethal ferocity. Three months after arriving on Sirene, Edwer is informed that the deadly assassin Haxo Angmark is en route to Sirene; ordered to detain the criminal, the naive Edwer faces the task of finding a killer in a society where every person's face is concealed. Honored as one of science fiction's Grand Masters, Vance demonstrates his rich vocabulary and skill at depicting unfamiliar cultures in this classic SF story from the 1960s. Unfortunately, Ibrahim's effort to translate Vance's prose into realized illustrations falls short; the art is often crude and displeasing to the eye, the antithesis of Vance's precise voice. Vance's contribution is enough to carry Ibrahim; readers intrigued by this volume may be assured even better works by Vance await them. (May) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
(c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved