Read Madouc by Jack Vance Online


The World Fantasy Award-winning third volume of the Lyonesse trilogy brings attention to the faerie changeling Madouc. Where princess Suldrun once meekly endured the proprieties of Castle Haidion, Madouc defends herself with rotten fruit. Vexed, King Casmir arranges a contest to marry her off, but Madouc has other ideas, and enlists the stableboy "Sir Pom-pom" on an impromThe World Fantasy Award-winning third volume of the Lyonesse trilogy brings attention to the faerie changeling Madouc. Where princess Suldrun once meekly endured the proprieties of Castle Haidion, Madouc defends herself with rotten fruit. Vexed, King Casmir arranges a contest to marry her off, but Madouc has other ideas, and enlists the stableboy "Sir Pom-pom" on an impromptu quest to find her father. During their travels, they encounter swindlers, faeries, trolls, ogres, a knight in search of his youth, and a relatively pedestrian item known as the Holy Grail. As the sorcerers Shimrod and Murgen investigate portents of cataclysm in the world of magic, Casmir plans a murder that will bring all the lands under his iron rule; however, his ambitions will be complicated by one small but important oversight--he's failed to allow for Madouc!...

Title : Madouc
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780441505326
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 426 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Madouc Reviews

  • Bradley
    2019-07-19 14:46

    One should always take a particular pleasure in any tale so well crafted as to resolve nearly a hundred plot threads satisfactorily. And one should always take a great thrill in seeing seemingly minor characters take on such an immense importance and suddenly be revealed to be the single most important thread tying an epic fantasy trilogy together, too!And not only does it take place in the mythical lands in-between England and a few of the other Isles, but it's steeped in borrowed and made-up mythology, rampant with kings and queens, three whole kingdom's worth, the land of the Fae, and the ending fate of so many heroes and well-established antagonists.Am I seriously impressed by these three works? Hell yeah. All together, they make one of the richest near-Earth fantasy I've ever read. It's a fictional country dab in the center of the Isles, but everything else is steeped in our history and myths, but it's far from cheap. It's easily one of the deepest and best-crafted fantasies I've ever read.Yes, there are a few that out-do it, and I'm sure we can all name them, but this one stands nearly as tall as them and should never be overlooked among all the generalized and oft-repeated and overdone photocopies of modern fantasy.Quality is Quality, and This Is Quality. :)And we get reunited families, a total breakdown of friendly relations, and an all-out war that destroys and rebuilds the three kingdoms. What more could anyone ask?

  • Algernon
    2019-07-10 15:55

    We are vagabonds, and each of us follows a dream. What an apt one line review for the whole series: it captures the rambling style of presentation, the numerous characters setting out on quests and the mythical, otherworldy setting of the Elder Isles, home to Arthurian knights and fairy shires or ‘shees’, powerful wizards and ambitious kings.I am talking about the whole series, because that is the best way to experience the journey, starting with the story of Suldrun, following the curse of the Green Pearl, and now searching for some closure in the company of Madouc.There is a symmetry to the three part Lyonesse sequence: Suldrun in the first book is the lonely, melancholic daughter of King Casmir. Unable to confront directly her father’s wishes, she is exiled to a forgotten garden by the sea. Madouc in the third book is also the (adoptive) daughter of Casmir, but her temperament is as fiery as her red hair, and her rebellion is an active one, where she takes the reins of her destiny in her own hands and is not resigned to the dictates of Casmir / Fate. The two princesses frame the middle section, where at first nothing significant seems to happen, but where the Green Pearl may be the key to a danger that can destroy the whole realm. Travante looked off down the road, smiling. “It is an extraordinary quest. I am searching for my lost youth.”“Indeed!” said Madouc. “How did you lose it?”Travante held out his hands in a gesture of puzzlement. “I cannot be sure. I had it one moment and the next time I thought to notice it was gone”“I suppose you are sure of your facts.”“Oh indeed! I remember it distinctly! Then it was as if I walked around the table and poof! I found myself an old man.”“There must have been the usual and ordinary intervals in between?”“Dreams, my dear. Figments, wisps, sometimes a nightmare. But what of you?”“It is simple. I do not know my father. My mother is a fairy from Thripsey Shee. I am seeking my father and with him my pedigree.”“And Sir Pom-Pom: what does he seek?”“Sir Pom-Pom seeks the Holy Grail, in accordance with King Casmir’s proclamation.” From all the panoply of oddball vagabonds, knights, monsters and scoundrels I believe the recently introduced Travante is the one that I identify with the easiest, and the one that holds the key to the attraction exercised over time by the works of Jack Vance. His fantasy is not the typical heroic or ‘grimdark’ fare, and his quests lead his characters to surprising locations:The mind was a marvellous instrument, thought Shimrod; when left to wander untended, it often arrived at curious destinations. It is the journey itself that matters, our search to recapture the sense of wonder, of re-discovering the world with the innocent eyes of the child. Lyonesse is not without its classic fantasy epic political / military plot – following the conflict between Casmir and Aillas for control of the Elder Isles, and it also has a cataclysmic finale with a sort of evil overlord (view spoiler)[ that is actually a her – the witch Desmee – getting her revenge against the men who mistreated her(hide spoiler)], but my lasting impression of the series is of a huge and colourful tapestry of minor characters and exotic locations, of sometimes humorous, sometimes deadly encounters with fairies and trolls and highway bandits. I was thinking of making a connection to the grotesque and detailed wood panels of Hieronymus Bosch (“The Garden of Earthly Delights”) but I’m not convinced the approach is similar – Vance is more humorous and optimistic than the Dutch painter.The dialogue I have quoted earlier is a good example of the flowery language used in the story. The following one illustrates the light touch at introducing a new character called Gundeline, a fairy: … a slender maiden of enchanting charm, with flowing lavender hair and green fingernails. She mimed, preened, cut capers, but never spoke, and no one knew her well. She licked saffron from poppy pistils with quick darts of her pointed green tongue. I could go on with more examples of the style that often appears to overwhelm the straight story and prefers flights of fancy to logic and seriousness. The prose, like the legendary and secretive Sir Pellinore, demonstrates a pronounced “frivolous bent”. So for a time the two dallied in the glade, at last becoming languid. In case you are wondering, this above quote is how Vance describes a sexual encounter.Like the prose and the plot in Lyonesse, my review rambles, and I am loath to explain how the numerous plot threads are solved, not so much refraining from giving out spoilers, but mostly from a reluctance to let go of the Elder Isles and of the wonderful adventures I was witness to. I have turned the last page of what I consider his best work, but I am consoled somewhat by knowing I have many of Jack Vance’s books still to discover, so many worlds still to explore, wizards and scoundrels and fiery maidens to lead the way: The roads never end; they simply join into another road, so that a wanderer never comes to the journey’s end. 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  • Lyn
    2019-07-09 14:45

    Jack Vance delivers!Finishing his Lyonesse trilogy started as a bit of a chore but Vance made the final stretch all down hill with beer at the finish line.Wrapping it all up nicely from his 1989 vantage point, this novel had the whimsical, light hearted feel that the previous two (1983’s Suldrun's Garden and The Green Pearl published in 1985) lacked. Both vintage fantasy products and both making an interested reader stay at least mildly curious, but Vance was holding something back, neither had that certain MAGIC that makes a good fantasy tick.Madouc was the victory lap and was charming, adventurous, sometimes comical and always fantastic.Of course the greatest attribute and the shining star in this firmament is the character of Princess Maduoc herself: a changeling heroine of spritely temperament and pixie charm. Maduoc must stand high in the running for most interesting of his characters, she was a peach.If you’re a fan, you’ll want to read the whole trilogy but I’m going to hand out some unorthodox advice – if you’re not a Kool-Aid drinking JV disciple, skip the first two and reach for the third, it’s a great story and well told.

  • Jaro
    2019-06-22 10:56

    Each of the three Lyonesse books has some aspect that makes it my favorite. This last book is slightly more straight forward than the first two books, which are more erratic in structure. This takes away some of the strangeness and wonderful complexity that permeate those books, but in turn it has the charming and willful Madouc and her quest to find her pedigree, which is just sparkling with Jack Vance’s witty humor. Every other page I couldn't help but chuckle or on occasion burst out in pure satisfactory laughter. In parts this book also has a distinct air of Jane Austen which I really love; the summer palace at Sarris, the dialogues while walking in gardens, Madouc’s tiresome maidens, and Madouc’s reaction to the luxurious rooms at Falu Ffail.

  • mark monday
    2019-07-02 10:32

  • KatHooper
    2019-07-15 10:51

    ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.Well, here's the finale of Jack Vance's Lyonesse, and I'm sorry to see it end. This novel was about Madouc, the changeling princess of Lyonesse, and her interactions with Casmir, Sollace, Aillas, Dhrun, Shimrod, Throbius, Sir Pom-Pom, Umphred, Twisk, et al.Madouc maintains the quality of this excellent trilogy — it's filled with clever prose, charming characters, and lots of imagination. Jack Vance's careful planning produced a tight plot and Madouc wrapped up all the loose ends from Suldrun's Garden and The Green Pearl.I thoroughly enjoyed Lyonesse, but it may not be for everyone. It occurs to me that these books are a lot like Monty Python. They're fast-paced, weird, silly, outrageous, and (somehow) smart.I'll give you one example: the magician Murgen realizes he's being spied on by someone who is disguised as a moth, so he sends Rylf to follow the moth and find out who it is. The moth flies away and joins a thousand other moths who are flying around a flame. As Rylf watches, one of the moths eventually drops down, turns into a man, and walks into an inn. But Rylf doesn't take note of the man because, as he figures, the laws of probability suggest that the particular moth he's after must still be flying around the flame.If you don't find that hilarious, you may not enjoy Lyonesse as much as I did.Part of what I love most about Jack Vance's humor is that he doesn't tell us it's funny. It's a completely deadpan delivery. So, when King Throbius (King of the Fairies) assures Madouc that “fairies are as tolerant as they are sympathetic,” there's no narrator or character who explains to Madouc (and, thereby, us) that this does not mean that fairies are tolerant. I have never read any author who does this as beautifully as Jack Vance does, and I loved it.I've said it twice before, so I won't say again that Lyonesse ought to be reprinted. Read the rest of my Lyonesse reviews.

  • Terence
    2019-06-30 15:46

    I first read the Lyonesse trilogy in the early ‘90s (Suldrun’s Garden, The Green Pearl, Madouc) and enjoyed it, especially the first book, as I recall. The “Lyonesse” entry on Wikipedia offers a very thorough plot summary, though with spoilers galore ( trilogy is vintage Vance. Full of his usual sardonic wit, odd characters and wonderful writing, a sample of which I reproduce below. The scene is from chapter 12 of The Green Pearl; Aillas and his captive Ska maiden, Tatzel, are crossing North Ulfland and come to a farmstead where Aillas finds himself engaged in a philosophical debate with the farmer regarding greed vs. altruism:The same ideas had occurred to Cwyd. He said: “Hear how the storm yells, like a giant in pain!” And again, with russet eyes fixed knowingly upon Aillas: “Pity the poor traveler who must brave such ferocities! And all the while we sit snug before our fire!” And again: “In conditions like this the word ‘avarice’ loiters sickly by the wayside while the concept of ‘gratitude’ marches forward in triumph, like Palaemon’s conquering army!”Aillas responded: “When storms rage, then is when folk become aware of their common humanity, and like you and Threlka, they willingly extend hospitality to those unfortunate enough to be at disadvantage, just as you, in your hour of inconvenience, will hope for the same! In these cases, the thought of payment is cause for embarrassment, and the host cries out: ‘What do you take me for? A jackal?’ It is heartwarming to meet such folk out here on the high moors!”“Exactly so!” cried Cwyd. “Out here on the high moors where conditions are so hard, ‘sharing’ is the watchword, and each gives of what he has without stint! I open my larder wide and light my best and most cheerful blaze; you are of the same disposition with your superfluity of silver coins; thus we honor each other!”“Precisely to the point!” declared Aillas. “I will reckon up my little store of coins and whatever I find to be superfluous you shall have! We are in accord; let us say no more on the subject….”Cwyd mused. “Our conversations have raised a number of interesting points. I could describe every turn of a long road, reciting each of the perils to be found along the way and its remedy, thus saving your life a dozen times, and you would gratefully reward me with a bag of gold. However, if I casually mentioned that the man you wished to see at the end of this road were dead, you might thank me but give me nothing, though all went to the same effect. Is there not an inherent disequilibrium at work here?”“Yes indeed,” said Aillas. “The paradox resides once again in the distortions worked upon the fabric of our life by greed. I suggest that we free ourselves of this ignoble vice, and seek to help each other with full and wholehearted zeal.”Cwyd grumbled: “In short, you refuse to pay me what my information is worth?”“If you saved my life even once, how should I pay you? The concept is meaningless. For this reason such services are generally held to be free.”“Still, if I saved your life a dozen times, as well as your father and mother and the virtue of your sister, and you gave me a single copper groat, at least I could put my belly up to the board and drink a mug of beer to your health.”“Very well,” said Aillas. “Tell me all you know. It may be worth a copper groat.”Cwyd threw his hands in the air. “At least in dealing with you I exercise my tongue…. Where do you fare?” (pp. 218-220)Having reread the trilogy, I find that this time I liked the third book best. The best parts were Aillas’ tale before he becomes king of Troicinet; Dhrun’s adventures after he’s expelled by the fairies from Thripsey Shee; and Madouc’s quest to find out who her father is. In between these passages, the story tends to lose focus and power, and becomes a soap opera of political machinations.Despite such reservations, the trilogy remains one of my favorite Vance works. Like Kirth Gersen of the Demon Princes series and Miro Hetzel of The Galactic Effectuator, Aillas and Madouc have remained memorable characters, and I would certainly recommend this to any interested reader or Vance fan.

  • Metaphorosis
    2019-07-17 08:52

    I liked Madouc more this time than the first time I read it. Still, it failed to work the usual Vance magic on me. Effectively, it mostly provide more of the same (as was in the first two books). Usually, with Vance, that's more than enough.I'm not sure why I was ... not dissatisfied, but complacent. This book leaves most of the politics that made the first book a little slow, and concentrates more on human stories. Perhaps it's simply that I didn't take much to Madouc herself, though it's not so often I actually like Vance's protagonists. Perhaps it's a certain young adult (as when Madouc name s the stable boy Sir Pom-Pom) feel that didn't match the rest of the book. On the other hand, I did enjoy struggles with ogres, etc. The fairies play a larger role in this book, but by now I found them a little on the tiresome side. Vance brings in the Holy Grail, and that may have been too much. I think, largely, that the series, in this book, simply goes on too long. Even Vance himself seems to hurry to end this with a fairly long end section that tidily wraps up loose ends, but nonetheless seems rushed. All in all, pleasant and readable, but not really enticing. If you haven't read the first two books, this one will not really stand alone. If you have, by all means read this one. There's nothing wrong with it - it's just not great.All in all, I'm glad I re-read the trilogy - it's better than I recalled it being. But it's also a long way from being the best of Vance's work.CVIE V

  • Bryan
    2019-07-12 07:37

    An amazing read! I really didn't want this trilogy to end. I would happily continue to read this for years and years, with little humorous side jaunts here and weird strangenesses taking place there, ad infinitum.If you've not yet read Jack Vance, you need to know that there is no other writer like him. Although many say it takes a bit to get used to the eloquency of his prose, it is infectious. Beside Vance, all other authors seem pedestrian in their vocabulary and turns of phrase.Personally, every single page of Vance that I read is a sheer delight.If you've read other Vance and have not yet got to the Lyonesse trilogy, please spare no time! It is first-rate Vance: witty, full of elevated diction, humorous (yet wicked), and simply wonderful.And not just the writing - the characters in Lyonesse will stay with me forever: Shimrod, Aillas, Casmir, Madouc. Even the minor characters, such as the little acrobat who speaks gibberish and, working with his fellow entertainers, cunningly tricks our valiant heroes and steals their horses (and boots).It is a magnificent masterpiece, this work by the venerated Vance. Warning: Read them in order - pick up Sudrun's Garden first, then The Green Pearl, and finally get to this book, Madouc.Highest possible recommendation.

  • Andrew Hamblin
    2019-07-01 11:42

    This series was fantastic. Vance's prose is beautiful and subtly hilarious; his imagination is astonishing. I got into Vance through Dying Earth but where that series is a bit hit-and-miss this one was excellent from beginning to end. By the time I was only halfway through the trilogy I was already looking forward to reading it a second time.

  • Jaro
    2019-06-26 08:56

    This is the deluxe limited edition signed by the author. This is 192 of 600 numbered copies.

  • xiny
    2019-06-25 11:51

    La tercera parte me ha parecido la más floja de todas. Mantiene el estilo más hilado del segundo, pero la historieta de Madouc me parece más típica que la de Suldrun y no lo suficientemente diferentes, y queda poco del estilo de los hermanos Grimm que me gustó en el primero. De todas formas, ahí dejo recomendada la saga, que me ha parecido original y divertida en la forma de enfocar la fantasía clásica.

  • TJ
    2019-07-17 14:49

    Lyonesse: Madouc was first published in 1989 as a hardcover novel. It is currently in print in a trade paperback edition published by Spatterlight Press. There is also a Kindle edition available. My out of print paperback edition has 535 pages of text. Madouc is the third novel in a Vance trilogy called Lyonesse and is also referred to as Lyonesse III. This is the second time I've read it in recent years, and I rated it a 5 both times. Lyonesse: Madouc won the World Fantasy Award for Best Novel in 1990. It is pure fantasy rather than science fiction. I consider it a masterpiece and one of the most engaging and interesting fantasy novels I have ever read. I found all three Lyonesse novels to be witty, imaginative, creative and captivating and highly recommended them. Lyonesse: Madouc is similar to the other Lyonesse novels in that there are many fascinating characters that are well developed, with multiple intriguing subplots, amazing world building, imaginative stories and tales, engaging adventures, and many comical dialogs and situations. Character development is especially prominent in Lyonesse: Madouc which has a major focus on the young, half fairy woman called Princess Madouc. She was brought to the Lyonesse court because King Casmir believed she was the child of his daughter Princess Suldrun and an unknown father. When he later learns that she is not his grandchild he does not disclose this to anybody because he wants to marry Madouc to royalty from another kingdom to assist in gaining alliances. But he finds that Madouc is opposed to such plans just as his daughter Suldrun was. Unlike Suldrun, however, Madouc has a strong sense of self determination, with a feistiness and vigor that make her a formidable opponent. She does not become remote and withdrawn the way Suldrun did but strikes out on a quest to find the truth of her parentage and even bravely and cleverly confronts King Casmir in front of royalty from other kingdoms. In one humorous section she even throws rotten fruit at several people she dislikes.Madouc's search for her "pedigree" takes her on a fantastic quest that also includes her friend, Sir Pom Pom (She calls him Sir Pom Pom even though he is a stable boy) and his search for the Holy Grail and a stranger they meet named Travante who is searching for his lost youth. It is a fascinating and adventurous journey of self discovery, bravery and perseverance. Vance presents a remarkably detailed and creative picture of a fairy world called Thripsey Shee where Madouc meets her mother and engages the assistance of her mother and the fairy king in attempting to identify her father. After learning that her father called himself Sir Pellinore, she continues on to a dangerous but sometimes comical trek where they encounter two hostile goblin knights riding griffins and a three headed ogre named Throop who lives in a castle. Throop could know what happened to Madouc's father, might have possession of the Holy Grail and possibly (although the prospects are unlikely) knows the whereabouts of Travante's missing youth. Even though all three of Throop's heads would rather eat his guests than talk with them, the three heads are intrigued by the offer of gifts so, after discussing it, they decide to restrain their appetites. There is much more to the novel, including an attempt to assassinate a king and all out war that involves much of the Elder Isles. Vance eventually ties all of the subplots, storylines, events and characters together in a fitting conclusion that I found very satisfying. But all three novels need to be read in order to fully appreciate the whole saga and rereading the trilogy is helpful because there are so many details and so much that happens in these novels. The Lyonesse trilogy has incredible world building, many interesting developed characters, intriguing plots, subplots and encounters, brilliant, often witty, dialog, hilarious humor that is cleverly integrated into the drama, a very captivating storyline and an tremendous amount of creativity and imagination. Jack Vance is truly a phenomenal and unique voice in recorded literature. Very highly recommended!

  • Flavia
    2019-07-03 09:42

    "Lyonesse", "La Perla Verde", "Madouc", tre romanzi per quello che è in sostanza un lungo racconto, una lettura piacevolissima per la quale è doverosa una precisazione: pur essendo una trilogia ambientata in un mondo fantastico, popolato da creature magiche, nel quale i protagonisti si muovono per portare a compimento la quest di turno, quella di Lyonesse non è una saga fantasy. Non aspettatevi personaggi iper-caratterizzati, scenari descritti fin nel minimo dettaglio, trama e sottotrame solide, senza buchi, che spiegano tutto e anche più del necessario. Questa è una felice incursione nel favolistico\fiabesco, dove il linguaggio è essenzialmente quello delle fiabe: i personaggi sono appena tratteggiati nel loro essere sostanzialmente degli archetipi, gli scenari dipinti con poche rapide pennellate, le trame coerenti fin quando è necessario. In un mondo nel quale al genere fantasy è stato succhiato anche il midollo (e si provvede ora a rosicchiarne le ossa) pur di assecondare la fame bulimica di lettori avidi di dettagli, questa è una battuta d'arresto con annesso cambio di corsia, un doveroso "alt" che tutti dovrebbero concedersi, per tirare il fiato e ricordare che a nutrire la mente provvede la mente stessa, a patto di essere stimolata dalle giuste idee e da una scrittura di buon livello. Lyonesse non è un capolavoro e non vuole esserlo: è un racconto pieno zeppo di motivi favolistici, colmo di riferimenti all'immaginario celtico e ammiccamenti al ciclo bretone, il tutto reso da un linguaggio lieve, allegro e scanzonato. Nessuna pretesa da parte dell'autore, se non quella di raccontare una storia secondo i canoni della fiaba, infarcendola quindi di simboli familiari all'immaginazione che hanno il potere di comunicare senza dover essere spiegati.

  • Mark
    2019-07-16 08:58

    A fitting conclusion to this lovely trilogy, Maduoc retains all of the humor, grace, intellect and clarion prose which served as hallmarks of the preceding two stories: Suldrun's Garden and The Green Pearl. We find young Princess Maduoc deftly navigating the King and Queen's various designs for her life, while all the time searching out her true parentage. She is a a delight to cheer for, in turns bold, confused, wistful, friendly and consistently striving to find her own way in the world, wielding her intellect like Excalibur to fend off and press forward.The story also brings the rewarding conclusion to the regional power struggle between Kings Allias, Casmir and the surrounding localities and also the feud between magicians Murgen and Desmei, which has woven in and out of all three novels. There is a welcome return to Thripsy Shee, the seat of fairy community, an awful three headed troll who eats his visitors should they borrow too heavily on his hospitality, a foreshadowing of the doom of Atlantis, and a delightful pair of demon guard dogs who are at the same time both vicious and inept. Across all three novels it is Vance's superb artistry which elevate these simple stories. His prose is forever pregnant with poignancy, wisdom and humor. Vance's skill with dialogue is unmatched, with consistent and unique voice throughout for each player. Each conversation is at once satisfying and kindles your hunger for the next.The trilogy as a whole serves as a great reminder that epic fantasy need not be of epic length. Highly recommended for fans of fairy tales, princesses who save themselves, sweet tea and Hobbiton.

  • Noel Coughlan
    2019-07-13 07:57

    In many ways, the Lyonesse Trilogy consists of three threads which connect sometimes very tangentially. There is the competition between the various kingdoms, the conflict between the mages, and the quests into 'fairyland'. Each of these stories is dispersed through the novels in varying doses.In the final volume, it felt at times like Vance had left himself with too much to do. Every now and then, he hit the fast forward button and events whiz by almost in summary. At other times, tangential and inconsequential matters were lingered over. A great deal of writing was spent establishing characters only to rid them from the book in a sentence.Maduoc eclipses to a greater or lesser extent the main characters from the previous novels. I felt Glyneth in particular got short shrift. Where, for instance, were these swords she brought back from Tanjecterly? The concentration on Maduoc compresses the ultimate conclusion of the struggle between Aillas and Casimir, making it feel a little rushed.And yet, the novel makes up for these dashed expectations. Shimrod's adventures in the previous novels, at times made disjointed and abrupt by the opaque central mystery now click into place. More importantly, Maduoc is an engaging character and her adventures kept my interest throughout. I was particularly moved by the ultimate fate of one of the minor characters. It was very well done.

  • Suz
    2019-07-20 11:45

    Madouc is the third book of the Lyonesse trilogy, and it does a fantastic job of wrapping up a lot of the storylines/ends from Suldrun's Garden and The Green Pearl.Vance tells his story with such a dry delivery, that at first, you might not catch the humor if you aren't looking for it, or, if you don't like that kind of sardonic telling, you might just not enjoy it.This whole book is so silly, so hilarious, fast and fun... but you aren't being told that it's hilarious and silly, which makes me love Vance all the more. It's like he thinks his readers are intelligent enough to figure it out without telling them what to do, which I very much appreciate.Princess Madouc, who doesn't know she is a changeling, is suffering from a crappy childhood in the same style as her "mother" Suldrun. Only she's not the passive Suldrun, but a very spunky and awesome Madouc, and so, shenanigans ensue.And there's a satisfying happy ending... sometimes I just love those.

  • Derek
    2019-06-23 09:29

    This style of medieval epic suits Vance very well. It restrains his more outré tendencies in character and setting while encouraging his flourishes of languages. Nobody writes of the arcane doings of wizards quite like he does, and his approach to the faerie court is marvelous in its characterization and felt very true to the fairy tale basis.Madouc herself had the unfortunate role of being a passive, resistant element in her own story: her task appeared to be to block or resist the machinations around her, so that she hampered the progress of the story. She only went to becoming an active participant when she takes her fortune in her own hands and strikes out on an adventure. It made me long for the relatively infrequent chapters starring Shimrod, who had the opposite role with the opposite effect.The story was relatively back-heavy, with a sudden advancement of plot and a sudden-feeling ending.

  • Tomás Sendarrubias garcía
    2019-07-06 09:50

    Brillante. Absolutamente brillante. No puedo decir mucho más del final de la trilogía de Lyonesse de Jack Vance, y ahora que puedo valorarla a nivel global, me repito. Absolutamente brillante, en fondo y forma. Si en El Jardín de Suldrun y La Perla Verde la historia prometía, en Madouc la narración alcanza una cota si no épica, sí poética. En Madouc se llega a la conclusión de las líneas argumentales planteadas en los libros anteriores, desde las ambiciones del Rey Casmir de Lyonesse para establecer su dominio sobre las Islas Elder, al verdadero origen de Madouc, la niña de las hadas que se ha criado como si fuera la hija de la difunta princesa Suldrun, pasando por la guerra mágica en la que se encuentran sumidos Murgen, Tamurello, Shimrod, Melanchte y Desmei, los conflictos con los ska... Todo queda hilado y cerrado en este volumen. Trilogía de lectura obligada.

  • Peter
    2019-07-05 07:33

    I can't get it over my heart to give this book less then 4 stars. It is my least favorite of the trilogy though.The start, where we follow the young princess Madouc, mirrors the first book, where we follow Suldrun growing up. It feels even slower than in the previous book, and because a lot of the situations Madouc finds herself in are similar to Suldrun's situation it feels a bit repetitive. When she finally strikes out on her own, things get more interesting.Sadly the end is a bit too much a quick wrap up. The stakes felt less high, and the outcome seemed obvious from the start.Still, Vance's prose is beautiful, his characters are witty and interesting, and Lyonesse is still one of my favorite settings to wander around in.

  • Jim Mcclanahan
    2019-07-21 14:28

    The third in the Lyonesse series, this book is a worthy conclusion to the first two. Taking the title character from a potential fairy "practical joke" and imbuing her with both intelligence and determination against considerable odds. As is usual with a Vance story, it is told with great panache and detail. I will forego a synopsis and simply say that anyone embarking on the first or second book of this trilogy should not fail to finish the job.

  • Nick
    2019-06-29 07:40

    After 3 volumes and a thousand pages, I was tragically sorry to see this epic end. It's fabulous fun, once you get past the first couple hundred pages of book one, and both the supporting stories and the lead character, the faery-child Madouc, are wonderful. I almost missed the plane on the way home from the beach because I was finishing Madouc.

  • Dave
    2019-07-19 07:32

    Jack Vance has better command of of the English language and its possibilities than any other author I've ever known.Of all his books, this series is my favorite:1) Lyonesse2) The Green Pearl3) Madouc

  • Benthemeek
    2019-07-05 14:56

    This was the best of the three I think. The story was endearing and cohesive. I felt like the author really began to explore his characters with depth beginning in the 2nd book and finishing with this.

  • Derek
    2019-07-21 12:51

    The beauty of Jack Vance novels is you always know you're not going to get your heart broken, despite how frustrating they usually are. This was a delight, and a fulfilling climax to the Elder Isles Triology.

  • David Sierra
    2019-06-23 08:36

    La primera parte cae en los errores del primer libro, la segunda se parece más al segundo, pero mantiene en general el buen tono de la trilogía.

  • Aaron
    2019-07-20 12:47

    Probably the strongest entry in the series. The story is consistently entertaining (though rather mundane in some senses, but that's one of the amazing aspects of this trilogy, fairly mundane scenes told with incredible skill and care.) and Madouc is the most fascinating character in any of the books. Through Madouc we are treated to some brilliant comedic moments that are preeminent in the series.

  • Darth
    2019-07-14 15:31

    Pretty bad book.I always try to finish books, especially when a book is the 3rd in a trilogy - but this was tough to get through.Where the first two books were what you want, lots of people going places and doing things, this was mostly the story of a spoiled princess who whined a lot.It did wrap up the story, in about the ways you would expect things to fall out, but the journey was tedious instead of fun.

  • Peter
    2019-07-20 15:47

    A solid, if not particularly groundbreaking, fantasy trilogy.

  • Bill
    2019-07-07 11:52