Some authors write prose that speaks so distinctly that it needs no embellishment from a narrator. Silverberg is such an author, and so Rudnicki, being one of those no-frills narrators who basically acts as a conduit for the listener, is an ideal choice for narrator. His performance is understated but compelling and it is that understated nature of his reading that is largely responsible for his appeal. Rudnicki is not going to dazzle you with his range of voices or other vocal trickery; instead, he keeps things basic, and for the most part just conveys the author's text and keeps out of the way, making listening to an audiobook read by him akin to reading the book yourself.
Some folks just know how to tell a story. And when you get two natural-born storytellers like Silverberg and Rudnicki together on the same project, the result is quite an unforgettable journey. John Joseph Adams
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 who Valentine really is, 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.
©1980 Robert Silverberg; (P)2008 Blackstone Audio, Inc.
I read this book shortly after it's first publication so it's a great pleasure hearing it in audio form. I only need to comment on it's superb, expert narration. Flawless.
this is one of my all-time favourite fantasy books so i was delighted to see it on audible. as expected, i thoroughly enjoyed it, a magical listen and very well narrated. please can we have the other Majipoor books soon!
A penetrating and original re-visitation of the classsic hero's quest. A dreamlike and magical journey through Majipor, world like no other. The narrators deep chocolate tone is perfect and only serves to broaden the listeners pleasure.
This is not Fantasy, nor Sci-Fi, rather a genre all of its own, perhaps Jungian is the world. The only comparison I dare to consider is the work of the British writer Christopher Priest.
Great story, compulsive narrative - highly recommended.
I read this book long ago and I remembered liking it a lot so I decided to get the Audible version to help me get through my daily commute. Rudniki did a great job reading this book and I found it quite enjoyable.
I have read Lord Valentine's Castle in its print form at least seven or eight times, and it is one of my all-time favourite novels, even though I am a hard core sf fan rather than a fantasy fan. Now that my eyesight is deteriorating, I rely heavily on audio books, and the three audio Majipoor books currently available have added a a new dimension to this wonderful series. Superbly done, beautifully read by Stefan Rudnicki, who brings life to the alien voices. Strongly recommended for new Silverberg fans as well as long-time fans.
I'm the managing editor of the Fantasy Literature blog. Life's too short to read bad books!
Lord Valentine???s Castle (1980) is considered a classic SFF novel and, therefore, it???s one I???ve been planning to read (and expecting to love) for years. Indeed, there is much to love about Robert Silverberg???s world of Majipoor ??? it???s a huge hinterlands planet full of jungles, volcanoes, archipelagoes, deserts, long rivers, and sprawling cities populated by alien races and Old Earth humans. Majipoor contains no fossil fuels and few metals and, while there are still some genetically engineered animals and plants, most of Earth???s technology has been lost (though some is still being used by the rulers). Thus, Majipoor reminds me of what I love about Gene Wolfe???s Book of the New Sun ??? an old-world style with hints of unknown technological wonders that we hope to explore in future books.
The premise and the world-building are the strengths of Lord Valentine???s Castle. The plot, though it has so much potential, sometimes seems to crawl under the weight of that huge planet. Valentine plans to go to the castle to confront the imposter, so he goes. It???s a long slow journey which has some obstacles, but they???re all rather easily overcome. Much of the hard work is done in dreams or images as the Lady of Dreams (and, later, Valentine himself) convinces the people around him that Valentine is the true ruler of Majipoor. There???s not much tension and what there is, is quickly relieved.
I listened to Blackstone Audio???s production of Lord Valentine???s Castle which was read by one of my favorite narrators: Stefan Rudnicki. As usual, this was a very nice production and a great way to read Lord Valentine???s Castle.
If you want to explore a vast imaginative world, and don???t mind the leisurely pace, try Robert Silverberg???s Majipoor Cycle.
Imaginative and interesting premise. BIGtime. Heavy handed and slightly ponderous on the execution end. Ditto on the narration. The author was DEFinitely exploring a theme of: "the responsibilities of a ruler to the people".
I HATE reading good scifi or fantasy writing saddled by a smothering theme.
It's like having sheet cake...The WHOLE sheet cake. It's cloying at the end of the day.
Despite the wonderful alien races, simple strong writing, interesting characters, and a great plot. THEN...That crazy wacky King of Dreams. SO much planet-spanning messages to everyone in the night, so many blurry analogies, hidden godly wills, and a mishmash of mysticism and religion.
It just pulled me away from the core of a great novel.
Please understand, religion in fantasy is commonplace. Look at Jordan's Wheel Of Time series as an example of religion woven smoothly into fantasy writing. It works. It strengthens the entire story, and is one of the essential underpinnings of the entire series.
Here, not so much.
I hate that I love this work, and am equally frustrated by it's poorly driven religion. I finished the work, and hoped that this would end in the first novel. Nope. It got worse.
I'm VERY confident that some of you will disagree, and that's okay. This is MY opinion, and I have to be true to myself.
Sorry, Robert, I really tried.
History, Historical Fiction, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Grand in scope, intriguing potential with highly imaginative topography, alien races and overall story. I just felt the actual banter between Valentine and his various friends to be be shallow to dull which left not one character as someone you really cared about. The fantasy world is huge and extremely creative and I would recommend this to anyone who likes the old formula fantasy with a hint of sci-fi.
I read this book a number of years ago and was happy to find it on Audible. It didn't challenge my intellect or make me want to take up a political cause - it was just a fun futuristic/medieval romp. Sometimes those are the best books.
I liked the narrator - his voice was smooth and he didn't overdo the drama in his voice. It was delightful.
It wanted me to dust off my juggling balls.
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