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The always proper but imaginative Anna shares adventures with her mischievous little sister, Ally, in The always proper but imaginative Anna shares adventures with her mischievous little sister, Ally, in some moving and hysterical stories of their everyday life. Join the fun, following Anna and Ally through their travels, special events, family vacations as you For over a thousand generations the Evil has been locked away, guarded by a being For over a thousand generations the Evil has been locked away, guarded by a being known only as the Equinox.

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This action-packed dystopian novel is perfect for fans of The Hunger Games and Divergent. Find out how the adventure started in Genesis Book 1 and Equinox Book 2. Read more at www. Another great read from Lara Morgan. In amongst the action is character development, and a satisfying conclusion the series.

Not very. I found this first book slow going, and frustrating to read. Characters and situations seemed stilted and forced. Silverberg does not have a good grasp on writing about court intrigue, and now we must suffer through several more short sections with Korsibar ruling the roost, before slowly realizing that he hasn't done the smartest thing ever I'm guessing. Let's hope by the end of the volume he has repented, and everyone is friends again, since violence isn't tolerated on Majipoor except for loads of hunting and whaling. And perhaps Thismet can marry Prestimion, the man whom she hates but loves.

Have no fear--I will make it to the end. I'm stubborn. Things seem to go more smoothly in this episode. For one thing, the deed is done. Korsibar is Coronal, like it or lump it. No more over-explaining how he got there. For another thing, there is a lot of travelling involved in this part.

I love travelling through Majipoor! Some of my favourite moments in these volumes are reading descriptions of the vast cities and the lands in between. Prestimion and his rather meagre amount of loyal supporters travel north from the Labyrinth to Castle Mount, and this journey takes up at least half of the 86 pages. Why was there never an artist calendar of this incredible world?

Several of them. Once we finally do reach Castle Mount, the Prince is not welcome, and so returns to his ancestral home. He arranges for some important possible allies to come visit his home, and sample some of the wines his family has produced for generations. Now we are back in the world of political intrigue. This section, long enough as it is, is not nearly as painful as the undercurrents and happenings back in the Labyrinth. In fact, the writing is darn good here, as Prestimion fills his guests with wine and brandy, then forces them to show their hand.

It's what one might call a wishy-washy hand.

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He still has no firm ally in a position of power. Lastly, his cousin visits him, on his way back to Zimroel. Here at last is Prestimion's long looked-for powerful ally. He also learns that it is Thismet who has corrupted her brother into wrongfully assuming the crown. This seems a turning point in the plot to regain the crown and put it upon the head of whom it was intended.

The plot does not thicken, but Silverberg stirs it nicely. Korsibar is on the throne, and his power-hungry sister is pushing for a second throne, with her sitting and ruling right beside him. Of course putting a woman in power goes against all precedent, forgetting for the moment that so does having the son of a Coronal come to power by force and trickery. Apparently Majipoor is not a good place to be for women who long for some of the same things men do.

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This is no surprise to those of us reading the series from the get-go. Very few writers who grew up in the 40s, 50s, and 60s have feminist slants to their prose. Korsibal puts off Thismet for the moment, but takes moves to stop her silly dual crown nonsense I'll bet women love reading this series , and he also forces a showdown with Prestimion. That meeting does not go well, and as the section concludes Prestimion is in the dungeon, with his close friends fleeing for their lives. Silverberg seems to have a good grasp on court intrigue this time, and his handling of events is once again smooth and silky.

Unfortunately, Prestimion does seem like someone who is also undeserving of the crown. He is overly proud, very rich and spoiled, and doesn't seem to warm the cockles of anyone's heart. Are we supposed to cheer for him just because Korsibar stole his crown? In my opinion, Silverberg is doing little to make Prestimion much of a likable man. Is this on purpose, or is it a major flaw in his story? We will know soon enough. Silverberg is forever dropping tidbits about the origins of Majipoor, and the first Earth people to settle the planet.

We learn of vast machines that power the mountain, which is 30 miles high, keeping the air fresh and temperatures warm.

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We get hints of some vast machinery on the Isle of Sleep that allows the Lady to send dreams of comfort across the world. We hear of animals that were created out of machines, but able to breed. And then there are those mysterious floater cars everyone drives. The author has created a world so large and full of history that there never need be a lack of material for him to create new stories as Tolkien did in creating Middle Earth.

However, some of the important Majipoor stories that I really want to hear were never written. At this point, with the volume nearly over, I would have to say that Prestimion is nothing but a big loser, quite undeserving of any crown. Why did Confalume choose him? We are never told, and we never see any evidence of redeeming leadership qualities of this man. I kept hoping they would be forthcoming. Book of Reckonings sounded to me as if Korsibar would be getting his comeuppance.

Prestimion looks more and more like a hopeless case. Which is fine, as I have no real reason to root for him anyway. He is a bad general, losing two out of three battles. He is a bad judge of character, unable to tell treachery from friendship. And he is a sucker for a good setup, walking right into a trap at the very end.

What kind of advisers does this man have? Not only that, but what does it really matter to most people 30 billion or more of Majipoor who it is that leads them, as long as their lives don't have to change. Poor Thismet has been silenced with threats from her brother. She seems out of the picture, though in her case it's probably down but not out. Prestimion, if he did have a usable brain, should have just gone home and tended his vineyards.

Too late for that now. In for a penny, in for a pound. Sadly, at this juncture, I don't really care. Silverberg has made him into such a bland character that I don't really care much what happens to him. In fact, I think I'm rooting for Korsibar now, as is the turncoat leader of Zimroel, who was once Prestimion's ally.

The following paragraphs contain spoilers. To be brutally honest, this is one of the worst concluding sections to any SF or fantasy novel I have read since some of the early Katherine Kurtz novels as a result I never read any of her later ones. Silverberg has made a mash-up of pretty much the entire book, but this final section is the low point. For one thing, like many writers seem to think they must do, he has to drag Prestimion through more sadistic trials and tribulations then are even remotely believable. Wandering north through a savage desert exactly as was foretold; how that actually worked we never learn he is saved at the last second by his two friends, who have arrived ahead of him.

He is in the wonderful city of wizards and sorcerers, and he soon goes into training for himself. There follows a dismal section where we finally think we are going to learn some of the "science" secrets of Majipoor. Several months of training later of which we barely get the wisp of a glimpse , Prestimion goes off and has some type of vision with his new powers.

We have no idea what is going on. He speaks some strange words and stranger things happen. What exactly happens we never learn. This is lazy writing at its laziest. We are no more aware of how Majipoor works now than we were in the first paragraph of volume one. Apparently Silverberg doesn't know either, and couldn't care less about learning it himself in order to tell us something useful. Anyway, suddenly Prestimion's luck changes. Thismet throws herself at him, and he accepts her without question. I have never read any book before where nearly everyone changes sides, some of the characters doing so many times over.

He goes with his much smaller army to meet Korsibal yet again. Greatly outnumbered, it looks as if he is about to lose yet another battle as he should have--he attacks the larger army, entrenched on a high hill, and has to climb to reach them. But then his sorcerers come forth and make it dark. Prestimion wins the day. Lots of people die, including Korsibal and Thismet. However, his worst enemy, the duke or whatever of Zimroel, is spared, along with his hideous and evil poison taster. Not only that, but as soon as the battle is won, Prestimion forgives everyone, even his good friends who abandoned him for the unlawful ruler Korsibal.

Even the ones who promised to help him overthrow the usurper and then decided to help Korsibar instead. All forgiven. Don't do it again, okay? Then the worst part of the ending arrives, at the very conclusion. Prestimion gets his sorcerers to make everyone on the planet forget there was ever a war with so much death and destruction. And they do it. I am not making this up--how could I? Confalume, who is now quite recovered and feeling pretty chipper, even forgets he had a son and daughter, for the memories of Korsibal and Thismet have also been erased from everyone's mind.

Everyone forgets, all 30 billion people, even the sorcerers, except for Prestimion and his two remaining best friends and advisers. The End. How the disappearance of thousands of soldiers killed in battle is explained, no one knows. And the wounded? How did so many men get wounded? Not in battle, because there never were any. At least I don't remember any battles? Do you? This novel contains some very poor writing. Silverberg was only 62 when he wrote it, and should have been still near the height of his powers.

Instead we have a long, rambling story that really indicates that he wasn't. If ever a book needed a total rewrite, this is it. Not recommended. I have so many complaints about the previous volume, and many of those problems reflect directly on this story. However, I will narrow myself to two problems that make things difficult for me now. The first, of course, is that somehow wizardry!

Memories are wiped. This is a very bad plot convenience. Never mind that it could never happen, even in a fantasy story. Certain people could be made to forget. But everyone? Silverberg uses this incredibly poor premise to build his present story. Of course it could never work. Well, perhaps for just a little while. But then things begin to unravel. People begin going mad. I know where he is going with this hint, Suvrael.

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I never really liked the part about the darker dreams sent from the south being counterbalanced by the much nicer and more wholesome dreams from the Isle of Sleep. This kind of wizardry works well in a small setting, perhaps a village or a castle. But on a planet-wide scale, and a gigantic planet at that, it is one of the most ridiculous concepts I have ever come across in my readings.

We are slowly beginning to learn about the origins of those bad dreams, and how they were eventually used to manipulate people. The second problem that concerns me is the remarkable survival of Prestimion's worst enemy, the traitor who is the Governor of Zimroel, the second most powerful man on Earth, along with his hideous and evil companion. Just as they are about to die in the previous volume, Prestimion gets sick of killing and puts the two of them in prison instead.

How convenient, then, that they eventually escape in this book and are free to run around and start another war. Couldn't Silverberg, if he really needed villains, have found someone new, perhaps someone who had gone mad or something from the forgetting? Plot convenience again. Every reader loves to see mercy shown to the worst possible type of enemy. Give him another chance. He'll be fine. As Book 1 ends, the enemy has escaped. The best parts of these books are the descriptions of the cities, lands, and people who live there.

Silverberg continues to provide us with an endless amount of names he must use some type of name generating formula; there are simply too many names, sometimes a dozen in a paragraph, and many which will not be heard of again. Majipoor is easily the most fascinating planet in fiction, and we get to visit a lot of it. I never tire of visiting new cities and meeting new people, or going into the landscape for a long walk. The maps provided are fun, but not nearly detailed enough, especially around the great Mount. There are 50 cities there alone, with the best map showing perhaps five or six.

As I have lamented before, I know of no calendar art of Majipoor, or even a book of the stuff. We have great riches when it comes to Tolkien, and visually at least this series is the equal to that one. However, I have also always lamented that there is no art for E. Eddison's books, either. That series, more than any other, was Silverberg's inspiration for his stories of Majipoor. Having said all this, I did quite like the first book of this volume. Silverberg is attempting to explain some of the reasons why things are the way they are on Majipoor.

The writing is good, as Prestimion reflects on the loss of his lover Thismet, one of his brothers, many friends and great noblemen, as well as the thousands of soldiers who died in battles that no one remembers. Was Prestimion right to challenge Korsibar, when so many people supported him? Well, when we see who his advisors were, then yes, he was. Korsibar was not the real problem. The real problem was the guy now walking around Alanroel, newly escaped from prison. Prestimion knew that, and still kept him alive, hoping to change him. Now readers are forced to trudge through more murders, intrigue, and evil deeds because of Prestimion's forgiving nature.

Some readers will be gleeful about that. I am not one of them. There are other ways to write a great story without using the oldest type of plot in the world. All things considered, the volume is off to a good start, and I hope it doesn't crash and burn like the previous one. II: The Book Of Seeking pages This is a very good book, mainly because Silverberg lets the plot go away and takes us on two wonderful tours of Alhanroel.

The two bad guys are on the loose, and Prestimion sets out in pursuit. However, somehow, with the use of magic, the bad guys keep disguising their whereabouts and always out trick the pursuers. No matter; first we head east, into barren and unpopulated lands. The adventure becomes nothing but travel, and I loved it. Then its back to the Castle to regroup. Then we are off again, this time heading for the deep south, well beyond the Labyrinth. No real plot, just wonderful scenery and mysterious ruins. Once back at the Castle yet again, Prestimion proposes to Varaile.

Meanwhile, all that happens with the plot is that the encroaching madness progresses. Yet Prestimion can think of nothing to do about it. He is not really much of a great leader. In fact, he is a bit of a prat. However, we are introduced to Dekkeret. We have met him before, in the second volume, where he starred in one of the novelettes. In the present story we hear of his hunting misadventure in the Khyntor Marches, thus getting the full story at last.

We know from the earlier story that he is to be the next Coronal, though in the present volume this is still far in the future. I really liked this section, even though the plot is very slow to be drawn together. I really wish that Dekkeret's young female cousin had not been killed.

I really wonder at the reason for this brutality. It didn't serve any purpose in making Prestimion take any action against the growing madness. Wounding her and having her recover would have been enough. I was surprised at the fatality, and disappointed. I am still unhappy about making an entire planet of people forget about a war happening. And his blurring of science and magic can sometimes grate on my nerves. But overall he has done a fantastic job this time, as he did in Lord Valentine's Castle. Some of the bad guys are brought to a just end, and we get to finally see Prestimion do some intelligent things to end his string of bad choices and worse luck, as well as to begin healing the madness that has overwhelmed Majipoor since he became Coronal.

Dekkeret also proves himself to be the man on the spot, and it is made quite plain that he will likely make a suitable Coronal after Prestimion. We get to see some of Majipoor's most hostile environments, though I wonder how the bad guys managed to survive there so well, while everyone else had a pretty grim time of it. Was Barjazid on hour duty with his headpiece?

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Anyway, a very good entry in the series, and if you managed to get through Sorcerers of Majipoor , you should find this book a bit more likable. From comes the final Majipoor epic. It is pages long, and divided into three shorter books. There are no maps included with this edition. The opening section is pages long. Prestimion has been Coronal about 20 years now, and we get caught up in castle doings. Oddly, nothing has really happened in Zimroel. This was supposed to be a priority with Prestimion, but apparently not much has happened over there. As a result a rebel government is forming, with our old enemy Madralisca steering 5 brothers into deep waters.

He wants Zimroel to be independent of The Castle. I can't really blame him, as they seem to be mostly ignored over there. Anyway, yet another bad guy is running around causing trouble, and probably will until near the end of the book. His ally is Barjazid with his confounded head gear, that can strike fear into anyone on Majipoor. Even worse, the Pontifex is ailing and might die at any moment. Oops, he just did! Prestimion is about to become Pontifex as we quit the first book, and Dekkeret is about to be crowned the new Coronal. Silverberg, as usual, has a very fine grasp of the smaller details, and excels in telling about daily doings and travels, as well as creating interesting characters.

In general, we feel as if we know Majipoor, or at least parts of it, after we go travelling there, and many of its citizens. Unfortunately, he is quite awful at the bigger picture, and cannot seem to come up with a good overall plot. Yet again a bad guy is going to try and go up against the Coronal. This has become quite tedious.

Madralisca is not a very riveting character; in fact he is so one dimensional as to be quite boring. When he was in a secondary role he was tiresome; in a leading role as the main arch-enemy, he just doesn't have what it takes. At least Silverberg teams him up with Barjazid and his magical creations Or are they scientific? We never really are told. But I find myself cringing whenever they have the spotlight. And yet again we are watching the transformation from one Coronal to another, which also involves a new Lady on the Isle of Sleep, and the old Coronal becoming Pontifex.

We know more about this kind of thing than we really need to by this point. Does the author have any original ideas? Having said all this, I admire him for trying to explain how the King of Dreams became such, but I really doubt we need a nearly page epic to tell us. So far, nothing new is under the Majipoor sun. Let's hope something comes up. The story wavers between brilliant and utterly sadistic. Silverberg goes too far in having Madrilasca torment a girl of 8 years in her sleep.

This is unforgivable, and I really don't know what he was thinking. It's bad enough when adults are tortured here until they kill themselves. We've all seen movies and read books where the bad guys kill someone's dog. Authors do this because they want us to know that the bad guy is really bad. I guess we'd never figure it out otherwise. And now we have Silverberg elevating Madrilasca to a suddenly evil level of genius, picking on little girls and enjoying it all so much.

We now know he is really bad, and not just pretending. There is a lot to be said for learning more and more about the Castle, and we do in this book. For one thing, we learn of the great library, which is a serpentine hallway that is miles long, winding its way up to the higher reaches of the Castle. We learn of the once great summer pavilion reserved for Coronal visits, and we learn of the enormous garden that is one of the wonders of the world. Somehow, Madrilasca has managed to destroy some of these treasures with the great headgear he now uses see cover illustration, above , and kill the people responsible for them not the library yet, anyway--I guess Silverberg likes books too much for that to happen.

And to make Madrilasca seem even more powerful, Silverberg surrounds him with five boobies who think they are really in charge. I've said it before, and I'll say it again. Silverberg does so well in the world-creating business. He has a tough task in trying to assimilate Peake, Tolkien, and Eddison into his own story. He mostly does an admirable job of it. But his overlong stories are always undone by his insistence on having a villain who wants to take over the world. Apparently this is essential in any fantasy story though not most of the ones I've read. If only he had stuck to smaller themes, telling stories of different people from different places.

Reviewed Feb. Like much of Silverberg's Majipoor writing, it is hindered by major flaws. The flaws are always large ones, which are almost, but not quite, made up for by the many minor victories he achieves. My response to a very good series is to look forward with great anticipation to the next volume. If I have just read the final volume of a great series, that I am saddened. Not so with Majipoor. I am usually relieved when the books finish, and do not look forward so much to the next one. I wait a month or more between volumes. I don't wish to dwell too much on the deficiencies, but I must mention some.

Madrilasca, in the final pages, is allowed to stand right behind Dekkeret, looking over his shoulder. This would actually happen? The man who is Coronal of the world, and the man who has been trying to overthrow and kill him, would be allowed to be so close together? Not bloody likely. And, despite the fact that he is over-strained from using his thought device more of that in a moment , evidently doesn't practice fencing, and grabs an untried ceremonial sword with which to fight, he somehow manages to keep up with the best swordsman in Majipoor, and then fatally wound him?

What a sorry way to end the book, by having this villain still be a superb swordsman and as good as Septach Melayn. This is not the slightest bit believable, nor does it in any way make for a satisfying ending. Now for the King of Dreams and his little device. Silverberg's answer to rooting out evil is essentially the idea of thought police. If someone is being bad, or thinking of doing evil, he will be warned by the thought police, then punished if he doesn't mend his ways. I cringe every time I think of this. Let's forget for a moment that there are so many billions of people on Majipoor, and it's just one person who is going to keep tabs on all of them.

Even the Lady of Sleep has a small army of women working for her sending out dreams of comfort and good cheer. On a good day, how many people can she reach? A few hundred? In a year perhaps ,? Does Silverberg know how much a billion is? Even if this abhorrent scheme goes ahead, how does it stop evil? There is much more to gripe about, but I will mention only one other. Why not have something more powerful in Zimroel?

If there is to be a fourth power, why the hell is it in Suvrael? Give your head a shake. Can you not figure out why Zimroel might harbour thoughts about independence? Anyway, all of this gives me a big headache. At least we get to visit more of Majipoor, and learn more about its history, some of its people, cities, and strange habits.

From the start this has been the only thing I truly enjoyed about this series; the geography. The overall plots are quite badly drawn, and quite poorly executed. This entire series would have been much better as short stories and novelettes, not necessarily connected.

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Obviously if you've read them all then you are going to read this one no matter what. This is a series I can never see myself rereading, especially the Prestimion trilogy.

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  8. From comes the final book in the Majipoor series. It is pages, and contains 7 short stories and novellas. There is a full set of maps, of different design than previous ones, though not detailed enough. I still have not seen a map of Majipoor that completely satisfies me, but perhaps there is one out there somewhere. There is also a short prologue. The End Of The Line is from , and is 27 pages long. This is a story about Stiamot, just before he became Coronal.

    It was Stiamot that fought the many years war against the native people of Majipoor, the Shapeshifters, once he became Coronal. This story shows us his first glimpse of a Shapeshifter, and his attempt to learn more about them, in the hopes of finding a peaceful solution to the encroachment of their land by settlers of many different planets. It also takes us to a new part of Majipoor. A good beginning to my favourite kind of Majipoor book. The Book Of Changes is from , and is 66 pages long. This is a pretty brilliant story of one Furvain, 5th born son of the Coronal Lord Sangamor, who is now Pontifex.

    Furvain is a minor poet, and goes off one day on a solo adventure to the eastern lands, which are mostly uninhabited. Here he is kidnapped and brought to the castle of Kasinibon, led by a recluse who loves poetry himself. He spends a long time there as "guest" of the ruler, and they have discussions, poetry readings, and go exploring the nearby countryside. But Furvain is deeply unhappy, and becomes more and more frustrated with his position and his captor.

    He finally agrees to write a note to be delivered to his friend asking for ransom to be paid. At about this time Furvain begins to feel the power of his Muse, and he is soon writing an epic poem, in complex verse. He undertakes no less than the writing of the history of Majipoor, in 9 cantos.

    Though perhaps not to everyone's taste, a found this story a brilliant piece. Silverberg really excels in the shorter stories. The novel is pages long. The first serious book on archaeology I ever read was by Silverberg. Called Lost Cities and Vanished Civilizations , it was intended for junior audiences. I was led across the world to some of the most fascinating finds ever made, along with the mysteries and unanswered questions they uncovered.

    Later I read The Epic of Gilgamesh , though it is far from a three dimensional portrait of the first hero king. Part legend, part myth, and part history, Silverberg has outdone himself with this retelling of the ancient tale. Silverberg's brilliant effort is essentially an autobiography by Gilgamesh, and he writes of his life from his earliest childhood to the approach of his death. Silverberg immediately immerses us in the culture of the time, and the story opens with the funeral of Gilgamesh's father, when the boy was only 6 years old.

    I love these kinds of books if they are well written, and this one is a masterpiece. The city of Uruk is home base, and in the most interesting ways possible story-based , Silverberg teaches us the mythology and customs of the ancient Near East. Silverberg takes us back 5, years or more, into the furthest reaches of known history, as we become immersed not only in the story of Gilgamesh, but of his best friend Enkidu, and of his chief rival and lover, Inanna's priestess.

    Besides seeing the daily life of the young son of a king, and watching him grow and become educated, we go with him on several journeys and colourful adventures, the biggest one being his search for a way to avoid death. Even though he does find a partial solution to his search, he eventually rejects it as his wisdom and humanity grow. By the end of the story, Gilgamesh is ready to accept death on its own terms. This is a fantastic book, in more ways than one, and Silverberg has achieved the highest level of story telling along with teaching us what was known of life in the ancient Near East, as of the early s.

    I was never bored reading this, and am looking forward eagerly to reading the sequel volume. Unfortunately, this book is not so well known. Cover art by Paul and Steve Youll. Full cover painting by Paul and Steve Youll. The island of Brasil is in the background. In its final form the novel is pages long. It began life as a novella.