EPS Review #119 - King of Morning Queen of Day

King of Morning Queen of Day, by Ian McDonald, Bantam, 1991, 389pp.

I liked McDonald's River of Gods, so when I came across the rave reviews on Amazon for this fantasy novel by the same author, I figured it was a safe bet. But I hated it! I ploughed through heaps of purple prose, yet there was no plot as a reward. There are three stories in order about young women who feel the fatal pull of Faerie. One succumbs, the others do not. There are no interesting minor characters or sub-plots. The girly bits (pregnancy, losing the magic with one's virginity) were all right, I suppose, but nothing like Lyra in the Pullman books. I kept comparing KMQD unfavorably with Zelazny's excellent Amber novels. Zelazny indulges in some ornate writing during the trips through "shadow", but it is fun to read, if only on the second time through. The first time you are too driven by the lively plot to pause for the effects. Anyway, avoid KMQD.