The first book of Robert Silverberg’s classic Majipoor series begins with the laid-back Valentine finding himself wandering into the city of Pidruid, with no memory of who he is or why he’s there. He ends up joining a wandering troupe of jugglers performing for the visiting Coronal, one of the four rulers of Majipoor...who coincidentally shares his name. Valentine pays this no mind, until insistent dreams tell him that his true place lies not with the troupe, but high up on Castle Mount. In his quest to reclaim his crown, Valentine must choose between the man he was and the man he’s become.
Silberberg has effortlessly blended sci-fi and fantasy into the dreamy world of Majipoor, with the amnesiac protagonist acting as our guide as he travels across the world — from the chalky cliffs of the Isle of Sleep, to the desert continent of Suvrael, all the way up to the titular Lord Valentine’s Castle. This book is a must-read for those who love surreal landscapes, alien societies, and imaginative world-building.
The search for his lost past leads to a battle for his future. The planet Majipoor is shared by humans and several alien races, including four-armed Skandars, three-eyed Liiman, and the native, shape-shifting Metamorphs. All are watched over by the King of Dreams, the labyrinth-dwelling Pontifex, and the Lady of the Isle of Sleep, while the Coronal officially rules from atop Castle Mount. One of the best-loved and bestselling fantasy classics of all time, the Majipoor Cycle begins as young Valentine, a man with no memory, is hired as an apprentice juggler by a group of eccentric performers. While the traveling troupe takes to the road, Valentine's sleep is disturbed by nightmare visions of warring brothers and difficulties on faraway Castle Mount. In a quest to discover Valentine's true identity, his wise and peculiar companions resolve to help him claim the rewards of his birth. But another trial awaits Valentine that will test his belief, resolve, and strength of character.