The first book in the 5 volume Demon Princes saga. The protagonists parents were murdered by a posse of 5 galactic criminals, the "demon princes". He vows revenge, and eliminates them one by one. In the process Vance does what he excels at: creating strange worlds, environments, customs, and adaptations that humans have made to live in these conditions.
* "Only Lord Dunsany could create worlds, names, atmospheres as magical as Jack Vance s; and Vance is a better storyteller." Poul Anderson
* "You can't possibly pass up any book by Jack Vance. He has perfected the trick of creating new worlds so deceptively real that after a while your own home seems imaginary." Jerry Pournelle
* Be warned: reading Vance is addictive. George R.R. Martin
* A modern classic by one of the great fantasy and science fiction writers of the 20th Century. A rare tale of an Earth so far in the future as to be nearly unrecognisable to the contemporary reader. Raymond E. Feist