The Dying Earth campaign is old school pure magic fantasy high adventure. In a world of gods, demons and magic where you would think everything could be explained in a neat cosmology, Vane is still able to offer Doubt. It is science, magic (mathematics), philosophy, and art!
The characterisations of Rhialto and his Wizard brethren are written as if Vance was a good but very honest friend. There is none of the naivety or simplicity of the typical good vs evil paradigm. It doesn't work like that in the real world either.
This book tells a story about the machinations of a Collegium of the dying earth's very best (not necessarily the finest) magic users. Despite their vast power, they are not omnipotent, and like the rest of humanity manage to navigate through their own bumbling limitations. Indeed, it is probably their own belief of self superiority and near psychopathic tendency that has led them to the top of their field.
As amoral, intelligent and arrogant as they are, they are capable of terribly childish behaviour, and yet, they are intriguing and charming and amusing. The Law of equipoise must be observed in all things!
Vance is very very clever and I will not embarrass myself by trying to critique the elements to his writing style. Vance is Vance.
Rather, I say, sit back, feast, savour & digest.
I love it!