‘Valentine looked downward. Everything was black, a pool of night rising from the floor. That blackness seemed to be beckoning to him. Come, a quiet voice was saying, here is your path, here is your destiny: night, darkness, doom. Yield. Yield, Lord Valentine, Coronal that was, Pontifex that will never be. Yield . . .’ Valentine is now established as Coronal of Majipoor, about to undertake the grand processional, but filled with inexplicable despond, still shadowed by the dark cloud that had passed across his soul in Labyrinth. His foreboding proves to be not without foundation as soon he faces a planetary crisis – the shapeshifting Metamorphs are sabotaging the crops upon which Majipoor’s billions depend – and a conflict, about how the suddenly turbulent planet should be ruled, with his protégé and heir-apparent, Hissune. Only after this crisis has been overcome and the conflict with Hissune resolved can Valentine fulfil his proper destiny and succeed to the title of Pontifex.
From one of the masters of SF comes this new collection of stories, all set on his most famous creation – the world of Majipoor. A massive world of adventure, romance and danger. A place where dreams can soothe the restless or flay the minds of the guilty. Where humans, aliens and natives live in a shifting, uneasy alliance and where two great men rule over all. No matter who bears the title, there is always a Coronal and a Pontifex, forever miles apart, forever striving to maintain the balance of their far-flung civilisation. Here, collected for the first time, are the final tales of Majipoor. From the earliest legends of the Shapeshifters to an untold mystery late in the reign of Valentine Pontifex, the seven stories in this collection expand upon and flesh out the remarkable world that Robert Silverberg has created. Spanning a decade of writing from one of the masters of science-fiction, this collection is both a fantastic introduction for those new to Majipoor and a welcome return for those who have visited before.