On the gold-symbol world of Beresford’s Planet, Richard Kirby lived in total luxury. As a member of “The Set” his life was a never-ending round of planetary party-hopping. The only restriction imposed on him – that he never put down on any world marked with a red or black symbol – was something that he had always accepted without question.
That is, until his brother Alec was murdered in cold blood! Alec had been an undercover agent to those forbidden planets, and in order to avenge him, Kirby had to find out for himself what was really happening there.
But with the start of his investigation, Kirby found out quickly that the authorities meant business when they said “Hands off!” The secret they were protecting was of vital importance, and it now became a matter of life and death, not only to Kirby, but to all the inhabitants of THE CHANGELING WORLDS.
The Changeling could become anyone or anything – man, woman, child, animal. It was endowed with an inborn lust for disorder and destruction. Now it had chosen the plague-ridden planet of Alvea for its next mission – to throw an entire world into eternal chaos and madness.
The Earth Consortium could send only an embittered killer and an untrained anthropologist to hunt down the Changeling. Yet, dangerous though it was, the Changeling was not the only peril the Earthmen faced on Alvea, or the worst – for the Alveans feared and hated Earth. Even a hint of the hunter’s identities would leave them dead and dismembered within minutes
Invading England after Charles II’s death, the Duke of Monmouth comes face-to-face with an old friend – Theophilus Oglethorpe. Oglethorpe, in common with only a handful of others, knows Monmouth’s background fully – not only that he is Charles’s son, but also that he has elven blood, and has allied himself with evil powers in order to take England’s crown. In fact, he is being used as a cat’s paw by one far more steeped in evil than himself…King Arthur, who would return to rule Britain and the entire world. Through London, Glastonbury, Sedgemoor and many stranger places unearthly battles rage, and the elves forsake their millennia-long neutrality…
Cassie did not feel the Soul Rider enter her body…
…but suddenly she knew that Anchor was corrupt. Knew that the Flux beyond Anchor was no formless void, from which could issue only mutant changelings and evil wizards…
…Flux was the source of Anchor’s existence!
The price of her knowledge is exile – the first confrontation with the Seven Who Wait for the redemption of World…
The sword Tyrfing has been broken to prevent it striking at the roots of Yggdrasil, the great tree that binds earth, heaven and hell together . . . but now the mighty sword is needed again to save the elves, who are heavily involved in their war against the trolls, and only Skafloc, a human child kidnapped and raised by the elves, can hope to persuade the mighty ice-giant, Bolverk, to make the sword Thor broke whole again. But things are never easy, and along the way Skafloc must also confront his shadow self, Valgard the changeling, who took his place in the world of men.
A superb dark fantasy of the highest, and most Norse, order The Broken Sword is a fantasy masterpiece.
The Lyonesse sequence evokes the Elder Isles, is a baroque land of pre-Arthurian myth now lost beneath the Atlantic, where powerful sorcerers, aloof faeries, stalwart champions, and nobles eccentric, magnanimous, and cruel pursue intrigue among their separate worlds . . .
When Princess madouc discovers that she is actually a changeling left by fairies in place of a baby boy, she sets out, with her servant and companion Pymfyd, to find her true identity. Madouc locates her mother, the fairy Twisk, easily enough, but her paternity poses a problem: Twisk is not certain who fathered her child.
Meanwhile, her uncle, King Casmir, attempts to conquer the whole island of Hybras, on which Lyonesse is located, and thwart the prophesy of Persilian the Magic Mirror that his sister’s son would one day rule. He is foiled at every turn by King Aillas of Troicinet and his son Dhrun, who is actually the child of the prophesy, but is older than expected because of a youth spent in the fairy shee (home), where time runs differently. A sly mixture of satire and epic, Vance’s medieval tale is a delightful conclusion to an epic fantasy trilogy.
Winner of the World Fantasy Award for best novel, 1990