Valentine Pontifex

Robert Silverberg
Valentine Pontifex Cover

Valentine Pontifex


This is the third in a series known as the The Majipoor Cycle. Unlike LeGuin's Hainish Cycle, The Majipoor Cycle is a regular series and should be read in sequence, though it wouldn't hurt to read the second before the first. I had read the first two books, Valentine's Castle and Majipoor Chronicles in the previous 14 months. I wish I had read the series more closely together, so that the previous books had been fresher in my memory. The earlier books establish the history that lead to Valentine Pontifex; and there were many references in Valentine Pontifex to events in the earlier books.

The books in this series are science fiction books by virtue of the planet Majipoor having been colonized by humans (and other species) over the last 14,000 years. Aside from that, it is a fantasy. There is an element of telepathy in this series which reaches a crescendo in Valentine Pontifex. It put me very much in mind of the kind of telepathy and mental powers, the shining, in Stephen King's Doctor Sleep, which I had just finished reading.

Robert Silverberg's writing of this series is quite enjoyable, and it is quite different from the stories in his acclaimed earlier novels Dying Inside and The Book of Skulls.