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Madouc by Jack Vance
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Madouc (original 1989; edition 1989)

by Jack Vance, Carlos Gardini (Translator)

Series: Lyonesse (3)

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481921,406 (4.08)8
Member:Gargargom
Title:Madouc
Authors:Jack Vance
Other authors:Carlos Gardini (Translator)
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Madouc by Jack Vance (1989)

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English (6)  French (3)  All languages (9)
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
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. ( )
  Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
The child of the prince and princess grows up raised by fairies. This tells of her quest to find out who her pareents are/were. The power play around the kings and sorcerers of the fighting kingdoms rounds it out. Good book. ( )
  stuart10er | Sep 27, 2013 |
I really enjoyed the first two books of this series, and the conclusion was good, but not great. It wasn't a disappointment, but it also didn't live up to the promise of the first book. Unfortunately I thought some of the characters were a bit lifeless and the plot wasn't quite coherent enough to make up for it. Still a good fantasy book and better than most, just not great. ( )
  Karlstar | May 30, 2013 |
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. ( )
  suzemo | Mar 31, 2013 |
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. ( )
  suzemo | Mar 31, 2013 |
Showing 1-5 of 6 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (6 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Jack Vanceprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
SanjulianCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Van Houten, MickCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Au sud de la Cornouaille, au nord de l'Ibérie, de l'autre côté du Golfe d'Aquitaine, se trouvaient les Isles Anciennes, qui s'étendaient du Croc de Gwyg, arête de roche noire battue par les déferlantes de l'Atlantique, à Hybras, le Hy-Brasill des premiers chroniqueurs irlandais : une île aussi grande que l'Irlande elle-même.
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0441505325, Mass Market Paperback)

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 stable boy "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!

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:43:59 -0400)

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War, magic, adventure and romance are interwoven in this rich and sweeping tale set in a fabled land.

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