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Sorcerers of Majipoor: 05/19/09

Sorcerers of Majipoor takes place one thousand years before the start of Lord Valentine's Castle. The traditional passage from Coronal to Pontifax and the choosing of a new Coronal will be challenged when the blood heir of the soon to be Pontifax desires the throne. Though there is no written law against a blood succession it just isn't done. Until now.

What Works:

Majipoor is still an interesting, diverse and complex world. Silverberg has thought about how the country works from the ground up. For my inner political junkie I love to see the scheming and backstabbing. The world is well realized from architecture, geography, entertainment, different cultures, arts and so forth.

What Doesn't:

The plot progression in Sorcerers of Majipoor goes on a geologic scale. I can't complain that the book is "too long" because it's not much longer than any of Silverberg's other books (which I have enjoyed). The problem here is the minutiae. Before anything can happen the current Pontifax has to die except he doesn't, not for first two hundred pages. That's amazing for a man apparently at death's door. It doesn't get any better once he does die because there is the long journey back to Castlemount.

In other words, the very thing I normally adore about Silverberg's writing gets in the way: his world building. The novel is so hung up on the details that there's very little room for the characters to maneuver. Even they seem restless and bored! There are two more novels in the Lord Prestimion (who I keep wanting to call Lord Persimmon) series that I am deciding to skip.

Comments (2)

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Comment #1: Wednesday, June, 24, 2009 at 20:39:34


Thanks for being in 9 for '09.

What I like about this challenge, is that I learn about new-to-me authors.

Thanks for letting me about Silverberg.

Comment #2: Sunday, June 28, 2009 at 16:39:43


If you start with this series, start with Lord Valentine's Castle.

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