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Previous BotM--DISCUSSIONS > Suldrun's Garden: Finished Reading **SPOILERS**

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message 1: by Nick (new)

Nick (doily) | 966 comments Here's a general topic for people who have finished reading Suldrun's Garden by Jack Vance.

Caution: Spoilers are likely in this thread!


message 2: by Bill (new)

Bill (kernos) | 334 comments I read this series about a year ago. I loved it. I found it more epic fantasy than mythic fiction. In placing it off Brittany, Vance is conflating the Ys and Lyonesse legends In my mind I get this confused with Poul Anderson's The King of Ys series—both excellent.


message 3: by Phil (new)

Phil Jensen | 57 comments This is an all-time favorite, and the sequel is also classic. I'm less enthused about Madouc, but I think most people like that one, too.


message 4: by Chris, Moderator (new)

Chris (heroncfr) | 513 comments Mod
I enjoyed this one, hadn't run across it before. The detached style made it read like a fairy tale. Given the title, I hadn't expected Suldrun to exit that quickly! I enjoyed the wry asides and footnotes. The one-page epilogue made me laugh out loud, introducing whole new characters -- what cheek! I may have to find that sequel ...


message 5: by Jaro (last edited Mar 22, 2016 03:14AM) (new)

Jaro (aplaceofmarvels) I love those epilogues. The one in the sequel is even better. It's surprising to find such exquisite language in these outside parts. Same I think with the Preliminary in this book (strangely this has been moved to the end of the book in the Gollancz edition). The rhythm of the language and the sound of those names makes it so beautiful that I just have to stop reading and... sure, laugh out loud. **HUGE SERIOUS SPOILER** Suldrun's exit is certainly unexpected. Some readers may be put off by it. But structurally it is masterful I think. She is what you could call a decoy protagonist. Her exit comes almost exactly at the midpoint, and looking at the series as a whole Suldrun's story works so well as a set-up for Aillas and Druhn, and eventually also for Madouc who's story very elegantly echoes Suldrun's.


message 6: by Sumant (last edited Mar 18, 2016 09:37PM) (new)

Sumant I just could not finish the book and gave it up after 37%, it was not helped by the fact that I could not figure where Vance was taking me with the story.

Also he just pulled many characters just out of thin air, and I am not able to pin what kind of fantasy genre this book fits into.


message 7: by Jaro (last edited Mar 22, 2016 02:11AM) (new)

Jaro (aplaceofmarvels) Sumant wrote: "I just could not finish the book and gave it up after 37%, it was not helped by the fact that I could not figure where Vance was taking me with the story.

Also he just pulled many characters just ..."


You really should give it a few more percent Sumant. There are such marvels ahead. At about 60% I think you will get a clearer idea about where the story is heading. Have in mind, this is a set-up for a trilogy.


message 8: by Phil (new)

Phil Jensen | 57 comments Sumant wrote: "I just could not finish the book and gave it up after 37%, it was not helped by the fact that I could not figure where Vance was taking me with the story."

Where is Vance taking you with the story? On an exciting but nonlinear cruise through weird subcultures, exaggerated characters, stylized prose, and bizarre situations. Eventually, the plot will resolve itself, but it's more about the journey than the destination.

People who love The Eye of the World might find this book disappointing in its failure to adhere to established genre characters and plotlines. Personally, I despise Wheel of Time and adore Jack Vance, but I'm in the minority.


message 9: by Sumant (new)

Sumant Phil wrote: "Sumant wrote: "I just could not finish the book and gave it up after 37%, it was not helped by the fact that I could not figure where Vance was taking me with the story."

Where is Vance taking you..."


I found the story very much linear except what happened to Suldrun everything is predictable.

Also trashing The Eye Of The World does not make this book great.

Jaro wrote: "Sumant wrote: "I just could not finish the book and gave it up after 37%, it was not helped by the fact that I could not figure where Vance was taking me with the story.

Also he just pulled many c..."


Maybe after some time I might give this series a try.


message 10: by Jim (new)

Jim Mcclanahan (clovis-man) | 480 comments Having read some Vance SF: The Blue World was a favorite, I thought this, my first fantasy by him, might be "okay". I was surprised to find that the style of narrative was not only well matched to the tale, it also carried me along effortlessly. Oddly, I found some aspects of the language made me think of Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell. Lots of unexpected twists and turns while following the paths of both Aillas and Dhrun. I started the book via my trade copy. But about a fifth of the way through, I switched to Kindle with its built-in glossary. Much better for wading past obscure archaic terminology.

Admittedly the sheer volume of characters could be daunting, not to mention some of their propensities for changing identities. But the overall scope and epic sweep of the story was captivating and carried me through to the satisfying ending quite well. Fortunately, I bought the entire Kindle trilogy at once, so I can easily move on to the next two.


message 11: by mark (new)

mark monday (happy-end-of-the-world) | 114 comments I love this book! haven't read it for many years, but started the re-read today and all the positive feelings for it have returned. knowing how foul Casimir really is and how important Aillas will be has me looking at those two characters in a very different light. although I'm not looking forward to the middle when three characters die in short succession - I remember that really hurting when I first read it.

ah, Jack Vance. one of my all-time favorites.


message 12: by Jim (new)

Jim Mcclanahan (clovis-man) | 480 comments mark wrote: " knowing how foul Casimir really is and how important Aillas will be has me looking at those two characters in a very different light."

I kept visualizing Linus Roache (who portrays the duplicitous King Ecbert in Vikings) as Casmir.


message 13: by mark (new)

mark monday (happy-end-of-the-world) | 114 comments I think that's great casting! possibly because I am addicted to Vikings.


message 14: by Phil (new)

Phil Jensen | 57 comments Sumant wrote: "Also trashing The Eye Of The World does not make this book great."

Sorry I came across as trashing this very popular, very successful book. I was trying to suggest that people look for different things when they read fantasy novels, and that Robert Jordan fans might not be looking for the same things that Jack Vance fans enjoy. Personally, I'm in the latter group, but I wasn't trying to criticize people who disagree with me.


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