Lord Valentine's Castle

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9780060140267: Lord Valentine's Castle

The first volume in Silverberg’s most memorable and ambitious fantasy series, the Majipoor Cycle.

Lord Valentine’s Castle is the first book in the legendary Majipoor cycle, revealing the vast and teeming fantasy world of Silverberg’s bestselling series. From the heart of the labyrinth, the Pontifex rules Majipoor by telepathic command and by the terror sent by the King of Dreams. High above on Castle Mount, his adopted son the Coronal lives in state, holder of the Starburst Crown. When a conspiracy overthrows the legitimate Coronal and replaces him with an imposter, the treason is concealed by sorcery… until a dream reveals it to Valentine, a travelling juggler.

Valentine cares nothing for princes. A free man and a happy one, he pities his namesake Lord Valentine the Coronal, second most luminous of the Powers of Majipoor. He hates the sorcery of imperial might and the worship of the Starburst Crown. But when the time comes for the guardians of the dream to rise up, Valentine must answer to them.

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Product Description:

The first volume in the MAJIPOOR CYCLE from the author of LORD PRESTIMON. Valentine, a travelling juggler, cares nothing for princes. He hates the sorcery of imperial might and the worship of the Starburst Crown. But when the time comes for the guardians of the dream to rise up, Valentine must answer to them.

Review:

Valentine, a wanderer who knows nothing except his name, finds himself on the fringes of a great city, and joins a troupe of jugglers and acrobats; gradually, he remembers that he is the Coronal Valentine, executive ruler of the vast world of Majipoor, and all its peoples, human and otherwise... Lord Valentine's Castle was the first of Robert Silverberg's novels about Majipoor, in which he has for two decades explored the question of responsibility and authority; much SF and fantasy plays with constructed dreams of feudalism, but Silverberg asks the important questions of how a ruler can be a good person, and how can the person who rules all be free themselves. Inventively, Valentine's learned skills as a juggler become a fruitful metaphor for much of what he needs to know as he campaigns to reclaim his throne from a usurping imposter: Silverberg explores the implications of what might have been a mere narrative cliché. His portrayal of a huge light world where technology and magic have blended, and where different species and cultures have engineered a diverse harmony, is not the least attractive of SF's utopias; the sheer scale of the canvas gives Valentine's wanderings their own wild poetry. -- Roz Kaveney

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