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Submitted by Jeroen
(Dec 20, 2007)
Jack Vance Ė Lyonesse Trilogy
Suldrunís Garden (1983)
The Green Pearl (1985)
Everybody who has ever read anything by Jack Vance knows he has a very distinct style, and you will either love it or hate it. His dry ironic manner may at first sound trivial to your ears, but Vance can effortlessly switch to base seriousness and you wonít even notice it. The effect is truly haunting.
It took me a while to appreciate his Lyonesse trilogy as the masterpiece it is, because the first time I read it, I was shaken, stirred and touched by the events that were horrendous for the characters but were treated by Vance as the most normal stuff in the world. He got me so thoroughly involved in his world. It was like opening a door and experiencing history first-hand.
His world-building is utterly perfect. During the trilogy, he shows the entire island he made and the lifestyles and mannerisms of the people living there, including those of the oddest fantasy-creatures. Certain scenes and places stick in the mind as memorable and essential creations in the history of Fantasy. The emotional value attached to Suldrunís garden, for instance. Whenever a character mentions that garden or the character Suldrun, Vance has got the readerís total attention. Also, while Vanceís stories are mostly of a pure episodic nature, he attains a fair degree of complexity in this tale.
I find it very hard to select highlights for you, my reader. This might be the best thing Vance has ever written and it offers everything fantasy is loved for. Endless creation of the fantastic, unique, memorable characters, perfect world-building and grand scenes, strengthened by small, emotional touches.
Donít miss this one.