Mattox's Reviews > Lord Valentine's Castle

Lord Valentine's Castle by Robert Silverberg
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U 50x66
's review
Oct 07, 2010

did not like it

Wow, talk about outdated.
Apparently this was some kind of bar-raising fantasy back in the day. Well, it hasn't stood the test of time. It's also just a really poor book on many levels.
One irritating thing is the virtuous quality of Majipoor. Plausibility aside, to create a world that is so fundamentally good is to venture into the greatest fantasy - something us Earthlings know nothing about. This is an extremely difficult concept to make cohesive, and Silverberg fails miserably at it. It also ruins any sense of balance the book may have been able to achieve. Valentine's perfect morals and supposed lovability make him appear thoroughly stupid.
Characters are paper thin, and when the author brings in melodrama at the end it is wholly unmoving, laughable even, as how can one feel emotion for a character they don't even know? Interaction between characters is repetetive and shallow, and the prose is that overused and terribly awkward pseudo-medieval bullshit.
I'm not even biased because one of the women in the book wears a doublet!
It's strong point is imagination, but fuck, check out Gene Wolfe or China Mieville, who take things so much further with so much integrity.
This could have been a decent children's book, but Silverberg spoiled that by putting in too much(wishful and staged) sex/nudity and a little violence (not too mention how over-lengthy the thing is).
Overrall, it's the kind of rubbish which has been giving fantasy a bad name for decades. AVOID AT ALL COSTS!

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