Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Lord Valentine's Castle (Lord Valentine, #1)” as Want to Read:
Lord Valentine's Castle (Lord Valentine, #1)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Lord Valentine's Castle (Lord Valentine #1)

3.85 of 5 stars 3.85  ·  rating details  ·  5,655 ratings  ·  168 reviews
Valentine, a wanderer who knows nothing except his name, finds himself on the fringes of a great city, and joins a troupe of jugglers and acrobats; gradually, he remembers that he is the Coronal Valentine, executive ruler of the vast world of Majipoor, and all its peoples, human and otherwise...

Lord Valentine's Castle was the first of Robert Silverberg's novels about Maji
Paperback, 506 pages
Published July 1st 1995 by Eos (first published 1980)
more details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Lord Valentine's Castle, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Lord Valentine's Castle

Ender's Game by Orson Scott CardDune by Frank Herbert1984 by George OrwellFahrenheit 451 by Ray BradburyBrave New World by Aldous Huxley
Best Science Fiction & Fantasy Books
195th out of 4,853 books — 16,874 voters
A Game of Thrones by George R.R. MartinJ.R.R. Tolkien 4-Book Boxed Set by J.R.R. TolkienThe Name of the Wind by Patrick RothfussThe Chronicles of Narnia by C.S. LewisThe Eye of the World by Robert Jordan
The Best Epic Fantasy
225th out of 2,349 books — 16,666 voters

More lists with this book...

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  rating details
mark monday
Valentine finds himself outside the city of Pidruid one afternoon, completely bereft of memory, as the city makes ready for the arrival of Lord Valentine - one of the four great Powers of the mega-world of Majipoor. what's a man to do in such a situation? why, join a traveling band of jugglers, of course. travel a lot, meets lots of new people and see lots of new things, have a bunch of trippy dreams, and eventually reclaim a fabulous destiny. that's what i'd do too.

i reread this due to a group
Jun 15, 2009 Christian rated it 2 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: My enemies
Recommended to Christian by: The back of another Silverberg book I never read
Shelves: science-fiction
A peculiar book, since no matter how bored or frustrated I was with the infuriating characters and slogging pace, I still wanted to finish it. And I did, to my disappointment Trite and more or less predictable, the book is really no more than a tour of Majipoor Silverberg's made-up planet of far-away pseudo-magic and leftover bits of science. There is some cleverness and creativity, but creating an unproven fantasy ecosystem is nothing new. Majipoor brings a few tasty tidbits to the table, but a ...more
"Valentine, a wanderer who knows nothing except his name, finds himself on the fringes of a great city, and joins a troupe of jugglers and acrobats; gradually, he remembers that he is the Coronal Valentine, executive ruler of the vast world of Majipoor, and all its peoples, human and otherwise..."

This book may be 35 years old, but the political issues that it deals with still resonate strongly today. Majipoor is a very multicultural world, supporting many different races, including a persecuted
"Conquest over self was the finest of victories."(467)

It pains me that this book is languishing in undeserved obscurity.

Lord Valentine's Castle follows the journey of Valentine, devoid of any semblance of identity and perhaps irretrievably deprived of indescribably defining memories, living a wanderer’s life, joining a band of jugglers, learning the trade in the only way it was meant to be learned, by heart and soul, and comes to the realization that he has fallen from the highest possible st
4.0 to 4.5 stars. I really debated whether to give this book 4 or 5 stars. The world of Majipoor created by Robert Silverberg is very well thought out. It is both complex enough to provide an endless supply of stories and yet defined enough in this first book to give you an excellent understanding of how it is governed and the composition of the world. I am a big fan of world-building so my favorite books usually have that as a component (Scott Lynch's Gentlemen Bastards, China Mieville's New Cr ...more
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
"You may not pass!" the ugly, stupid guards thundered.

"Huh. Yikes. I really need to get by you, guys," Valentine said.

The guards considered this briefly. "Well, you may not!" they again thundered, just as stupidly and uglily.

Valentine had a momentary crisis of faith. He doubted himself. How could he ascend to his rightful throne on Castle Mount (thirty miles tall, home to the Fifty Cities, but plausible because the planet of Majipoor is enormous but very low-density, you see, so the gravity is j
i first read this when i was less than half my current age, re-read it many times over the next ten years, and still remember it fondly. i was immersed in the setting of majipoor, loved the vaguely implied science fiction framework around a fantasy tale, liked the feel of the character interactions, felt like i would recognize the strange flavors of the foods silverberg described. i bought a few extra copies to give to others, when i discovered that they needed to read it, too. i don't have any ...more
Scribble Orca
I read this an inestimably long time ago. The stars are in memory of my memory.
Miramira Endevall
Jun 26, 2010 Miramira Endevall rated it 1 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: No one.
Recommended to Miramira by: Isaac Asimov, after a fashion
Shelves: own
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
This may have been the first Silverberg story I read. Almost certainly the first novel, and I think it's the best work of his that I've read (and a clear step above others in the series). I still have the paperback I bought around the time this first came out - despite the fact that I foolishly left it out, and some SOB apparently showed off by ripping it partly in half. I don't know what s/he learned. I learned never to leave books around people who can read, but are too foolish to want to. (No ...more
Kat  Hooper
3.5 stars, audio version

ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

Valentine has been wandering the planet of Majipoor for a couple of years, but has almost no memory of where he’s been or what his life was like before. When he discovers that he has a talent for juggling and joins a troop of entertainers, he becomes more connected to his world and aware that something is wrong with him. After experiencing some “sendings” in dreams and hearing about the dreams of others, he begins to realize that he
This is a wonderful pulp scifi novel done in a very literate style. I think I was just in the right mood for its innocent epic hero quest storyline, but let me tell you, so many books long to attempt even a tenth of what this book accomplishes. It covers so many emotions and so many of what Joseph Campbell refers to in Hero of a Thousand Faces, and it does so in a manner that effortlessly goes back and forth between chilling and lightheartedness that it left me aghast. The book centers on a lost ...more
REREAD #1: 9/10 (26 October 2007 - 2 November 2007)

Lord Valentine's Castle by Robert Silverberg

Come to the magical planet of Majipoor. Follow Valentine as he joins a motley band of jugglers to seek the secret of his lost past across a wide and wondrous world. In the shattered city of the Shapeshifters, in the temple of the Lady of Sleep and the Isle of the King of Dreams. From the depths of a dying emperor's dark domain, to the destiny that awaits him high atop Lord Valentine's Castle.

I first re
Perry Whitford
Aug 29, 2014 Perry Whitford rated it 1 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: I wouldn't even wish this on a Terry Pratchett fan.
Two questions, the answers to which I find unfathomable, dominate my thinking about this terrible book:

1) How can Robert Silverberg, an interesting and occasionally excellent writer of countless science fiction and fantasy novels, sometime prose artist of vivid skill and imagination and creator of memorable, generally avaricious or morally dubious characters, write and publish such a childish, asinine piece of vacuous drivel as this book?

2) How in the name of Bilbo Baggins and Gully Foyle did it
This book was literally shoved into my hands by my fiance with an exhortation of “You have to read this!” After reading, I have to say, he did me a favor! It takes place on Majipoor, a large planet that was long ago colonized by Earth and races of other planets. Much of the technology has been lost, and Majipoor is at a feudal, agricultural level of development and something of a galactic backwater. But overall, it is a peaceful and prosperous world.

Here we find Valentine, a young man who has fo
Challenging the White Spaceman's Burden

Robert Silverberg's Lord Valentine's Castle is not as good a book as I had thought when I was 16. It's rags-to-riches, amnesia-to-ambrosia, throne-reclaiming plot is a little too adolescent wish-fulfilment for my taste these days. The love interest is something of a cypher, which back then would have counted in its favour too, but nowadays rather less so. And we have the usual SF/fantasy conflation of species with characterisation.

That said, it's aged rathe
Не знам дали е честно Замъкът на лорд Валънтайн да се оценява както бихме оценявали някое съвременно фентъзи/фантастика. Защото... ами този тип писане вече не е модерно ;)
Действието ни води заедно с главния герой Валънтайн по пътя му към осъзнаването и приемането, че той е (view spoiler). Приключенията му започват като интересни, защото заедно с него и читателят открива разнообразния свят на огромната планета, захвърлила или забравила голяма част о
Blake Charlton
richly rendered epic fantasy with a scifi twist, which is reminiscent of jack vance. the characters are sympathetic if not compelling, the plot has a flavor of the protag slowly leveling up but still moves quickly enough. a recommended read for fans of the classic SFF epics of the 70s and 80s.
I bought this one in a thrift shop in Houston when I was living there on sabbatical and read it there.
Kevin Xu
More people should read this book, its amazing.
Ryk E.
I have written my most detailed review of this book on my own site ( In brief, this is one of the most wonderful -- in multiple senses of the word -- books I have ever read, all revolving around the eponymous main character, Valentine, and his quest to discover who he is and, once he knows, what he should and can do about it... a decision that will affect his entire world.

The world of Majipoor is a world of fantasy colliding with science, or science fict
Daniel Roy
This one is a strange but otherwise pleasant beast. It's a great little adventure romp in the hybrid realm known as science fantasy, which is to say it borrows both from the science fiction and fantasy genres. Although mostly formulaic despite the genre breeding, its protagonist is nevertheless engaging enough to keep the storytelling fresh throughout.

The mix of science fiction and fantasy is more mongrel than clever crossbreed. Although the world-building lies firmly within the purview of scien
This was my first fantasy or scifi book I read as a teenager, and I adored it back then and read it many times. (It's also the reason I learned to juggle...) I was curious how it would hold up after such a long time, and I'm not disappointed. It lost a bit of its shine, but I'm not sure whether that's because I'm older now, or whether it's because I've read the book so often, even if it's been a while.

This is not the book to pick up if you're looking for an intricate plot or good characterisatio
Първата ми книга прочетена на гсм-а. При голямото количество актуални книги, които са ми се натрупали за четене, никога нямаше да стигна до нея иначе. А все пак се води една от класиките. Силно си личи, че е писана 80та година. Много наивна, героите са или много добри, или много лоши. Нашия човек е толкова добър, способен и обаятелен, че е просто перфектен във всичко, всеки който прекара 5 мин с него го обиква и всяка трудност се оправя за 20 минути максимум. Върха беше финалната битка, когато н ...more
Ian McLeish
One of my favourite sci-fi books from one of my favourite authors. I've just re-read it after about 15 years - this should be a movie!!

Although the first of a series, the book stands alone as a great story. Silverberg is often overlooked, but he is an excellent sci-fi author with over 200 books to his credit, as author or editor.

He is a multiple winner of both Hugo and Nebula Awards, a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Hall of Fame, a Grand Master of SF.
Emily (BellaGrace)
Sometimes maybe you should judge a book by it's cover - in this case it's He-Man in tights riding some sort of Dr. Suess looking horse-animal from the early 80s. This book started out interestingly enough, but anyone with a brain can figure out the entire plot in the first 100 pages. I kept reading thinking things would get better, but it just ended up being a 400 page book about people traveling with interminable descriptions about the local plants along the route. Meanwhile, every bad thing th ...more
Dan Giaquinta
an interesting read. I don't know much about Robert Silverberg except the name. This book certainly wouldn't discourage me from reading more but didn't necessarily encourage a deeper examination either.

The book is fairly customary future medievalism. As a young teen, I read the John Christopher series that starts with the White Mountains and then the similar in feel Sword of the Spirits books. broadly, a feudal society enjoys the certain fruits that remain from an ancient technologically advance
Philip Athans
Oct 07, 2011 Philip Athans rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Any SF/fantasy reader
Beginning a new fantasy series, read on an offset pattern to the SF series I'm reading, which is currently Isaac Asimov's Robot City: Robots & Aliens.

Crazy that it took me the better part of four months to read this, even though it is a pretty big book.

LOVED it--everything you want in a sweeping, epic fantasy novel. Especially liked the exotic travelogue of the tremendously deeply-imagined world of Majipoor. Definitely sticking it out for the rest of the series!
Feb 01, 2015 Jill rated it 3 of 5 stars
Recommended to Jill by: Michael
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
This was a curious book. Normally the fantasy novels that I read have some form of violence in them, as the theme of good vs. evil tends to play out on a grand scale, which, until I read this book, I thought had to include great battles. And there was a great battle, but overall violence was decried as a generally unnecessary evil. Instead, one wins the hearts and minds of the people (albeit, sometimes with magical technology, which is a force in itself).

Now, don't get me wrong - other fantasy b
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 99 100 next »
  • Brittle Innings
  • Courtship Rite
  • Stations of the Tide
  • Earthquake Weather (Fault Lines, #3)
  • Harpist in the Wind (Riddle-Master, #3)
  • The Summer Queen (The Snow Queen Cycle, #3)
  • The Goblin Reservation
  • Wizard (Gaea, #2)
  • The Ragged Astronauts (Land and Overland Series, #1)
  • The Complete Compleat Enchanter
  • The Sword of the Lictor (The Book of the New Sun #3)
  • The Pride of Chanur (Chanur, #1)
  • Tea with the Black Dragon (Black Dragon, #1)
  • The Many-Coloured Land (Saga of Pliocene Exile, #1)
  • The Innkeeper's Song
  • Jack of Shadows
  • Empire of the East (Empire of the East, #1-3)
  • Desolation Road (Desolation Road Universe, #1)
Robert Silverberg is one of science fiction’s most beloved writers, and the author of such contemporary classics as Dying Inside, Downward to the Earth and Lord Valentine’s Castle, as well as At Winter’s End, also available in a Bison Books edition. He is a past president of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America and the winner of five Nebula Awards and five Hugo Awards. In 2004 the Sc ...more
More about Robert Silverberg...

Other Books in the Series

Lord Valentine (3 books)
  • Majipoor Chronicles (Lord Valentine, #2)
  • Valentine Pontifex (Lord Valentine, #3)
Legends The Science Fiction Hall of Fame: Volume 1 Dying Inside Legends II Majipoor Chronicles (Lord Valentine, #2)

Share This Book