This book was a labour of love for nearly ten years, since its inception around 1978 (it began with a picture of an
alien worm looking wistfully at a star-studded sky) to its publication by Klabb Kotba Sagħtar in 1987.
Ktieb ix-Xwejjaħ (The Book of the Old Man) is a fantasy that can be read on two levels, as a fairy tale about a time when sorcerers thrived and the world was different, and on the level of an adult parable of so many things (innocence, virginity, the rite of passage, etc.).
The book is a framework of tales that come together in the second part when the world is taken over by evil, and the one route of escape back to happiness is through the finding of a book of spells, that the old Visier sets out to find. Each episode of his quest is a story that is told here.
I shan't reveal the ending, but I can say that there is no living happily ever after in it...
This page features the front
cover and two of the illustrations from the book.