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The King of Dreams (Prestimion Trilogy) Hardcover – June 5, 2001

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

The third book of bestseller Silverberg's widely praised Prestimion Trilogy, also the concluding volume of his Majipoor cycle, abounds in rich description of a vast planet peopled by 15 billion beings of several species and ruled by two human kings. Unfortunately, Silverberg seems so enraptured with Majipoor and the history he's created for it that he languishes lovingly in flashbacks and recapitulations that prevent his slim plot, centered on the transfer of power from Coronal Lord Prestimion to Prince Dekkeret, from getting underway until well into the present novel. Delightful as his many fans may find his excursions into extraterrestrial geography, biology and alien religious cults, their sheer quantity detracts here from the potentially intriguing interplay of character in the context of generational torch-passing, as the fortyish Dekkeret assumes his Coronalhood and the once wily and vigorous Prestimion settles into incipient geezerhood. Minor characters, many familiar from earlier volumes, play their expected supporting roles. The most effectively drawn is the fiery swordsman and High Spokesman, Septach Melayn, but even his self-sacrifice, which saves the world for Dekkeret, is lost amid the pomp and pageantry, the might and majesty of Majipoor, the real protagonist of this lengthy cycle of novels, in which inventive language and vivid alien landscapes reign supreme. (June 12)Forecast: With blurbs from Robert Jordan and Ursula le Guin, Silverberg should once again climb genre bestseller lists with this concluding volume.

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

From Library Journal

With the death of Confalume, the Coronal Prestimion prepares to assume the position of Pontifex and retire from the world, turning his duties over to his designated heir, Lord Dekkeret. However, the emergence of an ancient evil to threaten the lands of Majipoor demands desperate measures as Prestimion and Dekkeret risk their destinies for the safety of their realm. Sf/fantasy veteran Silverberg's third volume in his popular "Majipoor Cycle" (after Sorcerers of Majipoor and Lord Prestimion) brings to a satisfying conclusion the story of an honorable man's rise to power. The author's graceful style and narrative talent once more creates a world of genuine wonder and adventure. For most fantasy collections.
Copyright 2001 Reed Business Information, Inc.
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Product Details

  • Series: Prestimion Trilogy (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 464 pages
  • Publisher: Eos (HarperCollins); 1st edition (June 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0061051713
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061051715
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.5 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,264,843 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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More About the Author

Robert Silverberg has been a professional writer since 1955, widely known for his science fiction and fantasy stories. He is a many-time winner of the Hugo and Nebula awards, was named to the Science Fiction Hall of Fame in 1999, and in 2004 was designated as a Grand Master by the Science Fiction Writers of America. His books and stories have been translated into forty languages. Among his best known titles are NIGHTWINGS, DYING INSIDE, THE BOOK OF SKULLS, and the three volumes of the Majipoor Cycle: LORD VALENTINE'S CASTLE, MAJIPOOR CHRONICLES, VALENTINE PONTIFEX. His collected short stories, covering nearly sixty years of work, have been published in nine volumes by Subterranean Press. His most recent book is TALES OF MAJIPOOR (2013), a new collection of stories set on the giant world made famous in LORD VALENTINE'S CASTLE.

He and his wife, writer Karen Haber, and an assorted population of cats live in the San Francisco Bay Area in a sprawling house surrounded by exotic plants.













Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Rodney Meek VINE VOICE on March 16, 2003
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.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By John F.D. Taff on June 6, 2001
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!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A long time Majipoor fan on July 31, 2001
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.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 12, 2001
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.
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