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Lyonesse: El jardín de Suldrun (Lyonesse, #1)
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Lyonesse: El jardín de Suldrun (Lyonesse #1)

3.94 of 5 stars 3.94  ·  rating details  ·  2,646 ratings  ·  151 reviews
The Elder Isles, located in what is now the Bay of Biscay off the the coast of Old Gaul, are made up of ten contending kingdoms, all vying with each other for control. At the centre of much of the intrigue is Casmir, the ruthless and ambitious king of Lyonnesse. His beautiful but otherworldly daughter, Suldrun, is part of his plans. He intends to cement an alliance or two ...more
Paperback, 426 pages
Published April 1989 by Ediciones B (first published 1983)
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(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Kat  Hooper
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

As I'm writing this, Jack Vance's under-appreciated Lyonesse trilogy has been off the shelves for years. My library doesn't even have a copy — it had to be interlibrary loaned for me. Why is that? Publishers have been printing a seemingly endless stream of vampire and werewolf novels these days — same plot, same characters, blah blah blah. If not that, it's grit. We all want grit. Or maybe it's that more women are reading fantasy these days and publishers
If Lyonesse were a food, it would be:

Bits of different kinds of things all thrown into one receptacle but where you can still taste each individual food item, all smothered with custardy gooey goodness. So, how about a Lyonesse recipe you ask?

1 loaf of fantasy geopolitical intrigue, heated till crisp and diced finely
A large punnet of wild fairy tales
A large cup of piquant tongue-in-cheek
Another large cup of creamy purple prose
Old myths for seasoning

- Marinate your wild fairy tales with the
Ian Farragher
Jan 18, 2013 Ian Farragher rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Anyine with a willingness to be surprised.
Jack Vance is the best writer you've never heard of.
You can get lost in his tales whilst still believing that you are looking into the lives of real people. They may be people 10,000 or 100,000 years in the future; or further back, in some Ur-Common myth. His characters are what make his stories.

Lyonesse is a distant memory. I sought these books many times in yesteryear. The world has caught up a bit. What I remember from the first time is: being impressed with the way Vance did fantasy. I was m
Eddie Costello
I was highly disappointed in this book, there was sparks of greatness but mostly disappointment

-Thankfully the author didn't stretch the story out with useless dialog he gets straight to the point which was refreshing
- Suldrun is an awesome character and fully fleshed out
- I also enjoyed the references to Avalon and the setting of this book is a real place that I believe sunk into the ocean(don't quote me on that but I'm pretty sure it's something similar)

- mostly horrible characters t
I first read Suldrun's Garden when it came out in the 1980s. At least I think I did; maybe it was later. In any case, I didn't like it much. I recall thinking that it seemed like an effort to get in on the latest Arthurian craze (Marion Zimmer Bradley's Mists of Avalon came out around the same time. It felt like references to myth and legend were shoehorned in, and Vancian imagination was crowded out. It was still written in his inimitable style, though, so I read the rest of the series anyway. ...more
I think this fantasy trilogy may well be my favourite. It's one I still reread with pleasure, probably because it is so clearly written for adults, though when I first read it as a teenager the violent indignities inflicted on Christian missionaries and the fate of poor Suldrun scared me off after the cosy safety of Middle Earth and Narnia. Luckily I went back to it. The dangers and cruelties of the Elder Isles anticipate the modern hard-boiled fantasy epics of Martin, Abercombie et al, yet the ...more
John Wiswell
The novel begins intriguingly with its numerous references to what will become Arthurian mythology. Lyonesse itself is a historically apocryphal part of the Pendragon/Arthurian Britain, but Vance has no desire for historical accuracy and populates it with wizards, unicorns and monsters that none of the pseudo-realistic Arthurian writers bring out today. His book begins with the lives of several privileged children that are either privy to the political designs of their parents or are being prepa ...more
Austin Briggs
More serious fantasy readers among us surely remember this book – a story about ancient, long forgotten islands on the Atlantic, consumed by its waters and about people who inhabited them. The Elder Isles – once home to magical creatures like elves, trolls and goblins; once home to human kingdoms of the 5th century A.D., with their politics, wars, passions and troubles; islands that have long submerged under the oceanic waves. In fact, Vance tells us this fact nearly at the beginning of the stor ...more
Lyonesse est un des cycles les plus importants de l’œuvre de Jack Vance et souvent reconnu comme un jalon majeur de la littérature fantasy (à juste titre).
Le Jardin de Suldrun est le premier tome d’une trilogie parue il y a presque trente ans. L’ensemble a-t-il pris des rides ? La présentation de l’univers de Vance peut sembler déroutante pour certains, savant mélange de fantastique et d’Histoire. L’action prend place dans les Isles Anciennes, un archipel d’îles situé quelque part entre le Sud
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in January 2002.

Fairy stories are generally associated with quite early childhood, yet even in the bowdlerised versions presented for the young there can be quite unpleasant elements. This is even more the case with the originals of many of the common stories, the work of Hans Andersen and the Brothers Grimm. In Lyonesse, Vance has chosen to emphasise this aspect of this kind of tale, and has written a fantasy novel (first of a trilogy) which is distinctly an
Esmeralda Rupp-Spangle
Classic Vance- I was apprehensive since I've only ever read Jack Vance's Sci-Fi, and was unsure how well his style would translate to pure fantasy, but truly, I should not have doubted.
As always it's filled with his wonderful florid use of the English language, and I always feel smarter after finishing a Vance novel.

In this particular story, Vance has gone to extreme lengths to be especially unforgiving towards his characters, and there is elegant and discreetly described rape, torture, murder
Scott Gray
If Lord Dunsany had written "Game of Thrones", the result might have been something like this often overlooked fantasy gem by F&SF legend Jack Vance. The setting is the Elder Isles, a magical realm that occupies the seas south of Dark-Ages Britain and Ireland. The story is built on a wonderfully fractious narrative that spins out between a half-dozen characters caught up in the political turmoil roiling the isles' kingdoms. In Lyonesse, the princess Suldrun rejects her father's plans to marr ...more
This is a bit of a bittersweet review for me, in light of Vance’s passing away only a few days ago. This man’s back catalogue comprises literally hundreds of books, and the Lyonesse series is one of his most lauded works; I had simply never yet got round to reading it.

Suldrun’s Garden is the first part in this trilogy, and it’s Vance at his most classic. The book begins in the palace chambers of Queen Sollace as she is giving birth to her first child. King Casmir is nearby to keep an eye on the
Jul 14, 2012 Ollie rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: people looking for escape from the real world
Recommended to Ollie by: can't remember - probably just picked it up by accident
I first read Lyonesse as a teenager and immediately fell in love with it. Sure, there were some minor plot holes - especially as the story moved through the trilogy of the same name - but its overall charm won in the end. Then, a few years later in university, I tried reading it again and thought it was a terrible misogynistic creation - to the point where I took the whole trilogy to a nearby charity shop and gave it away.

Seventeen years later and I was tempted to revisit the series again and fi
Hmmm. To be honest, I was expecting a bit more from the great Jack Vance. He's definitely a good writer, but not a single one of these characters is deep, complex, or even particularly intriguing. Also, I didn't like the abruptness of some plot transitions. The plot is obviously densely structured, and Vance doesn't take himself too seriously, which is appealing. There's a certain amount of detached irony/wry observation that I'm sure explains a lot of his popularity. For example, the two main c ...more
Vance uses a lot of fantasy tropes with self-awareness and a matter-of-fact narration style that regards ridiculous scenarios so casually that it only further emphasizes how silly traditional fantasy tends to be. In one of my favorite side anecdotes, a duke and his friends attend a solstice festival pageant: "...they agreed that the maidens who represented the Seven Graces were remarkably charming, but could form no consensus as to which was supreme. They discussed the matter well into the eveni ...more
Vance offers us a book that is meandering, but endearingly meandering. I was only mildly entertained as the characters were introduced, but they all grow quickly and soon have real weight. There are very few amazing, jaw droppingly awesome scenes or concepts, but I was constantly intrigued, and every few pages Vance writes a line that cuts deep.
Anthony Haden
Ponderous! Brief moments of interest and small glimpses of a fantastic and frightening world punctuate the relentless plow of long boring conversations about politics and war and general posturing regarding a bunch of fake places and verbose people. JRR Tolkien did this right already!
This book is absolutely gorgeous fantasy, told with beautiful language and composed of all the traditional necessary elements: sorcerors, castles, princesses, fairies, the list goes on and on. A treasure.
Lyonesse: Suldrun's Garden is an exciting and enjoyable high fantasy book - full of trolls, witches, fairies, goblins and the like. It is a very adult book, with themes and situations not appropriate for children. The book starts off slowly and really doesn't get going until mid-way through the book. The early part of the book sets up the characters and background, and gives the reader the necessary understanding for the rest of the book. That's not to say that the book isn't enjoyable early on. ...more
Okay, so this book is very, very different from the typical fantasy stuff I've been reading. It gets off to a very slow start. The writing is almost all narrative, and it's definitely not a character-driven affair. You don't really get into the characters' heads, which is sort of refreshing, but you don't get the same sense of depth as other books. The dialogue is sparse; it's decent, but definitely not so witty as other more recent fantasy works (I'm thinking of The Blade Itself and The Name of ...more
Another reviewer of this book states that "Jack Vance is the best writer that you've never heard of", and I thought more than once that such was the case here for me. This was a simple, swiftly moving, sword and sorcery tale, told with wonderful imagination, a dry wit, and lovely prose. It also has plot shifts and an interleaving of story lines which differentiate great from good.

What magic the story describes is interwoven with a very light touch; a thing of mischief and wonder as opposed to de
This is by no means for everyone, but might be worthwhile if you go into it with a proper sense of what you should expect.

Vance does a fantastic job of evoking a sense of the Celtic Otherworld, better than any other modern author I've read (The only other thing I can think of that even comes close is the Tom Bombadil sequence in Lord of the Rings). This is centered around the idea that there's a supernatural realm that it's possible for mortals to bump up against, especially in places such as fo
Daniel Potter
Got as far as chapter eight. Awful. I feel as if its I'm reading an vocabulary exercise, pages and pages of pointless description crowd out any meaningful interplay of the characters. When we finally get to a character interaction we are "treated" to few lines of ponderous dialog and then told the emotions those words invoke. There is no hook, no reason to keep reading and nobody to route for. I cannot even muster more than a wince of sympathy for the princess.

If there is a worthwhile story in
It was a long time since I read this one. And I think I have enjoyed it even more when I re-read it.

As many of Vance's books it is full of adventure, tragedy, friendship, love, cruelty and, among them, characters that suffer, live and die in a fantastic tale as ever was one. The tale is shrouded in the rich and enjoyable Vance's colorful prose, full of details, views and smells that seems to come out of the pages as you read.

Vance is a master writer that comes fully fantastic (in every sense) w
Kirk Macleod
One of the true challenges of reading High Fantasy, being fantasy stories set in imaginary worlds with epic events surrounding their main characters (for example, The Lord of the Rings), is finding titles which do not simply rehash the popular fiction already out there - for example, The Sword of Shannara (1977) is pretty clearly a knockoff of The Lord of the Rings, although its sequel, The Elfstones of Shannara (1982) does some pretty interesting and fascinating things that continued through th ...more
Greg Bates
I approached this novel with a bit of trepidation, as Jack Vance is usually known more for his science fiction works than for fantasy novels, but Lyonesse may be one of the best novels i've ever read. Part fairy tale, part Wodehousian comedy-of-manners and part Game of Thrones political scheming, Vance weaves a dense and enchanting tale of the fictional Elder Isles that's rich in allusion and myth.
James Sundquist
It's an odd book (not a bad thing), because it fits firmly into the branch of fantasy that seeks on one hand to imitate and pay homage to the oldest tradition of fairy stories, and somehow does it in a modern way yet doesn't completely subvert it. A bit like Gene Wolfe's The Wizard Knight in the modern respect (though not quite as extreme), the book it actually reminded me a lot of in places (and place-names) was ER Eddison's The Worm Ouroboros (though not as chauvinistic, clearly).

There are som
Touted as a classic of the epic literature genre, and an early competitor of Tolkein's Lord of the Rings trilogy, I found this book deadly dull. There is much in the way of world building and a dizzying array of place names and deep historical references. Magic abounds side by side with Christianity, but the story itself of a young unloved princess and her literal hidden garden is just dull. The characters are not well developed and the plot overall seems to be one a story being retold rather t ...more
Reseña de David Tejera · Nota: 7,5 · Reseña en Fantífica

El 26 de mayo de este mismo año 2013 tenía lugar una de las noticias más tristes del año para los lectores de fantasía y ciencia ficción que conocían el trabajo del autor: Jack Vance moría en Oakland, California. Conocido por sus novelas ligeras de aventuras, Vance fue un autor muy prolífico que jamás llegó a tener en vida el reconocimiento que otros de sus contemporáneos están consiguiendo en la actualidad. Aprovechando la triste noticia e
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Aka John Holbrooke Vance, Peter Held, John Holbrook, Ellery Queen, John van See, Alan Wade.

The author was born in 1916 and educated at the University of California, first as a mining engineer, then majoring in physics and finally in journalism. During the 1940s and 1950s, he contributed widely to science fiction and fantasy magazines. His first novel, 'The Dying Earth', was published in 1950 to gr
More about Jack Vance...
The Dying Earth Tales of the Dying Earth: The Dying Earth/The Eyes of the Overworld/Cugel's Saga/Rhialto the Marvellous The Eyes of the Overworld The Green Pearl (Lyonesse, #2) Madouc (Lyonesse, #3)

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“Nothing is more conspicuous than a farting princess.” 1 likes
“A voice issued from the mirror..."The characters read thus: 'Suldrun, sweet Suldrun, leave this room before harm arrives upon you!'"

Suldrun looked about her. "What would harm me?"

"Let the bottled imps clamp your hair or your fingers and you will learn the meaning of harm."

The two heads spoke at the same time: "What a wicked remark! We are as faithful as doves." "Oh! It is bitter to be maligned, when we cannot seek redress for the wrong!”
More quotes…