- Hardcover: 1040 pages
- Publisher: Gollancz; 1st edition (2000)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0575090243
- ISBN-13: 978-0575090248
- Product Dimensions: 6.3 x 2.5 x 9.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 3.6 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars See all reviews (20 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #852,446 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Complete Lyonesse Hardcover – 2000
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Top customer reviews
I agree with the review which describes this collection as epic high fantasy. Vance's writing is crisp, and with a possible exception of the first couple of pages, where the focus was upon furnishings and decor, the stories flowed very well and kept me captivated. I have found that when I truly enjoy a book, the longer it is, the better. This was the case with the Lyonesse stories.
I was intrigued when I discovered that the timeline preceded the King Arthur period. Without going into multiple specifics, Vance included occasional foot-notes on page bottoms, where appropriate, which added interesting context(s) and flavors to his story. One such item was a comment on a specific table in one kingdom, a table which would one day become the famous Round Table of King Arthur.
If you enjoy well written Fantasy, this is well worth the purchase.
This is not a book for everyone, but it is definitely worth reading for anyone who loves Celtic and Greek mythology, or the histories behind the Lord of the Rings, or the magic of Susanna Clarke's Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell.
Although it is hardcover, this massive tome is actually bound like a paperback book. That is, the pages are directly glued, not sewn, into the backing. Consequently, it does not fall open in the hand as easily as a sewn binding. I have not seen this type of construction before in a hardcover. It does seem very well made.
The binding is a black leather-like material, with a pebbled texture. I mention this because the title and other cover text, in gold, are printed on the surface, not embossed, so that the text is also pebbled. I find the effect a little cheap, and hard to read in indirect light. There appear to be at least a couple of different versions of the cover, with different art.
The map in the original version was crudely drawn, but clear. This new edition uses an artistically redrawn map for the endpapers, an excellent idea. Sadly, there are several errors immediately apparent in the new map. I can't fault the artist for not knowing the books, but how was this not noticed by the editors? (Specifically, 'Dahaut' is misspelled as 'Haut,' and 'Bulmer Skeme' appears as 'Bulmer Skerne.' Also, the forest of Tantrevalles should extend both north and south of the crossroads at Twitten Corners.)
Much has been made of the use here of the Vance Integral Edition text, and the consequent elimination of errors. Sadly, a number of typos have somehow slipped through. I also noticed minor errors in the genealogy and in the listing of Vance's published works.
Despite these quibbles, this is an exceptional quality book and a superb value. Please don't let my pickiness discourage you. If you enjoy magical fantasy, this is some of the finest ever written.