- Hardcover: 240 pages
- Publisher: I Books (August 19, 2003)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0743474678
- ISBN-13: 978-0743474672
- Product Dimensions: 5.4 x 0.6 x 8.4 inches
- Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (38 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #295,529 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Dragon Masters: The Definitive Edition Of The Hugo - Award Winning Novel Hardcover – August 19, 2003
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Top Customer Reviews
Finally I want to make a WARNING: if you have not read this book and you do not know any specific details about the story, avoid reading the backcover. I can't understand why, but the publisher reveals the greatest plot twist in the story. I never read this kind of information because I want to be surprised in my reading. After I finished reading this book I read the backcover and I couldn't believe what they said.
Also in this book is another story: The Last Castle. I'm only going to mention one thing. You've got to read this because of the human culture depicted here. To see those men handle the extreme situation in which they are is at the same time hilarious and stressful.Read more ›
Both stories are set in the far future, and they feature humans enslaving genetically modified aliens. In each, the plot turns on a war between the humans and the aliens. The two stories are quite cynical, and our admiration for the heroes is tempered by our natural antipathy for some of their attitudes and actions.
In "The Dragon Masters", humans have almost been eradicated. Those that remain are mostly slaves of aliens, modified for special uses; except on one planet, where a few remain free. Indeed, these free humans have captured some aliens and radically modified them for their own uses. The hero, Joaz Banbeck, is a very Vancean hero, dour, misogynistic, intelligent but resigned. He has determined that the aliens are due to return, and he tries to organize a defence while dealing with a foolish enemy in the next valley, and also with the reclusive humans who live underneath the ground. The story works its way to a logical and rather bitter and uncompromising conclusion.Read more ›
This text is, if I recall aright, published with the aid of the Vance Integrated Edition project; in other words, the text is cleansed of the annoying typos that too often mar Vance's work. (Exhibit A, "Tales of the Dying Earth," which no one appears to have edited before publication. Or if they did, they need to stay anonymous.)
I prefer Vance's fantasy myself, but this book is a must-have if you appreciate Vance.
Some quotes, for good measure:
"Carcolo was a distraction most unwelcome at the present time. There would be no tolerance when Carcolo was finally brought to account. A light step behind him, the pressure of fur, the touch of gay hands, the scent of incense. Joaz’s tensions melted. If there were no such creatures as minstrel-maidens, it would be necessary to invent them."
And one more:
“The Basics were here already,” said Givven with unwelcome rationality. “We could have done nothing since we had nothing to do with.”
TL,DR: Fan of Vance? Check it out. Fan of sci-fi? Check it out. Even though this edition does not include "The Last Castle", the story is still worth picking up.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Reading Jack Vance takes a special frame of mind. Once in that frame his stories are enjoyable. The characters are interesting and not complex. Read morePublished 3 days ago by Jvthree
this is what Jack Vance is all about - style, wit, irony, action, mystery and exotic world building at it's best. Read morePublished 6 months ago by DWGroucho
This was the first Jack Vance book that I read. Although it's not his best, it was still a worthy introduction. Read morePublished 11 months ago by Nate C-K
There's a branch of early SF that I like purely for how mind-bogglingly bonkers it can be at times . . . one that I like to call the "how do you like them apples? Read morePublished 13 months ago by Michael Battaglia
Very good story for the time it was written. The conflict between 2 groups of men in the midst of an alien invasion shows how stupid people can be. Read morePublished 14 months ago by Dennis M. Markwith
Jack Vance’s The Dragon Masters packs quite a punch for such a slender book.
In this story, Joaz Banbeck, ruler of Banbeck Vale on the planet Aerlith, strives to fend... Read more
I read this in a collection and the basic stuck with me. The first read all those years ago really blew my mind as we used to sayPublished 17 months ago by Martin A. Healey
I kept hearing how great Jack Vance was so I thought I'd give him a try. I may be the only one that feels this way, but I'm kinda underwhelmed. Read morePublished 19 months ago by spike