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The Book of Dreams

(Demon Princes #5)

4.16  ·  Rating details ·  871 ratings  ·  46 reviews
Howard Alan Treesong gave a banquet to ten friends. All died in agony, save himself.

Howard Alan Treesong went to his old school reunion to teach his former classmates the meaning of terror.

Howard Alan Treesong was the most elusive of the five Demon Princes upon whom Kirth Gersen had sworn vengeance. A galaxy-wide guessing game proved his undoing.

Howard Alan Treesong wrote
Paperback, 210 pages
Published July 3rd 1984 by DAW (first published 1981)
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Average rating 4.16  · 
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 ·  871 ratings  ·  46 reviews

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4.0 stars. Satisfying final volume of the excellent, and under-rated, Demon Prince series by Jack Vance. In this episode, Kirth Gersen, our revenge seeking hero, searches out the last of the "demon princes," a master criminal known as Howard Treesong.

Vance is a master story-teller with an incredible imagination and a talent for concise, descriptive writing that immerses his readers in the worlds he creates without needing a lot of pages to do it. As with the other Demon Prince novels, this book
Feb 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
First time read as ebook (audio)
Second time read in Orbit omnibus.
May 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing
The Book of Dreams was published in 1981 by DAW Books and is the fifth and final novel in Vance's The Demon Prince series. My copy is 190 pages, making it the second longest novel of the group. All of The Demon Price novels continue to be in print. I like the two volume set by Orb Books that has the first three novels in volume one and the last two in volume two. The Book of Dreams is my favorite of the five novels, and I rated it a five both times I read it. But the whole series is highly recom ...more
Jul 26, 2012 rated it it was ok
I love Vance, adore him, forever in the man's debt, etcet. But I felt like this was a really anticlimactic ending to the Demon princes saga. Basically the same investigate-and-bait-the-elusive-criminal template as all the others but with a curious absence of any raised stakes or deeper exploration of Gersen or his final nemesis. After Palace and Face everything about this story seems second-rate, including the uncompelling, basically tacked-on James Kirk-esque romance with Alice yawn. There was ...more
Oct 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Howard Alan Treesong, the last remaining Demon Prince, must die. And so it goes. The last installment in Vance's Demon Princes series ends on a high note. Each book in the series, which tells the tale of revenge against one of the five Demon Princes, entertains without fail. If pressed, I'd say the best is The Face, book number four. The worst? Not to be had.

Our protagonist, Kirth Gersen, remains the same throughout, yet everything else changes, as he pursues his targets across a multitude of di
Kevin Phyland
Jan 23, 2021 rated it liked it
Kirth Gersen is on the trail of the last of the Demon Princes, Howard Alan Treesong, but no details can be found of where he is or what he might look like now until a photo of ten men is found with the cryptic notation “Treesong is here!” Gersen devises a plan to lure Treesong to him by publishing the photo as part of a contest in a news magazine - 100,000 SVU prize to identify all the people pictured. This does indeed bring interest from Treesong, but a further lure brings him to his school reu ...more
David McGrogan
Nov 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
4.5 stars. This is a wonderful series. By now, a fairly fixed formula has been established for each volume, but basking in the received glory of Gersen's predictable triumphs is part of the charm. I could happily have read another 10 of his adventures in exactly the same vein. Sadly, we have to stop at this one. A satisfying end, and as always carried off with impeccable Vancian deadpan understatement - although I would have liked some of the loose ends tied up more neatly (I may have missed it, ...more
This series belongs to my absolute all time favorites. I think I've read these books ten times or more and they are still interesting, great to read and fun.
For people who would like to try and start reading science fiction: please choose something by Jack Vance.
Kat  Hooper
Oct 16, 2010 rated it really liked it
The Book of Dreams is the final book of Jack Vance’s The Demon Princes saga. Kirth Gersen must find and eliminate his last elusive enemy: Howard Alan Treesong. As usual, he has the help of his reluctant banker and there’s a new Innocent Pretty Young Female to attend to, also.

The Book of Dreams is reminiscent of The Palace of Love (the third Demon Princes novel), which also featured a sensitive boy turned bad after being bullied and teased by his peers. Kirth finally tracks down Treesong at his h
Apr 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Vance saved the best villain for the last, the most interesting,fascinating and insane of the criminals called Demon Princes. Howard Alan Treesong was something.

It was a very fine ending to a great series and Kirth Gersens personal story had a good bitter end for me. Not the usual kind of revenge story. Technically this book might have been the best along with the fourth book The Face but i enjoyed The Face more. It had more interesting, weird human cultures,more interesting side characters.

I r
Jan 09, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
This was the fifth and final instalment in the Demon Princes series. I quite enjoyed the whole series. Vance is clearly a most imaginative and clever author, and as a sci-fi writer he stands among the best. Every chapter begins with an excerpt from some important published work of the future, something that advances the plot or elucidates some element of the story. I particularly enjoyed his careful descriptions of clothing styles, which varied dramatically from planet to planet, and the details ...more
Judy Goldich
Jun 21, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: demon-princes
The final installment of the Demon Prince" series. Opinions vary, and my sci-Fi living husband thinks I'm crazy, but I rate this as second best of the five, after "The Face." It ends quite abruptly, with the death of the last the Demon Princes, and not even at our hero's hands. Vance spent at least 700 pages building up to this, and given the character development, I don't see that he had much option but to cut it off. Or perhaps, he was tired of it. Still, fun read. ...more
Jack Vance’s Demon Princes saga ends with the taking down of the last and probably most interesting of the five space pirates who destroyed Kirth Gessen’s home village way back when. Howard Alan Treesong, like Viole Falushe, one of the previous baddies, just can’t get over high school. Born on a planetary backwater that sounds a lot like the upper Midwest or some descriptions I’ve heard of rural New Zealand, an imaginative and willful boy, he gets the works from the locals and dedicates his life ...more
Stephen Theaker
Oct 31, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
When Matthew Hughes talked about writing an authorised sequel to the Demon Princes series, I realised that I had never read this one. I thought I had, perhaps because I'd read the other books twice. I can't be mad at myself, though, because that mistake meant I had a new novel by Jack Vance in his prime to enjoy today. In this novel, Kirth Gersen, the interplanetary Count of Monte Cristo, goes after the fifth and last of the super-criminals who attacked his home and killed his parents. Howard Al ...more
May 01, 2021 rated it really liked it
An odd triumph in a way. At this point, Vance proves that his interests in the Demon Princes are elsewhere, and the novel cannot bear the sustained growth that might be expected from a quintet. Somewhat a mystery novel, somewhat a tale of journalist entrepreneurialism, somewhat a high-school revenge story, and somewhat a tale of adventure and secret societies. You have to admire the ambition even if the whole is less than the sum of its parts.
Jim Mcclanahan
May 21, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The last of the Kirth Gerson adventures. In a way it's the easiest of our anti-hero's targets for revenge. Not all that hard to track down. More intrigue and duplicity from all sides along the way. His ultimate solution is inventive, to say the least. I get the impression he would be happy to move on to the next bad guy, but he seems to have run out of villains, Sigh. ...more
Rog Harrison
I have read this book five times. Recently Goodreads has been doing strange things and when I was scrolling through "My Books" I noticed it appeared twice with both entries showing read five times so I deleted one. Sadly both entries got deleted. I have managed to create another entry but unfortunately I cannot recreate my review. ...more
Feb 22, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classic-sci-fi
Perhaps the best of the series.

Only gripes:
1) The female characters in each book were token and shallow, but that seems to be true of a lot of sci-fi of the time.

2) The conclusion of this (and the other novels in the series) seemed abrupt and a bit anticlimactic.

Mar 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
I really imaging about wonderful experiences to be achieved by reading this boo.

Because nobody will not be without any dreams. So it will be most amazing to read such book.

Thanks for such books.

Jeroen Van de Crommenacker
Jan 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf-fantasy
The final volume in the Demon Princes novels. It has been an exhilarating ride. Shame to come to the end.
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: scifi, ready
Florin Pitea
It was OK.
Firmware File
Jan 26, 2021 rated it really liked it
This is an amazing series. I have read it more than five times and still it is interesting for me.
lyf 4505 flashing
Mar 10, 2016 rated it it was amazing
I have now finished Jack Vance’s, Space Opera epic classic series, The Demon Princes. With novel five, The Book of Dreams, finished, I have zipped (if you can zip through almost 1000 pages) through the series.
It becomes clear that Vance saved the best for last, as the final two books, to me, are the best of the series.
It is hard to not go back and sort of give a bit of an overview of the whole series, and in this case I am not going to resist that temptation.
The most interesting way to look a
Sep 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
The fifth target (coinciding with the fifth volume) in The Demon Princes series doesn’t seem to reflect the pervasive evil to be seen in the first four. Yet, about 2/3 through The Book of Dreams, we begin to see the sadistic side of Howard Alan Treesong when the villain who has been as obsessed with privacy as an intergalactic Howard Hughes (without the refusal to throw out body waste or trim nails and hair) shows up at his hometown’s school reunion. Here, Howard runs amok like Carrie at her pro ...more
Ivan Stoner
Mar 12, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: vance
A rare downgrade (from 5 to 4 stars) on a subsequent reading of Vance.

The Book of Dreams was written in 1981 with Vance at the height of his powers. It's the finale of a 5-book series called (execrably) "The Demon Princes." Vance is about the best in the business at naming, so I can only imagine the series title was foisted on him by a publisher. The basic story is that hero Kirth Gersen's family was killed when he was a child by five master criminals. He devotes his life to hunting them down an
Ĝan Starling
Apr 11, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
I have re-read all five books of The Demon Princes series at least seven times. I own all five in hardbound editions, signed by the author. I would like to give The Book of Dreams five stars together with the fourth book of the series. It is the perfect conclusion to this series, the ending just right.

Of all the characters created by Jack Vance, Howard Alan Treesong is one of the most might even say inspiring. Did you not know the hero too well by this time, you would instead root
Apr 27, 2008 rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Anyone
I recorded all of Jack Vance's Demon Princes books in 50-55 minute episodes for Golden Hours, my local radio service for blind and reading-impaired listeners. Too bad I didn't make CD copies for myself, since the radio station broadcast the tape versions and then erased them too reuse.

I guess I'll have to re-record them for Golden Hours and this time keep a copy, since Jack Vance has a wicked and sardonic sense of humor that I really enjoy, and this series of books is his absolute best.

I especia
Jul 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
The long-awaited conclusion of Kirth Gersen's vendetta against the Demon Princes.

The final villain, "Howard Allan Treesong", is especially interesting. It is hard to dislike him completely. The glimpses of the imagination expressed in the titular book are fascinating (even Vancian)... and his treatment for all the bullies who made him miserable in school can not but appeal to all of us who went through the like. And the sheer audacity of his schemes (like an attempt to take over the IPCC) impres
Fantasy Literature
Mar 31, 2012 rated it really liked it
4.5 stars

The Book of Dreams is the final book of Jack Vance’s The Demon Princes saga. Kirth Gersen must find and eliminate his last elusive enemy: Howard Alan Treesong. As usual, he has the help of his reluctant banker and there’s a new Innocent Pretty Young Female to attend to, also.

The Book of Dreams is reminiscent of The Palace of Love (the third Demon Princes novel), which also featured a sensitive boy turned bad after being bullied and teased by his peers. Kirth finally tracks down Treesong
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Aka John Holbrook 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 g

Other books in the series

Demon Princes (5 books)
  • The Star King (Demon Princes, #1)
  • The Killing Machine (Demon Princes, #2)
  • The Palace of Love (Demon Princes, #3)
  • The Face (Demon Princes, #4)

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“You’re so quiet and subdued! You worry me. Are you well?”

“Quite well. Deflated, perhaps. I have been deserted by my enemies. The affair is over. I am done.”
“For the first time Gersen saw indigenous fauna of Moudervelt: a band of lizard-foxes, with gray-green pangolin scales and a single optic orb. They reared high to watch Gersen pass by; when he slowed the car they advanced with dancing sidelong steps, for purposes Gersen could not guess. He drove on, leaving the troop staring after him.” 0 likes
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