by Jack Vance

5 avg rating
Book 18 of 57 in the Most Influential Fantasy Books
328 votes 4 comments
A monument of fantastic literature to stand beside such classics as Dune and The Lord of the Rings, Lyonesse evokes the Elder Isles, a land of pre-Arthurian myth now lost beneath the Atlantic, where powerful sorcerers, aloof faeries, stalwart champions, and nobles eccentric, magnanimous, and cruel pursue intrigue among their separate worlds. In this first book of the trilogy, Suldrun's Garden, Prince Aillas of Troicinet is betrayed on his first diplomatic voyage and cast into the sea. Before he redeems his birthright, he must pass the breadth of Hybras Isle as prisoner, vagabond, and slave, an acquaintance of faeries, wizards, and errant knights, and lover to a sad and beautiful girl whose fate sets his undying hatred for her tyrannical father--Casmir, King of Lyonesse.

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Anonymous | 2013-02-01 05:43:40
Actually Lyonesse was written and published in the 1980's waaaaay after the Lord of the Rings. Unless I'm really missing something I don't see how it predates Tolkien at all.
Anonymous | 2013-08-19 02:02:53
I recommend the Lyonesse series wholeheartedly for those who like mordant wit and colorful characterization. The story is set in what would seem to be the British Isles two or three generations before King Arthur's birth; the location is on what many would call "Atlantis"; it's what is called the Elder Isles.
Anonymous | 2015-11-03 04:22:28
These are truly wonderful books. Each to his own, but I rate the Lyonesse trilogy above everything else in the list (and some of the others are great, too). Full of brilliant characterisation, bitter sweet romance, and endless throwaway wit.
Anonymous | 2015-12-31 07:25:43
This is Jack Vance. For fans of his work, this is one of the best.
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