[The Star King (1964) -- "Demon Princes" series # 1] Tinham o nome de Star Kings, mas não eram uma dinastia reinando sobre as estrelas, e sim uma raça alienígena. Uma raça estranha, de répteis, que por um singular capricho da natureza evoluíra paralelamente ao homem, assumindo-lhe a forma exterior. E sob esse disfarce natural circulavam por toda a Galáxia, confundidos com os homens verdadeiros. Uma dessas criaturas de aparência humana, mas interiormente um Star King, integrava o grupo dos cinco Príncipes-Demônios que semeavam o pânico pelos planetas habitados. Nínguem sabia sua identidade, em que "homem" se escondia. Apenas seu nome era citado com horror: Attel Malagate, o Maldito. Mas fosse ele quem fosse, Kirth Gersen tinha de ir no seu encalço, para vingar o massacre de seu povo pelos Príncipes-Demônios. Fora preparado a vida inteira para essa tarefa!
[From Wikipedia] The Demon Princes is a five-book series of science fiction novels by Jack Vance, which cumulatively relate the story of one Kirth Gersen as he exacts his revenge on five notorious criminals, collectively known as the Demon Princes, who carried the people of his village off into slavery during his childhood. Each novel deals with his pursuit of one of the five Princes. The book titles -- Gersen's antagonists, and a few details of their plots, in order of publication:
• The Star King (1964). The antagonist is Attel Malagate, a renegade from a species called the Star Kings, who are driven to imitate and surpass the most successful species they encounter; with their contact with humanity in antiquity, they began consciously evolving into imitations of human beings. The bait Gersen uses to trap him is an undeveloped and fantastically beautiful planet whose location is known only to Gersen, which Malagate covets to become the father of a new race that can outdo both humans and his own species.
• The Killing Machine (1964). Kokor Hekkus, a 'hormagaunt', has prolonged his life by the vivisection of human beings to obtain hormones and other substances from their living bodies. But eternal life can be boring, and so he has converted the lost planet Thamber into a stage wherein he acts out his fantasies.
• The Palace of Love (1967). Viole Falushe, an impotent megalomaniac ironically fixated on sex. He was so obsessed with a girl in his youth, that he created a number of clones of her in a vain attempt to generate one which would return his love. This novel contains one of Vance's most compelling and unforgettable characters, the mad poet, Navarth, who has a central role.
• The Face (1979). Lens Larque, a sadist and monumental trickster. In the course of the novel, the protagonist experiences some of the same outrages that motivated the villain to concoct his most grandiose jest, leading to one of the most humorous endings in all Vance's work.
• The Book of Dreams (1981). Howard Alan Treesong, a 'chaoticist', who embodies elements of all the foregoing, and has the most imaginatively ambitious plans of all. He attempts to take-over the 3 major organisations of the Oikumene - the IPCC (law enforcement), the Jarnell Corporation (space ship technology), and the Institute (political and social power).
Fantasia / Aventura / Ficção científica / Suspense e Mistério / Romance / Literatura Estrangeira