Ethshar? Some readers already recognize the name, but if you aren't one of them, perhaps a brief explanation is in order. "Ethshar" is the invented world that has been the setting for almost a dozen novels from the pen of Lawrence Watt-Evans. Its inhabitants don't call it that; they call it "the World." For readers, though, that's not specific enough. The dominant nation on the World is the Hegemony of the Three Ethshars, while the largest, richest city, where most of the stories are set, is Ethshar of the Spices, so "Ethshar" is close enough. The name itself comes from words meaning "safe harbor." You don't need to have read any of the novels to enjoy the stories herein; each one should stand alone. And if you've read the novels, you will enjoy this return to the world of Ethshar with 11 stories... This is the first time they have all been collected in one book!