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The Nonborn King Mass Market Paperback – February 12, 1984


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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Del Rey (February 12, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345314212
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345314215
  • Product Dimensions: 6.9 x 4.2 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8.8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #541,943 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

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It was fun to re-read this one after completing the 9-book series.
David (MessMendel@aol.com)
A magnificent character that plays a role throughout May's later Intervention/Galactic Milieu books as well.
V. K. Lin
This is the volume where May's incredibly rich backstory fully comes into play.
Patrick Wynne

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Patrick Wynne on June 15, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
With the third volume of her Pliocene Exile series, Julian May kicks things into high gear. With the Tanu weakened from last volume's catastrophe, we are introduced to a new menace in the form of an old menace. This is the volume where May's incredibly rich backstory fully comes into play. In fact, the ideas presented here (and to a limited extent in the previous two volumes) provide fodder for not only this book, but the next six books in the Galactic Milieu universe.
And the imagery! It just doesn't get any better than the description of the battle at the Rio Genil. You can see the action in your mind almost as clearly as if one of May's farspeakers was projecting the image directly into your head. That scene alone is worth the whole series.
In addition, the author manages to get across the weariness and depression of a society that has been mortally wounded but is too proud to just give up. In the previous volumes, the Tanu were painted as more...well, perhaps villainous isn't the right word, but definitely not sympathetic. Here, however, one actually feels for them, despite their history of oppressing humanity and their own Firvulag cousins. It's obvious that the reign of the Tanu is coming to an end, but nobody's quite gotten the message yet and they continue to cling to past glories and hope for revival.
Truly a masterpiece of fiction.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By V. K. Lin on October 9, 2003
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Julian May continues in her tradition of exotic, colorful,
vivid landscapes and characterizations in the Nonborn King, book three of the Saga of Pliocene Exile. IMO, this is the best writer for descriptive, smooth prose in the business.
Book Three centers on Aiken Drum, a trickster misfit who has emerged with awesome psychic powers, and leader of a faction of Tanu-- those psychic aliens that had enslaved humanity as they traveled back through time to the Pliocene from 22nd century earth.
Aiken maneuvers his faction to attain dominance among the Pliocene-- there are titanic battles, politics, intrigue, nobility, and deception. All in May's wonderfully smooth, adjective-laden writing style that is never too complex, never cluttered, just easy-breathing wonder.
We are also introduced to Marc Remillard, my favorite character in sci-fi. While Aiken is Wagner's Loki, Remillard is Milton's Lucifer. Puissant, noble, the defeated idealist, utterly focused, driven at the expense of those he loves or loved. A magnificent character that plays a role throughout May's later Intervention/Galactic Milieu books as well.
Books One and Two set the stage, were eminently satisfying, left us begging for more. Nonborn King delivers... An epic penultimate climax leaving you wondering how she's ever going to top it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By "angel-of-the-abyss" on January 8, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Once again, the human exiles of the 22nd century must join the struggle for survival in the alien dominated Many Coloured Land. Only this time, they've brought their future tech with them.
The landscape - both geographic and political - has been radically altered, and the long standing balance of power between elfin Tanu and ogreish Firvulag has been upset. There's a new power block in the Pliocene, and they don't play by the rules.
The only strand holding the planet together is the reluctant vision of Eliizabeth Orm, shanghaied into guardianship over these bickering children. Can she maintain the truce between the new aggresive Firvulag rulers, and the lofty Tanu Knights, led by their ultimate Trickster? And where do the rebel humans fit in?
Locke, Puck and Jester, all rolled into one, there are depths to this little non-born that not even he realises.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Blue Tyson on August 29, 2007
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The rebel attack, engineered by Stein and blasted through by Felice's massive metapsychic powers, has destroyed the old power structure of the Tanu. Many more of them died in the flood, and the operant, more fecund Firvulag now hold a decided advantage.

Aiken Drum steps into the breach to take the reins of power.

The opening of the book shows us a very important factor, how some of Marc Remillard's rebel faction managed to escape and come back in time. This was mostly covered up, and few know about it.

The new society calls for new alliances, including the deformed mutant Firvulag Howlers, humans, rebels and others.

There will be a new Grand Combat, now more a sporting event, as the Tanu can no longer afford the casualties.

As a culmination, Nodonn Battlemaster returns, having survived the flood, and challenges Aiken.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
The first two volumes in this imaginative series were pretty obviously planned as a single novel. Together they have a nice round shape, with a powerful climax that ties together a number of the plot threads. This sequel is like the second volume in the original Dune series, an unplanned extension that tries to make do with the leftovers of the original novel.

This value of the first two books is in the impressive juxtaposition of hard science fiction, magical powers, and the Pliocene setting. May also delves into myth and folklore effectively and takes risks with a delightful range of characters. But in this third volume, much of the good stuff disappears. Gone are the excitements of alien anthropology. The alien Tanu, a psychic race of giant tyrant elves, were largely decimated at the end of book two. The alien Firvulag, a race of shape-shifting gnomes, has now come into power, but we hardly see them in action. In the first two volumes Pliocene fauna and geology propel an exciting plot; here May makes only perfunctory use of them.

May has exiled many of the series' most interesting characters from this third volume (Richard, Madame Guderian, Nuntsuvel). One lively holdover, the psychopath pixie, Felice, turns quite dull as she spends most of the novel avoiding any contact with other characters. Most of the plot concerns the political machinations of the trickster Aiken Drum, who has become distinctly less flashy and sympathetic as he's gained power. May is forced to resurrect two characters, Mercy and Nodonn, who apparently died in book two's climax, in order to give Aiken a contrived and out-of-character love triangle.
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