8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
on 25 February 2002
This book is a bit hard to describe - basically it is the middle part of the Majipoor Trilogy - but it is fundamentally different from the two other books (Lord Valentine's Castle and Valentine Pontifex).
While the two other books are "normal" novels, with one continuos action, this book is more like a collection of short stories.
The basis of the stories are the archives in the House of Records on the Planet Majipoor, here millions of people has left recordings of the memories.
Each story in the book are one of these recordings.
This leads the reader on a journey through both time and space, which can be read as important background for the other two books in the trilogy or as highly entertaining stories about people, their lives, and the relations between them.
With the Majipoor trilogy Robert Silverberg has created one of the most impressive worlds in modern fantasy.
Especially the society he describes makes it worthwhile to read these books.
In addition to this he has the gift of giving the characters real life - even in this book, where the single stories are quite short, he is able to make them interesting.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
on 16 June 2013
The sequel to Lord Valentine's castle, this is, as the other reviewer has pointed out, more a set of short stories set in the same world, linked together by the 'device' of one of the characters from the first book seeking out memories of Majipoor's people through the years. They're all immensely satisfying, and give different perspectives on the world of Majipoor.
When I first read Lord Valentine's Castle back in the 80s I found it a little dull after Silverberg's 70s classics, but re-reading now I've started to get an idea of what he was aiming at. Really, these are quite sunny stories; even the villains don't come to too sticky an end. Perhaps it was an attempt to write a fantasy series without the usual blood and battles that seem to proliferate in this genre? At any rate, I enjoyed this, thirty years or so late, and look forward to reading the next in the series.