Aug 11, 2011

Jack Vance - Demon Princes

This is a five-book series which cumulatively relate the story of one Kirth Gersen as he exacts his revenge on five notorious criminals, collectively known as the Demon Princes, who carried his village off into slavery during his childhood. Each novel deals with his pursuit of one of the five Princes.

The books are, in order of publication:

  • Star King (1964). The antagonist is Attel Malagate, a renegade from a species called the Star Kings, who are driven to imitate and surpass the most successful species they encounter; with their contact with humanity in antiquity, they began consciously evolving into imitations of human beings. The bait Gersen uses to trap him is an undeveloped and fantastically beautiful planet whose location is known only to Gersen, which Malagate covets to become the father of a new race that can outdo both humans and his own species.
  •  The Killing Machine (1964). Kokor Hekkus, a 'hormagaunt', has prolonged his life by the vivisection of human beings to obtain hormones and other substances from their living bodies. But eternal life can be boring, and so he has converted the lost planet Thamber into a stage wherein he acts out his fantasies.
  •  The Palace of Love (1967). Viole Falushe, an impotent megalomaniac ironically fixated on sex. He was so obsessed with a girl in his youth, he created a number of clones of her in a vain attempt to get one of them to love him back. This novel contains some of Vance's most compelling and unforgettable characters, such as the mad poet, Navarth, who has a central role.
  •  The Face (1979). Lens Larque, a sadist and monumental trickster. In the course of the novel, the protagonist experiences some of the same outrages that motivated the villain to concoct his most grandiose jest, leading to one of the most humorous endings in all Vance's work.
  • The Book of Dreams (1981). Howard Alan Treesong, a 'chaoticist', who embodies elements of all the foregoing, and has the most imaginatively ambitious plans of all.

Great book but you know I really love Vance's writting so perhaps I'm not impartial.

Jack and Norma Vance


  1. Great writer, who received the success he deserved. If you like his work, you could also try reading Hugh Cook. Very similar feel; writing of equally amoral worlds though with a slightly less wordy style. "The Walrus and the Warwolf" is a good place to start.

  2. Hi! I'll search that book and read it. Thanks a lot for you recommendation. I'll search that book and read it.


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