The Lightstone: The Ninth Kingdom: Ninth Kingdom Pt. 1 (The EA Cycle)

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9780006486206: The Lightstone: The Ninth Kingdom: Ninth Kingdom Pt. 1 (The EA Cycle)

From the author of Neverness comes a powerful new epic fantasy series. The Ea Cycle is as rich as Tolkien and as magical as the Arthurian myths.

The world of Ea is an ancient world settled in eons past by the Star People. However, their ancestors floundered, in their purpose to create a great stellar civilisation on the new planet: they fell into moral decay.
Now a champion has been born who will lead them back to greatness, by means of a spiritual – and adventurous – quest for Ea’s Grail: the Lightstone.
His name is Valashu Elahad, and he is destined to become King. Blessed (or cursed?) with an empathy for all living things, he will lead his people into the lands of Morjin, into the heart of darkness, wielding a magical sword called Alkadadur, there to recover the mythical Lightstone and return in triumph with his prize.

But Morjin is not to be vanquished so easily…

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Review:

David Zindell's massive epic fantasy The Lightstone is only the first volume of The Ea Cycle and is characterised by the same grandeur and vividly imagined scenes of glory and dismay as his space operas--the sequence which starts with Neverness. Like them, it is remarkable for scale, ambition and a capacity to evoke sinister beauty; in their case a thousand exploding suns; here a desperate battle in the underground throne room of a Dark Lord and the burning of a great library. There is a sense in which this is fantasy-by-numbers--young prince Val is sent on a quest for the long-lost Lightstone--the cure for the world's pain. He is harassed in his dreams by a demon who was once a bright being and is joined by companions who collect magical bric-a-brac as they go. Zindell though, is trying to work with the inherent strengths of mythic structure, bringing to the tale a sense of urgency and spiritual depth, rather than cynically exploiting the clichés. Val is a man who lives consciously with the myths he is re-enacting--heroism is not just heroic acts but an emotional space that goes with the acquisition of doomed love and mortal enemies. This is an impressive start to an interesting cycle. -- Roz Kaveney

Review:

‘Remarkable for its scale, ambition and a capacity to evoke a sinister beauty … an impressive start to an interesting cycle’ AMAZON

‘Every so often a novel comes along that threatens to redefine its sub-genre. The Lightstone is such a novel … Zindell re-imagines the epic on a grand scale. Each of his characters is meticulously created … The Lightstone shines brightly within the world of fantasy.’ DREAMWATCH

‘David Zindell has imbued The Lightstone with a descriptive richness. His words are like magic, which manage to capture the tiniest nuances of his landscapes and characters and bring them to life … If you want something that will make you think, that touches on elements of spirituality and philosophy and the fine lines between good and evil then The Lightstone is a winner‘ WHSMITH.CO.UK

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