A dying planet, dried up and hostile; a planet of countless years and countless mysteries.
When the Terrans came, they found a world of dead sea-bottoms, lost civilizations, and secretive tribes bitterly resenting their intrusion on the fading glory of an ancient planet. The Earthmen looked down upon the crumbling ruins of a brilliant culture and laughed at the stories of invincible gods and forgotten magic lingering in the forbidden cities of Jekkara, Barrakesh, Valkis...they would not laugh for long!
Brackett was a prolific SF writer. Starting in the 1940s, she wrote a couple of dozen SF books and made living for years writing short stories for multiple pulp SF magazines. Eventually she wrote for TV and film. She is one of the nearly forgotten pioneers of Classic SF.
As usual Brackett has surprised me. This book is better then the average 3 star pulp SF. I suspect that these stories were originally published in one of the pulps. Perhaps not. Either way I was mostly disinterested when I started but drawn in by the good writing.
These stories vividly show times and places that would be fascinating and terrible to visit.