Tuesday, 19 February 2002

Jack Vance: Lyonesse II: The Green Pearl (1985)

Edition: Grafton, 1986 (Buy from Amazon)
Review number: 1070

The green pearl of the title is an artefact produced in the first volume of the Lyonesse trilogy through a method of some originality, and is basically the concentrated essence of the malign side of the witch Desmei. It doesn't in fact play a hugely important part in the novel which is mainly concerned with the actions of Aillas after his succession to the throne of Troicnet and with the attempts of King Casmir of Lyonesse to hinder him in his aims. Casmir's attempts to find out the meaning of a prophecy about the son of his daughter Suldrun, when as far as he is aware her only child was a daughter, are particularly important. (The details of what actually happened to Suldrun's child form the main story of Lyonesse: Suldrun's Garden.)

The adult fairy story continues as it began; amusing, exciting, brutal, imaginative. Unique yet very recognisably in Vance's style, an excellent middle part for one of my favourite series in all of the fantasy genre.

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