The Lightstone: The Ninth Kingdom: Ninth Kingdom Pt. 1 (The EA Cycle) Paperback – 16 Sep 2011
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David Zindell's massive epic fantasy The Lightstone is only the first volume of The Ea Cycle and is characterised by the same grandeur and vividly imagined scenes of glory and dismay as his space operas--the sequence which starts with Neverness. Like them, it is remarkable for scale, ambition and a capacity to evoke sinister beauty; in their case a thousand exploding suns; here a desperate battle in the underground throne room of a Dark Lord and the burning of a great library. There is a sense in which this is fantasy-by-numbers--young prince Val is sent on a quest for the long-lost Lightstone--the cure for the world's pain. He is harassed in his dreams by a demon who was once a bright being and is joined by companions who collect magical bric-a-brac as they go. Zindell though, is trying to work with the inherent strengths of mythic structure, bringing to the tale a sense of urgency and spiritual depth, rather than cynically exploiting the clichés. Val is a man who lives consciously with the myths he is re-enacting--heroism is not just heroic acts but an emotional space that goes with the acquisition of doomed love and mortal enemies. This is an impressive start to an interesting cycle. --Roz Kaveney --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
‘Remarkable for its scale, ambition and a capacity to evoke a sinister beauty … an impressive start to an interesting cycle’ AMAZON
‘Every so often a novel comes along that threatens to redefine its sub-genre. The Lightstone is such a novel … Zindell re-imagines the epic on a grand scale. Each of his characters is meticulously created … The Lightstone shines brightly within the world of fantasy.’ DREAMWATCH
‘David Zindell has imbued The Lightstone with a descriptive richness. His words are like magic, which manage to capture the tiniest nuances of his landscapes and characters and bring them to life … If you want something that will make you think, that touches on elements of spirituality and philosophy and the fine lines between good and evil then The Lightstone is a winner‘ WHSMITH.CO.UKSee all Product description
Top customer reviews
Neverness and its sequel trilogy, A Requiem for Homo Sapiens (comprised of The Broken God, The Wild and War in Heaven), are simply incomparable to anything out there - the only books I can think of off-hand that come even remotely close, in my opinion, are Frank Herbert's Dune and Gene Wolfe's New Sun books. No other author that I have read creates a gestalt like Zindell does: One of piercing philosophical inquiry, seering personal exploration, and inspiring perhaps the most important element of any story - a deep sense of wonder.
In many regards, the Lightstone succeeds in all of that. Many of the ideas and characters have obvious parallels to the Neverness books - but I wouldn't go so far as to say they are merely paler versions (although a few times I found the obvious similarities somewhat distracting); instead, Zindell is expressing many of the same archetypes yet within the context of a fantasy world, one in which magic is technology.
The first book of the Ea Cycle can be read like any of the 'huge fantasy epics' - but it is so much more, blending fantasy with philosophy, spirituality, and the pure joy of ideas.
The action picks up in this second volume and although the dialogue and metaphysical discussions continue the plot moves with a swifter assurance.
So, as the quest for the lightstone continues Valashu and his companions must enter the fortress of the evil Morjin and escape alive. So far, so fantasy fiction. But when did you last have a fantasy novel that explains the origin of hatred? And despair? And how to overcome them? When did the hero feel remorse over killing the servants of the Great Evil One?
If you have ever wondered whether all orcs were intrinsically evil, with no hope of redemption, or why Sauron would want to rule Middle Earth in the first place, then this book is for you.
If you never did, read the Ea cycle and you may begin to...
So when The Lightstone came out i did not hesitate picking it up.I wasn't dissapointed.....the book was as good as Goodkinds or Jordans series....and better in some aspects.
Zindell is not famous yet...but i know that in time,he will be a legend as more people give his book a go.....trust me u wouldn't be disappointed.
Its a story of a young warrior who despises killing and war..his journey with his friends to recover a holy object,the only chance for Ea's survival.
The narrative voice seems intimate at first, but it's deceptively so -- in fact it's mythical. I had the sense as I read towards the end that I was following the unfolding of our own true human story, of our connection with the earth and with the stars, and our fall, and the voice became timeless, saturated with meaning. I was utterly gripped and beyond that transfigured. Even Tolkien didn't do that!
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