LYONESSE by Jack Vance
Kirkus Star


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A Lost Continent saga: fact, myth, legend, and fantasy in a characteristically exotic, original blend--from one of the best writers in the business. Brooding, chilly, egotistical king Casmir of Lyonesse has ambitions to unite the Elder Isles (Atlantis) under his crown; but, thwarted at sea by the matchless navy of neighboring Troicinet, and on land by the dire, cryptic, skulking sorcerer-prince Carfilhiot, he tries to forge an alliance by marrying off his beautiful but dreamily wayward daughter Suldrun--who promptly rejects Carfilhiot. Furious, Casimir confines her in a lonely garden by the sea, where well-favored prince Aillas of Troicinet is soon washed up, having been thrown overboard to drown by rival prince Trewan: Suldrun bears a son, Dhrun, and flees with him when the vengeful Casmir throws Aillas into a pit of bones; Dhrun is stolen by the fairies; believing Aillas dead, Suldrun kills herself. But Aillas escapes, sadly setting off in search of Dhrun. . . who, among the fairies, has grown to the stature of a nine-year-old in a single year, is then cast out under a bad-luck spell, and is sheltered by the wizard Shimrod (who's posing as a traveling mountebank-doctor as he seeks to recover the magical adjuncts stolen from his manse). And when Dhrun is kidnapped by Carfilhiot (who also stole Shimrod's magic), Aillas--after surviving many adventures and reclaiming his Troicinet crown--advances on Carfilhiot's fortress for a final showdown. Vance's longest and most consistently well-plotted work: less crisp and incisive than his best, but richly woven, grandly inventive, and always entertaining.

Pub Date: April 1st, 1983
Publisher: Berkley