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The Lightstone: The Silver Sword (2002)

by David Zindell

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: EA Cycle (1, Part 2)

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1171194,332 (3.03)None
From the author of Neverness comes a powerful new epic fantasy series. The Ea Cycle is as rich as Tolkien and as magical as the Arthurian myths. The world of Ea is an ancient world settled in eons past by the Star People. However, their ancestors floundered, in their purpose to create a great stellar civilisation on the new planet: they fell into moral decay. Now a champion has been born who will lead them back to greatness, by means of a spiritual - and adventurous - quest for Ea's Grail: the Lightstone. His name is Valashu Elahad, and he is destined to become King. Blessed (or cursed?) with an empathy for all living things, he will lead his people into the lands of Morjin, into the heart of darkness, wielding a magical sword called Alkadadur, there to recover the mythical Lightstone and return in triumph with his prize. But Morjin is not to be vanquished so easily...… (more)
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As much as it pains me to say this, given how much I love Neverness, this series is perilously close to being unreadable. Zindell clearly loves Lord of the Rings, and is seemingly incapable of breaking free from its orbit. The story is terribly derivative, and while his uniquely powerful and gentle take on morality and obligation could add an interesting spin to the material, his heroes and villains end up falling into the same trap of flattened, stark morality that weakened Tolkien's work at times. In the end, we're given an interesting hero from an interesting family who has nothing to do but endure a series of horrifying mishaps, and thus be harrowed into something approaching a pure instrument of fate -- which is to say, a cross between Frodo Baggins and Mallory Ringess (the hero of Neverness and its sequels).

I couldn't make it past the second (very wordy) book in the series. It's possible that after the near-endless series of crises that characterize the story to that point things ease up and don't wallow endlessly in melodrama, but I was pretty disheartened and disinclined to put any more effort into the series. If you like Terry Brooks and David Eddings, you may enjoy this, but fans of action may be put off by the interior nature of some of the characters, and fans of Zindell's more successful works may well be put off by the overwrought black and white nature of what's on offer here. ( )
  othiym23 | Nov 30, 2009 |
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» Add other authors (2 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
David Zindellprimary authorall editionscalculated
Taylor, GeoffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed

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EA Cycle (1, Part 2)

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To my daughters, Justine and Jillian, who journeyed with me on many long and magical walks through Ea and helped generate this story with their pointed questions, blazing enthusiasm, dreams, and delight.
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The angels, it is written, at the beginning of time sang into creation the stars.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
Disambiguation notice
This is Book 1 Part 2 of the EA Cycle.  The original all-in-one Book 1 was called "The Lightstone".  It was later split into two volumes as "The Lightstone: The Ninth Kingdom" and "The Lightstone: The Silver Sword" (UK editions), and into "The Lightstone" and "The Silver Sword" (US editions).  Please keep this Book 1 Part 2 and the Book 1 Part 1 separate from the all-in-one entry.
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From the author of Neverness comes a powerful new epic fantasy series. The Ea Cycle is as rich as Tolkien and as magical as the Arthurian myths. The world of Ea is an ancient world settled in eons past by the Star People. However, their ancestors floundered, in their purpose to create a great stellar civilisation on the new planet: they fell into moral decay. Now a champion has been born who will lead them back to greatness, by means of a spiritual - and adventurous - quest for Ea's Grail: the Lightstone. His name is Valashu Elahad, and he is destined to become King. Blessed (or cursed?) with an empathy for all living things, he will lead his people into the lands of Morjin, into the heart of darkness, wielding a magical sword called Alkadadur, there to recover the mythical Lightstone and return in triumph with his prize. But Morjin is not to be vanquished so easily...

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