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Question: Immortal sorcerer watches civilization through the millennia

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Asked by gilsonal on Tue 01, Aug 2017 10:50pm :
Looking for a book that I think was published in the 80s or 90s. The cover
art seems more like early 80s.  By the time I got the paperback from the
library the pages were yellowed. I could have sworn the title was
"magician/sorcerer in black." 

Cover pictures a man in a black cloak with the hood up, walking in the
desert with dunes visible behind him. Cover art was illustrated rather than
a picture. 

 I think the book opens on him encountering a man who wishes for something,
which without the wishers knowledge, he grants, with the idea that he
should be more careful of what he wished for.

I think the character was immortal, and had been alive for eons, watching
civilization grow and fall as an observer. He was known by a variety of
names but stories about him were now considered mythical. He may have
developed deity-like powers through age and experience. 

I honestly can't remember much in the way of plot, I was struck more by his
reflections on human cultures than any real adventure type story. The book
was thin for a fantasy book, maybe half an inch? 

Thanks in advance, this is driving me nuts.
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Comment by lee kuivinen on Tue 08, Aug 2017 03:56am:
Might be THE TRAVELLER IN BLACK by John Brunner. 


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