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Avram Davidson (1923 - )

Vergil in Averno
Doubleday, 1987


This is a prequel to The Phoenix and the Mirror. Davidson the author imagines Vergil as a renaissance scholar may have imagined him (based upon renaissance era paintings of him showing him wearing dress more appropriate to the renaissance than to his actual era). Thus, Vergil is shown as an alchemist and sorcerer. This story shows Vergil's early years, describing his first major client, the City of Averno. Vergil's task is to help the city manage its wealth of natural gas deposits. The author's characters are gripping, and his narrative (which lets the reader slowly discover the background to the action) is unique. I love Davidson's writing, and am only sorry he did not write more about Vergil. (This review also appears on Amazon.com.) -Dean Surkin 10/99

- Dean Surkin, 10/1/1999

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