Myers, John Myers
book-date: 1941
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Trade paperback
Charles Vess

Donning/Starblaze: 1982 trade paperback (copyright 1941.) Size is 5-1/2" by 8-1/2." Wraparound cover, frontispiece, and 4 full-page illustrations by Charles Vess, 223 pages,$5.95 cover price. Condition is Fine to Mint: very tight and square with flat spine; age tanning is negligable (good paper); edges still have some crispness. No stamps, marks or writing - this looks new/unread.

A fantasy novel by John Myers Myers: The Harp and the Blade. Myers is probably best known for his historical novels, and for Silverlock - written in 1949, and reprinted in the Sixties and Eighties. This one was written in 1941. Clute & Grant's Encyclopedia of Fantasy describes this as a historical novel with fantasy elements - you could say that about a lot of what has been published as fantasy. Since I haven't read this, and the back cover has no plot description, I'll quote the excerpt extracted as a "blurb" for the book:

THE WIZARD'S GEAS: I skirted the base of the first hill, and it was then that I first saw the dolmen; and the sight made my skin crawl. Some say it was giants that built them, and some say it was done by magic. The Church claims there is no magic, but I notice it believes in it right enough if a saint is the performer. Of course dolmen, cromlich, and standing stones are all very old - and maybe there is not much power connected with them any more. But I wouldn't want to bet on it. Thus far I had reached in my ruminations, when the blue-painted wizard appeared. There are some men who can reach into another's mind and pull his thought out whole. That man was a priest of an ancient, strange race, versed in sorcery; and he read me out: "You let a man die today because you couldn't be bothered."
"It wasn't my business," I muttered.
"You think nothing in life is your business!" he howled. "But I'll make it so things will be!"
For an instant I shivered, then pure, scared rage made me catch up my sword. "Try to curse me, and I'll chop you up for dog meat," I blustered.
"You're not worth a good curse," he informed me, "but I'll work my will upon you."
I waited alert, ready to kill him if he voiced anything that sounded like a curse, but he only looked at me hard and said:
"From now on, as long as you stay in my land," here he swept his arm to include all directions, "you will aid any man or woman in need of help."
That didn't sound so bad... until I discovered the whole realm needed saving!