JACK VANCE – The Palace of Love. Demon Princes #3. Serialized in Galaxy SF, December 1996 through February 1967. Berkley X1454, paperback, October 1967. Cover by Richard Powers. Daw UE1442, paperback, February 1979.

   Keith Gerson managed to obtain a fortune for use in his life’s single purpose – revenge against his parents’ murderer. The hunt for the third is this story. The trail of Violo Falushe leads him to a mad poet Navarth; Drusilla, his ward; and then to the notorious Palace of Love. Falushe is killed and the love of Drusilla turned down.

   The first installment [of the serial version] is the best; at the beginning, trips to far-flung planets are a necessary part of Gerson’s hunt and are reminiscent of Delany in descriptive wonder. As the search narrows down, so does the tale itself slow down, to the pace of the final walk to the palace. The symbolism of that place escapes me, but there must be something more to it other than boredom.

Rating: ***½

–December 1967