About twenty pages into Jack Vance's Lyonesse II: The Green Pearl, I started thinking that the book would end up an awful lot like the 1981 film Heavy Metal. Both feature a mystical sphere of evil, which corrupts those who use it, and in the earliest chapter of Vance's follow-up to to his wonderful Lyonesse I: Suldrun's Garden the story does actually follow the set up of Heavy Metal to a large degree - person gets the pearl, pearl corrupts them, someone else kills them and takes the pearl, repeat.
What I'm really loving best about Vance's stuff however, is the fact that he starts with a relatively simple fantasy concept (magic item), and then inserts it into his larger world, showing how the various wizards, nobles and even common men of his world are affected by the item and deal with its potential for corruption.
Like the first book in the series, the story plays with high fantasy concepts as well as fairy tale concepts and blends them together into a really intriguing story, one that I'm definitely planning to complete with the award-winning conclusion to the trilogy, Lyonesse III: Maduac, which I'll be reading next month.
Really neat stuff.
Also a quick side note - the knight on a giant cat image shown on the cover is representative of some stuff that happens in the book, you just have to wait a while for it to show up.
1 month ago