The Luck of Relian Kru (1987) is set in a fanciful fantasy world. Relian Kru is a nobly born young man dogged by malevolent bad luck. He ends up at the castle of a sorcerer hoping that magic can cure his malaise. But the sorcerer has other plans for Relian Kru . . .
Relian Kru reads so much like a book by Jack Vance that one might accuse the authoress of plagiarism, or think that Paula Volsky is a pseudonym of Jack Vance. But imitating if it is imitating Jack Vance is a sure way to please this reader, as I admire Jack Vance's skills at creating worlds and people for his novels. The little details matter, the names borne by the characters, their costumes and habits and singular occupations, these for me make a great book as much as the drama and storyline. And Paula Volsky has embellished Relian Kru richly.
The plot is not complicated, it takes a back seat to the rich tapestry of the world Relian Kru inhabits, but the denouement is satisfying and worth getting to.