In her introduction to this collection, Marion Zimmer Bradley tells of the inception of her character, Lythande. Author Robert Asprin proposed that a number of authors write stories taking place within a shared background, the fictional Sanctuary/Thieves World. Each author received a packet of information describing the gods and customs of the place. Many responded, and a series of anthologies was begun. Bradley’s five stories about Lythande appear in several of the anthologies and are collected in Lythande. One stipulation of participating in the Sanctuary/Thieves World series is that anyone may write about any character, as long as the story does not result in the character’s death or a significant alteration of the character’s established persona. Lythande includes “Looking for Satan,” a story about Lythande written by Vonda N. McIntyre and previously published in Thieves World (1981).
The collection concerns the adventures of Lythande, a traveling mage/minstrel. In the first story, the reader is made aware that every magician’s power is linked to a secret and that a magician wields power only as long as the secret remains undiscovered. Furthermore, no man may observe a magician eating or drinking, though a woman may.
Lythande’s secret is revealed to the reader. She is a female who, disguised as a male, became an Adept of the Blue Star order of magicians. Her disguise remained undiscovered until...
(The entire section is 557 words.)