I actually read this before the previous one, but forget to write about it. Perhaps that’s because I didn’t enjoy it very much.
Jack Vance is considered one of the greats of SF, and I realised recently that I hadn’t read anything by him. And I had this big volume that Gollancz gave away at a convention some time, containing this and two other books (another novel and a collection of short stories). A sort of literary compilation album.
But not a Greatest Hits — or if it is, then things are pretty bad.
The main problem is that it’s dated. Usually we can work around that sort of thing, and I did — look at me, all finished with it — but the main thing here is that it’s just badly written. Cardboard characters, dodgy sexual politics, and a plot that, while interesting enough to get me through it, is far too easily resolved.
And there’s the background of an Earth empire or federation or similar, that we see essentially notthing of. Instead the action is all confined to the eponymous planet. It ‘revolutionised the planetary romance,’ according to the blurb. And, indeed it was important to the form according to the linked SF Encyclopedia entry.
So much for that. All I can say is, it didn’t do a lot for me.