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Jakes, John
THE PLANET WIZARD {Jeff Jones cvr}
book-date: 1969
cvr art:
cvr price:
Jeff Jones

Ace 1969 paperback. (First printing, #67060.) Cover by Jeff Jones, 159 pages, 60 cent cover price. Condition is near-Fine: tight and almost square with flat spine; mild uniform age tanning. No stamps, marks or writing. Edges still have some "new book" crispness and there is no wear other than the slight tilt - so I can't tell if it was read once with extreme care, or picked up the tilt in storage.

The Planet Wizard by John Jakes. The second book in his loosely related series about II Galaxy - the "Dragonard" series. John Jakes was active in the SF/Fantasy magazines from the early Fifties through mid Sixties, and wrote more than a dozen SF/Fantasy books in the late Sixties and early Seventies. Then he became a bestselling author of non-SF with his "Bicentennial" series in the mid-Seventies.

[From the back cover & first page blurb]:
"You, Magus Blacklaw, in a skysled provided by the High Government of Pastora, shall voyage to Lightmark and exorcize the demons, so that the commercial house of Easkod can live again. If you are a true wizard, you will not be afraid!" The trap was closed. Deny the command and thereby admit he was a false wizard, and he was dead. But how could he fare on Lightmark, that unknown planet with its demons, its Hauntplace, and the fearsome Brother Plume? Somehow, though, Magus Blacklaw found the courage to smile at it all. For if he couldn't use his own powers, there would always be the "magic" of the dead men of Easkod - one man's demon is another man's dream. / Once there were mighty worlds and vast commercial empires. Once there were the Lords of the Exchange, masters of the multifold works of science whose products made II Galaxy boom and its myriads of inhabitants happy. But dark days had fallen, the lights had gone out everywhere, and superstition, ignorance, and the frightful reality of mutants and monsters had made that universe a place of terror. Pastora was one of the most backward of the surviving worlds, and on that world it fell to the lot of four people to go out on a faltering spaceship to loot a nearby planet. One went for adventure, one was sent for punishment, one went for wealth, and one went for the holy purpose of rekindling a fire that would relight the beacons of a lost civilization. This is their exiting story.

Many paperback publishers in the late Sixties found they could sell about anything if they put a good cover on it. With Frank Frazetta and Jeff Jones at their prime, you couldn't go wrong - even if the book wasn't great, you got some really terrific artwork by master illustrators. (I read this one about 30 years ago, and liked it.)