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The King of Dreams (Prestimion Trilogy) [Hardcover]

Robert Silverberg
3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Jun 2001 Prestimion Trilogy (Book 3)

A new novel in the magnificent Majipoor series and a sequel to Lord Prestimion.

At last Prestimion prepares to take his place in the subterranean Labyrinth where the Pontifex must dwell. He has named Prince Dekkeret to succeed him as Coronal. Once a commoner, Dekkeret brings new blood to the aristocratic Starburst Throne, and a popular wisdom. Another prosperous joint reign should begin.

But the diabolical Mandralisca is the éminence grise behind a declaration of independence from distant Zimroel. Coolly proclaiming the five debauched nephews of the treacherous Dantirya Sambail to be the Five Lords of Zimroel, Mandralisca is preparing to destroy the unity and peace of Majipoor.

The soothsayer Su-Suheris predicts that a new power is loose in the world, a power equal to any other, but Dekkeret has no faith in omens. Only when Mandralisca avails himself of a sinister device that destroys the mind of Dekkeret’s own High Counsellor does the new Coronal begin to see a threat.

--This text refers to the Unknown Binding edition.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 451 pages
  • Publisher: Eos (HarperCollins) (Jun 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061051713
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061051715
  • Product Dimensions: 23.6 x 15.5 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,123,799 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

‘In THE KING OF DREAMS Silverberg proves again that he is a master’ Robert Jordan

‘Spectacularly readable’
The Times

--This text refers to the Unknown Binding edition.

From the Back Cover

At last Prestimion prepares to take his place in the subterranean Labyrinth where the Pontifex must dwell. He has named Prince Dekkeret to succeed him as Coronal. Once a commoner, Dekkeret brings new blood to the aristocratic Starburst Throne, and a popular wisdom. Another prosperous joint reign should begin.

But the diabolical Mandralisca is the éminence grise behind a declaration of independence from distant Zimroel. Coolly proclaiming the five debauched nephews of the treacherous Dantirya Sambail to be the Five Lords of Zimroel, Mandralisca is preparing to destroy the unity and peace of Majipoor.

The soothsayer Su-Suheris predicts that a new power is loose in the world, a power equal to any other, but Dekkeret has no faith in omens. Only when Mandralisca avails himself of a sinister device that destroys the mind of Dekkeret's own High Counsellor does the new Coronal begin to see a threat. But without The King of Dreams, how can he combat the sinister power emanating from Zimroel?

'Silverberg seems capable of amazements beyond those of mere mortals'
WASHINGTON POST

'Craft and artistry, a great storyteller… In terms of excellence, Silverberg has few peers, if any'
LOCUS

--This text refers to the Unknown Binding edition.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By humanitysdarkerside VINE VOICE
Format:Unknown Binding
This is a book in the Majipoor cycle series - and my first visit to this universe. As a book it can stand by itself. While knowing facts about the science fiction world of Majipoor would be nice, it's not at all necessary - a fact that attracts me to certain authors.
In this book Prestimion finally prepares to take his place in the subterranean Labyrinth where the Pontifex (or king/emperor) must dwell. He has named Prince Dekkeret to succeed him as Coronal. Once a commoner, Dekkeret brings new blood to the aristrocratic Starburst Throne.
The pontifex and coronal rule the whole world of Majipoor with all of its different alien races residing there. As might be expected, not all are pleased with the center of power being held in one place. Therefore, through the advice of an old enemy of Prestimion - Mandralisca - the five lords of Zimroel proclaim their independence. Mandralisca is able to advise such a bold step because he has come into possession of a dream helmet.
Instead of a glorious and peaceful reign, Dekkeret and Prestimion have to deal with rebellion at the beginning of this new reign.
I would wholeheartedly recommend this book to any reader. It certainly put a new twist to the world of science fiction.
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2.0 out of 5 stars A disappointing end 4 Jan 2012
Format:Paperback
I am a huge fan of Silverberg's work, the Majipoor Cycle most of all, and I was not impressed by this book. The character Dinitak seemed under developed, and what glimpses of him that we did see made him seem like a completely unlovable fellow. Not at all like the other Majipoorians who have come to power in the realm. Dinitak also seemed like an afterthought in the book, despite the fact that he is, in fact, the King of Dreams.
The ending of this book was so rushed and contrived that I almost felt that Silverberg suddenly realised one day that he only had a week before the deadline to wrap this book up, and having not started, he sat down and wrote the whole mess in one go.
The plot was so silly, I couldn't believe it. After the 'insurrection' from the last book, "Prestimion", it seems that once Dantirya Sambail was dead, everyone went back to the castle and forgot about the whole shebang. Mandrilasca had slipped away into the jungle, and despite having a very powerful weapon at their command, he wasn't pursued or tracked at all. As for the dream helmets, they were simply locked away, and forgotten. And Dinitak didn't think it appropriate to tell Prestimion and Dekkeret that other members of his family knew how to create the dream helmets. So 20 years on, another change of power on Majipoor, and all of the evil-doers from the last book, who were allowed to go free, turn back up and start the whole mess all over again. I wish RS would re-write this book, and take some time to re-think the plot. Dinitak def needs some more screen time, and this whole Mandrilasca mess could be rethought. Governments don't simply let fellows like Mandrialsca go free. But what's done is done. A sad way to end the cycle.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Hope this isn't the end... 6 Jun 2001
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The King of Dreams closes out Silverberg's Prestimion trilogy nicely, introducing us to the eponymous fourth power in the Majipoor hierarchy. As a major fan of Robert Silverberg's writing--and of Majipoor in particular--I looked forward to this book eagerly. And even though I enjoyed it, I think I enjoyed it more for just another glimpse at Majipoor--surely one of the best and most fully realized worlds in all of fantasy literature--than for anything else. As with all the books, we get a travelogue across this gigantic planet, with all sorts of new places and things and customs and peoples. But I have to say that the, other than the villian Mandralisca (who is deftly drawn), I found myself (as I did with the other two books that preceeded this) not much sympathizing with most of the characters, especially Prestimion. I liked Dekkeret and would have liked to see more about Dinitak (the King of Dreams), but Prestimion comes through most clearly, like an unwanted presence at a seance. That would have been OK, but the book builds up slowly and ponderously to a conclusion that takes, literally a paragraph or two to explain. Very anticlimactic. Still, a good quick read and a visit to a place I very much like to go to. (As someone once said, "Even a bad visit to France is a visit to France.")
That said, the most chilling part of this whole book is the note inside on the dust jacket. "The concluding book in the Majipoor Cycle." Huh? Please tell me that Silverberg's not going out on this note. We need to know more. How about a "Majipoor Chronicles II" or a look at Stiamot or something far in the future when the Metamorph Queen is the Fifth Power on the planet. Please, don't let it end!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Unsatisfying Conclusion to the Cycle 16 Mar 2003
By Rodney Meek - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I've seen too often now where writers decide that their favorite world of their creation was not adequately explored in their original trilogy, so they decide to embark on second and third installments of their now-epic sagas. (Yes, Stephen Donaldson and Katherine Kurtz--I'm looking at you.) That's the kind of thing we find here.
Silverberg produced a respectable trilogy back in the day when he fired up with "Lord Valentine's Castle". (Technically, this is a science fiction series, but it can also be read just as well from a fantasy standpoint.) There, he introduced the world of Majipoor and its governmental structure of the Pontifex, Coronal, Lady of the Isles, and the King of Dreams, along with the myriad races that have come to call the planet home. It was pretty good stuff. I doubt many people would call Silverberg a master of characterization, but he's great at big ideas and setting up seemingly simple, almost archetypical, plots that take a few interesting twists and turns along the way. So with the original set of books, you got a solid and entertaining tale of one man's journey back to himself. Arguably, it's a minor classic of the genre.
Then, much later, Silverberg bumped out the curious and pointless "Mountains of Majipoor" as a fourth volume (with its slim page count and irrelevant arc, it's pretty much just Majipoor Helper), and not satisfied with that, evidently decided to go for broke and churned out a second trilogy, set in an earlier time. The first book of the new trilogy was interesting enough, the second was somewhat less so, and the creative juices have pretty much dried up by the third.
Not a lot remains to be said, but the author persists in saying it, and at times it feels like we're very slowly traveling across the vast surface of Majipoor with the heroes, slogging wearily along with every footstep they take. From the original series, we already know that we'll see the introduction of the Fourth Power, the King of Dreams, so all of the sturm und drang leading up to that seems like a lot of empty noise. Meanwhile, minor characters take up undue stage time for no substantial payoff later. And the villains are grotesquely villainous without any hope of redemption. Silverberg does take some time to delineate Mandralisca, but basically only to conclude "Boy, he sure likes evil."
Ultimately, the books plods to its climax and then drops in its tracks right at the very denouement. It's as if the author ran out of sheets of paper, or realized he'd hit his contractual page count. We're hoping for a big emotional and dramatic payoff, but instead we get "Everyone is hit by a two-ton truck. The End."
Very frustrating. Everything after "Chronicles of Majipoor" really is only recommended for the purists who want to fill out their collections. Otherwise, there's just not anything compelling about the later material.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Just where to put this book? 31 July 2001
By A long time Majipoor fan - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
I am a long time fan of all the Majipoor novels and as such I had been anxoiusly waiting for this one. Now I read it, and although I enjoyed it I just do not know what to think about it, especially because of Prestimion. Throughout the story his very valid concerns about the state of government and the attack on his closest family members seem to be no more than mere tantrums of an oldish king - although in truth they are very far from that, not to mention that Prestimion is not that old at all... (and Dekkeret is not that young...)
Finally I felt the conclusion too sudden and too rash. A war was fight and won, major characters died, a fourth power of the realm was established - which is one of the biggest changes in Majipoor's history - without clear answers on Prestimion's concerns as if he was a minor character in the story without real importance.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fascinating world, painfully slow start 13 July 2001
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
Prestimion is getting older, but he cannot go to his senior throne with the world safe. His long-time enemies are again looking to rebellion, this time attempting to split the planetary government of Majipoor. Can Prestimion, together with younger associate and now Coronal Dekkeret, overcome these enemies one more time--especially when they control the power to bring nightmares even to members of Prestimion's family?
Robert Silverberg is a wonderful writer and his Majipoor world is beautifully created. Silverberg also obviously loves his characters. Even the evil Mandralisca is sympathetically drawn.
I had two major problems with this novel. First, it spent too much time dealing with character introspection rather than moving the story forward. In limited amounts, this is great. We learn about the characters and empathize with their goals. In excess, we wallow in their wallowing as the plot stalls. Silverberg walked painfully close to this line. Second, the resolution of the novel included the creation of a new power in Majipoor. Prestimion had earlier objected to this, with an apparently legitimate concern for the potential for tyranny. This concern was not dealt with adequately and the assumption that a hereditary power could be created based on the moral virtue of a founding member is clearly inadequate.
THE KING OF DREAMS is an enjoyable read. Silverberg loves his world and his characters and you can't help loving them to.
3.0 out of 5 stars Not the best way to finish off the Majipoor saga. 17 Nov 2004
By Chip Hunter - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
This book, like most of the other Majipoor books, was disappointing at best. Although I do enjoy the detailed world that Silverberg has created, I just have a hard time really getting excited about a story line that even the characters in the book don't seem too concerned over! Way too much time is spent on insignificant little sideplots and wearisome detailed descriptions of everything from the food thats eaten to the color of the leaves of a tree. I want more action, more conflict, and more excitment! I know part of that is just Silverberg's style, but most of these Majipoor books just havn't done it for me.

This book in particular really should have been much better. The basic plot had great potential, with Mandralisca using the Barjazid helmet to mess with peoples minds and the possibility of a inter-continental war. Also, the way the book ended was weak. You take 400-something pages to gradually (very gradually) build up to a climax and then have it end in a completely predictable and insanely quick way. Nothing in this entire book was a surprise (except maybe that Septach Melyn appears to be gay??) and although some of it was quite interesting, it didn't really do much to add to the overall story or to keep the reader interested.

I think Silverberg was just tired of writing about Majipoor and just decided to F-it and cap it off with this second rate work.
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