The Fellowship of the TalismanClifford D. Simak
Cover: Michael Whelan.
A Heroic Fantasy
Through a wilderness blighted by horror rode Duncan, son of the noble House of Standish. Astride his mighty war horse, he was pursuing a quest vital to the future of civilization.
With him went a strange fellowship: a brawny man-at-arms, a banshee, a hermit, a ghost, a turncoat demon, a goblin, and a witch. Opposing them came forces of supernatural malignancy. Aiding them was a girl with the blood of enchanters in her veins who was mounted on an ancient griffin.
And all this takes place in England in the 1970s...
But in the world of The Fellowship of the Talisman, the Dark Ages never ended. There had been no Renaissance, no exploration of the lands across the sea; and men lived much as they did a thousand or more years ago. Some historians believed this situation was the result of the terror and devastation called the Evil, which broke out every five centuries, laying waste first to Macedonia, then to Iberia, and finally to a large part of England.
Duncan Standish had been sent on a dangerous mission which could give humanity an instrument against this Evil and rekindle the spirit of mankind. It was through a land where the monstrous servants of the Evil held sway that Duncan and his oddly assorted followers had to pass. The ghost, though erratic, was an excellent spy; and Snoopy, the goblin, knew many of the enemy's weak points. And with the aid of an ancient sorcerer's talisman which seemed to guard Duncan and his band from peril, they were safe... for the moment.
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