In Return, master fantasist Peter S. Beagle revisits the world of his extraordinary 1991 novel, The Innkeeper's Song. The result is an utterly compelling novella filled with its author's inimitable'and characteristic'magic.
The story begins when Soukyan, narrator and hero, fends off an attack by a trio of Hunters, trained assassins who have tracked him relentlessly for many years. But something about this latest attack is different, and that difference sends Soukyan on an unexpected journey to the source of his most painful memories. In the course of that journey, he encounters some of the central figures from his troubled past and comes face-to-face with a mystery that is both astonishing and lethal.
Return offers a generous helping of the pure narrative pleasure that Peter Beagle's readers have come to expect. Swift, effortlessly witty, and written, always, with intelligence, grace, and more than a touch of wizardry, it is the work of a consummate storyteller with a unique voice and a wholly original vision of the world.
From Publishers Weekly:
'[Return] is an intimate take on the relatively common fantasy conceit of a powerful band of recluses. Readers familiar with The Innkeeper's Song will love this tie-in, while newcomers will both enjoy the tight focus and find plenty of incentive to seek out related works that further explore this complex, fully realized setting.'
'The quality of Beagle's prose, characterization, and world building (without the aid of maps or glossaries) is as superlative as ever, and he manages to compress a full-fledged story into an amazingly small space. Masterpieces, let all take note, do not have to be lifted with both hands.'
From Library Journal:
'Beagle's obvious gifts as a storyteller and master stylist shine in this small tale that is large in meaning and mastery.'
From San Francisco Book Review:
'Beagle's story reads like an ancient legend due to its intimate first-person perspective, its ancient sounding grammar and vocabulary, and its intense sequences of battle and ancient magic. Coupled with a spectacular cover and interior illustrations by Chesley Award winner Maurizio Manzieri, this lush limited edition novella is entrancing and utterly compelling. Familiarity with The Innkeeper's Song is not required to enjoy this captivating heroic and mythic fantasy.'
From SF Revu:
'As with all Subterranean offerings, Return is beautifully produced. The cover art is a gorgeous illustration by Maurizio Manzieri that accurately captures the narrative in snapshot form. Manzieri provides four beautiful interior illustrations as well.'