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Suldrun's Garden by Jack Vance

Review by Alleandra

The World: A standard fantasy medieval type world, called the Elder Isles, which have long since sunk below the Atlantic. Among the isles is Avallon.

The Story: When the princess Suldrun of Lyonesse is born, everyone is disappointed that she is a girl, especially her father and mother, King Casmir and Queen Sollace. Put aside as unimportant, she has a strange and solitary upbringing. She often slips away to an abandoned garden, just to be alone. Her father barely acknowledges her, until she is of marriageable age, and he notices that she is lovely and could be useful in a political alliance. And he needs political alliances since he plans to become king of all the Elder Isles. As he threatens her with one awful bridegroom after another, Suldrun defies him.

Meanwhile, we are introduced to Aillas, the nephew of King Granice of Troicinet, who are currently at war with Lyonesse . He was raised outside the intrigues of the royal family, but has finally come to court. He and his cousin are assigned a duty that will help in their conflict, but after a ship battle, he falls overboard and is washed up on the shores bordering Sulrun's garden. And that is just the beginning?

This book is a wonderful piece of high fantasy. Its only real flaw was the dialogue. Vance's phrasing seems stilted and forced, so the characters true feelings did not appear genuine to me. Still, it had elements of fun, tragedy and adventure. I especially loved one characters adventures through Vance?s version of faerie. A very entertaining read.

4.5 out of 5 amulets.


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