We’re continuing with our look at the extraordinary 40-year career of Tanith Lee, who passed away on May 24th. So far we’ve covered 13 novels and three collections; today I’d like to look at the slender 1979 paperback Companions on the Road, which I think has been unjustly neglected over the last four decades.
Companions on the Road collects two novellas, Companions on the Road (1975) and The Winter Players (1976). Both were originally published as chapbooks in the UK by Macmillan, with covers by Juliet Stanwell Smith (see below). For their US release as a paperback original, they were collected into a single volume from Bantam titled Companions of the Road: Wondrous Tales of Adventure and Quest, with a wraparound cover by Lou Feck (click on the images above for bigger versions).
The inside cover text is what sold me the book, many decades ago now:
Three rode the path together, yet they were not alone…
Companions on the Road
The citadel of Avillis had burned through the night with its terrible Lord and his monstrous children in it. Nothing remained now but waste, ruin and, at the heart of the palace, the great cup of Avillis, still untouched.
Untouched until borne away by Kachil, Feluce, and Havor. All too soon they would taste of unquenchable fear, unknowable Fate… and of the essence of the Chalice that, once stolen, could not be lightly cast aside, even in horror and despair.
Companions on the Road has never been reprinted, and it has now been out of print for 36 years. It was published by Bantam Books in July 1979. It is 183 pages, priced at $1.95. The cover is by Lou Feck. There is no digital edition, but used copies are available online for less than the cost of a new paperback.
We’ve covered the following Tanith Lee books so far:
The Novels of Tanith Lee: The Wars of Vis by John O’Neill
The Novels of Tanith Lee: Tales From the Flat Earth by John O’Neill
The Novels of Tanith Lee: The Secret Books of Paradys by John O’Neill
The Novels of Tanith Lee: Days of Grass by John O’Neill
The Collections of Tanith Lee by John O’Neill
Tanith Lee’s Secret Books of Paradys by Matthew David Surridge
Return to The Flat Earth: Reviving a Masterpiece by John R. Fultz
Tanith Lee’s Lionwolf Trilogy by John R. Fultz
See all of our recent Vintage Treasures here.