The minstrel Gastel Etzwane lives in Shant -- a country of cantons, each independently dictating its own law and customs. The enforcement of law is simple, quick, and inevitable: death by decapitation, from an explosive torc clamped around each citizen's neck by authority of a single man -- the Anome. For millennia Anomes have ruled Shant, dealing death as they see fit -- and none dares defy them, until Gastel Etzwane risks his head to expose the Anome’s identity -- and end the tyranny of these faceless men forever. – Jack King
On the fringes of the Gaean Reach, the cantons of Shant on the planet Durdane are ruled by the reclusive Anome -- who coerces the population using explosive rings around the neck of every adult citizen. The Durdane trilogy (The Anome, The Brave Free Men, and The Asutra) follows the life of Gastel Etzwane, who grows from childhood in the dust of Rhododendron Way to become a musician of renown, and almost against his will, a man of action. When remote cantons are brutalized by the depredations of inhuman Roguskhoi, Etzwane goes before the Anome with a case for response. The Anome proves oddly reluctant to act, and Etzwane must stage a coup to turn Shant against the hordes. Eventually he discovers the sinister fact that the Roguskhoi tribes are pawns of the Asutra, alien elements who seek to bend all of humanity to a disturbing end. The Durdane trilogy traces the rise, struggles and ultimate triumph of Gastel Etzwane—and through him, of humanity itself—over alien subjugation. – Joel Hedlund
The Anome, originally published as The Faceless Man, is Book I of the Durdane trilogy, and Volume 43 of the Spatterlight Press Signature Series. Released in the centenary of the author's birth, this handsome new collection is based upon the prestigious Vance Integral Edition. Select volumes enjoy up-to-date maps, and many are graced with freshly-written forewords contributed by a distinguished group of authors. Each book bears a facsimile of the author's signature and a previously-unpublished photograph, chosen from family archives for the period the book was written. These unique features will be appreciated by all, from seasoned Vance collector to new reader sampling the spectrum of this author's influential work for the first time. – John Vance II
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