The World Fantasy Award-winning third volume of the Lyonesse trilogy brings attention to the faerie changeling Madouc. Where princess Suldrun once meekly endured the proprieties of Castle Haidion, Madouc defends herself with rotten fruit. Vexed, King Casmir arranges a contest to marry her off, but Madouc has other ideas, and enlists the stableboy "Sir Pom-pom" on an impromptu quest to find her father. During their travels, they encounter swindlers, faeries, trolls, ogres, a knight in search of his youth, and a relatively pedestrian item known as the Holy Grail. As the sorcerers Shimrod and Murgen investigate portents of cataclysm in the world of magic, Casmir plans a murder that will bring all the lands under his iron rule; however, his ambitions will be complicated by one small but important oversight-he's failed to allow for Madouc!
1990 World Fantasy Award, Best Novel
“(Vance) gives you glimpses of entire worlds with just perfectly turned language. If he’d been born south of the border, he’d be up for a Nobel Prize.” (Dan Simmons)
“Vance has the narrative force, the willingness to look very coldly at violence and cruelty, to not shy away…. He has an amazing ear and writes a beautiful sentence.” (Michael Chabon)
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This should have been a stand alone book.
Yes. It is a complex story with many threads. The characters are interesting and the background the story is set against holds your interest. It is a lead in to Jack Vance's other works.
It is similar to the others in the "Lyonesse" series and most of his other work. If you like Jack Vance - you will like this. It is a bit more complex than some of his "straight" Science fiction work.
No, but he is a competent performer.
No, but it really kept my interest.
Recommenced for anyone who likes fantasy - Jack Vance laid the foundations for many of today's authors. A warning though, as with many fantasy novels, you will need to keep track of the various sub-plots and individuals who pop up during the story.