Kirth Gersen carries in his pocket a slip of paper with a list of five names written upon it – the names of five Demon Princes. The Demon Princes are a race of beings who disguise themselves as humans and delight in power and destruction. However, to Kirth they are merely murderers who killed his family and destroyed his home planet – and who deserve to die for those misdeeds. Three have already fallen at Kirth's hands, but there are two more names on the list, two more Princes who will live only long enough to regret their evil ways. Lens Larque was just as unique as the other Demon Princes – uniquely appalling. Howard Alan Treesong poisoned his friends, tortured his colleagues, and wrote his own horrific holy book, The Book of Dreams. But, clever as he may be, a galaxy-wide guessing game will be his undoing – and Kirth Gersen's sworn vengeance will be complete.'
”Jack Vance is one of the truly important science fiction writers of our day.” – Los Angeles Times Book Review
”Vance's descriptive eye is sharp, and his ear for the language is close to infallible.” – New York Newsday
”(Vance has) a velvety elegance that rivals John Gielgud reciting poetry... One of the treasures of science fiction.” – Washington Post Book World
John Holbrook "Jack" Vance (1916–2013) was an American mystery, fantasy and science fiction writer. Though most of his work has been published as by Jack Vance, he also wrote 11 mystery novels using his full name John Holbrook Vance, three under the pseudonym Ellery Queen, and once each using the pseudonyms Alan Wade, Peter Held, John van See, and Jay Kavanse.
Vance won the World Fantasy Award for Life Achievement in 1984 and he was a Guest of Honor at the 1992 World Science Fiction Convention in Orlando, Florida. The Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America made him its 14th Grand Master in 1997 and the Science Fiction Hall of Fame inducted him in 2001, its sixth class of two deceased and two living writers.