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Lord Prestimion (The Majipoor cycle) Paperback – 20 Sep 1999


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Product details

  • Paperback: 448 pages
  • Publisher: Voyager; New edition edition (20 Sept. 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0006511031
  • ISBN-13: 978-0006511038
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 11 x 3.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 971,180 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Amazon Review

Robert Silverberg has been one of SF's most prolific and popular writers since the mid-1950s. His science-fantasy stories set in the huge and exotic world Majipoor began with Lord Valentine's Castle (1980)--which the SF Encyclopedia calls "polished but rather languid". In Lord Prestimion the hero Prestimion takes the throne as Coronal, co-ruler of Majipoor, 1000 years before Lord Valentine's reign. His crowning follows the long and ruinous civil war to overthrow an usurping Coronal, a war now literally forgotten: Prestimion's sorcerers have imposed amnesia on Majipoor in hope of preventing any further uprising. Such a memory-wipe reeks of wrongness and has seemingly caused the plague of insanity currently spreading. Meanwhile, one very bad man who was a leading rebel and warmonger recovers his memories and escapes to make new mischief... After various colourful, almost dream-like travelogues the situation is saved--a little too easily?--by telepathic gadgetry. (The device in question and several crossover characters appeared in the 1982 story-cycle Majipoor Chronicles.) Smoothly written but somewhat short on real suspense-- even in the swashbuckling comic sequence when Prestimion's regent fights and kills at least 21 would-be assassins during one morning's office paperwork. It's a man's life in the Majipoor civil service. --David Langford

Review

‘Silverberg’s invention is prodigious… like a competent juggler, he maintains his rhythm and suspense to the end’
TLS

‘Spectacularly readable’
The Times

‘Marvel upon marvel… Majipoor Chronicles is a beautiful book’
Los Angeles Times

‘If you like tales with an exotic Arabian Nights piquancy, this book belongs in your hands’
Washington Post Book World

‘Majipoor is probably the finest creation of Silverberg’s powerful imagination and certainly one of the most fully realized worlds of modern fantasy’
Booklist

‘Lord Valentine’s Castle is a surefire page-turner, a brilliant concept of the imagination’
Chicago Sun-Times


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First Sentence
THE CORONATION CEREMONY, WITH its ancient ritual incantations and investitures and ringing trumpet-calls, and the climatic donning of the crown and the royal robes, had ended fifty minutes ago. Read the first page
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Hardcover
This is the 6th novel that Robert Silverberg has written about the fantasticaly large world called Majipoor.
The Majipoor stories are set in the far future on a huge planet populated by humans, aliens and strange indiginous creatues called shapesifters.
The society is almost medieval with lords and ladies holding court over a vast populace. Technology is around in the background, but metals are very scarce an dthere is no industrialisation to speak of, so it plays little part in the stories.
There is one world wide government a non hereditary double Monarchy. The Pontifex is the 'High King' but rules via a civil service and is based deep underground in 'The Labyrinth'. The exectuve arm (as it were) is the Coronal, who lives in a Castle on top the highest mountain on Majipoor. When the Pontifex dies, the Coronal takes his place and appoints a new Coronal from among the courts princes.
In this story (the 2nd in the Prestimion trilogy), we find Lord Pretimion (the Coronal) dealing with the aftermath of the 'sorcery' conducted at the end of the previous novel. In an attempt to erase the horrors of war from the collective minds of the populace, Prestimion seems to have created a new crisis in which many of the population are going mad. In addition, his arch enemy Dantarya Sambail is on the loose and poses a new threat to Prestimions reign as Coronal.
As with most of Robert Silverbergs work, the writing is impecccable and entrancing, though the pacing of the story in the first half of the book was perhaps a little slow.
My only serious criticism of this and other Majipoor novels is that despite the supposed vastness of this world, it never seems to feel that big. Perhaps its because there are only 4 major land masses, though the smallest of which (The Isle of Sleep) is large enough to contain all of the planet Earth. The characters mention it, but as a concept it just doesn't come to life.
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Format: Paperback
I have to be honest and say that I didn't purchase this book through Amazon. As a result, the main fault, with this edition at least, may not be entirely relevent here - it wasn't entirely clear from the cover that this novel is in fact the middle book of a trilogy. This is probably only a problem for someone like me who likes to read the books in the right order. The entire plot of the previous book is explained since it has a direct impact upon the plot of the current book. This has a slightly detrimental effect upon the book, however, since it slows even further the pace of a book that is for the most slow anyway. The book reads something like a travelogue with the fantastic description of this alien/familiar world dominating over the plot and to a certain extent the characterisation. A must for previous vistors to Majipoor, but certainly not as good as Lord Valentine's Castle, the first and best of the Majipoor Chronicles.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
A thoroughly enjoyable read. Continues well from the Sorcerers of Majipoor. Robert Silverberg is an entertaining writer is a little long winded at btimes.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 12 reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
For Majipoor hardcore only 5 July 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Actually, until I read this book I would have considered myself among the Majipoor hardcore. I've read and enjoyed all of the Majipoor books immensely.
This book however, was a major disappointment. It's really an extended travelogue of the major continent. Character development is given short-shrift, plot is one-dimensional, motivations are not explained, etc, etc. The publisher could have cut the book in half without losing any relevant content.
A book has to be really dreadful for me to start start skipping sections. It usually starts with me skipping a sentence or two, then a paragraph or two, then entire pages if the book is terrifically bad. With Lord Prestimion I was skipping the pages like there's no tomorrow.
On the other hand, if you enjoy reading about the strange and bizarre lands/plants/animals or Majipoor, this is your book. For me, the scenery should be the background to the story. Here, it's the whole story.
I would give this book a one-star review, except I have to reserve that dubious distinction for Robert Jordan's "Path of Daggers". At least there's no spanking, although there is a marriage proposal even though the two characters have only spent a whole hour face-to-face.
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Just a travelogue... 18 Nov. 2000
By Kindle Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This sequel to "Sorcerers of Majipoor" has to rank as one of Silverberg's weakest efforts. "Sorcerers" was a simple enough story but it was reasonably compelling; however, in "Lord Prestimion" not much happens. The Coronal and his lieutenants traipse about the globe for several hundred pages unitl it's time to wrap things up. Even Silverberg's luminous prose can't make up for the fact that there isn't much of a story to be told.
Fundamentally, Majipoor makes no sense. The larger a planet, the less unified it would be and the more unstable the politics. On Majipoor, we are asked to believe, not only is there one language and culture but the same political system has existed without change for thousands of years. With a sufficiently vigorous plot, one can overlook this and suspend one's disbelief, but there's not enough going on here to distract you from the man behind the curtain (so to speak).
Jack Vance's Big Planet, by contrast, depicts a giant-size world as it probably would be --- a thousand contentious cultures, no central political control of any kind, technology limited only by the lack of metals. Surely Silverberg is familiar with this venerable work (in many ways, one of Vance's best); but Majipoor is fantasy, not SF. Still, we know Silverberg can do much better.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
YAWN... Very boring.. the worst of the series thus far. 7 Sept. 2004
By Chip Hunter - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Well, even though this book was quite long, not much actually happened in it. The storyline at the end of this one hasn't really changed much at all since the last book. Basically this whole novel was centered around the Procurator of Nimoya's escape from Prestimion and the Coronal's efforts to locate him.. The spreading madness on Majipoor was emphasized but nothing was ever done about it be Prestimion.. Most of the book was taken up by descriptions of the landscape and fauna of the places that Prestimion journeyed through.. Nothing really exciting or surprising happened at all. Yawn.. Wouldn't reccomend this one. I guess I'll go ahead and read the last of the series since I've already come this far, but I don't really have high hopes for it..
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Time for Silverberg to move on 6 July 2000
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Lord Prestimion saves the world with a deus ex machina in the previous book, "Sorcerers of Majipoor". Oops. It didn't work. Now he has to spend another 400 pages trying to clean up the mess.
Well written, I suppose, but after six books of Majipoor it's time for Silverberg to do something new.
Lord - Please give Prestimiom some character! 16 Sept. 2005
By bleuceruleum - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
For all its shortcomings, I still found this an enjoyable read. After thinking about why I found Lord Prestimion not as satisfying as the previous novels, I feel my frustration originates from Mr Silverberg's giving us a flawed character in Prestimion. Here is a man who fought a war and then chose to remove the memory of that war from every mind on the planet. His rationale? Well, Majipoor has never had a war before. This is Prestimion's first poor value judgement from the last novel.

Now, in this new book, Prestimion has doubts and angst and while chewing his nails to the quick, he allows the notorious Procurator Dantirya Sambail to escape from the royal dungeons. And so now we have the plot for this novel- saving the planet from the insanity the inhabitants are experiencing as a result of having their minds tampered with, and fighting the evil Procurator whom Prestimion didn't have the balls to put to death. (Poor value judgement number two.)

It's very frustrating to care about a character one cannot admire- and wants to wallop a good one in his derriere.

That said, the other characters are marvelous. Prestimion's close friends are a delight, Dekkeret is given good characterization, Maundigan-Klimd is fascinatng, and the main "character" - Majipoor- is as marvelous as ever. Not much excitement, except for the misery- for both the inhabitants and the reader- of detailed descriptions of incidents of insanity, but if you've come to love this world and its characters, you won't feel you've wasted your money.
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