Reviews of Face, the (1979)
Review by clong (2007-09-29)
This is my third "Demon Princes" novel, and my least favorite to date. It certainly has its strengths: Gersen is still a compelling character, the villain is reasonably colorful, and the world building is intriguing.
On the other hand, the romance is truly ludicrous and the ending is really pretty ridiculous, both in its suddenness and in its content. You’ve almost got to think that this was a case where Vance had committed to providing a manuscript of X word count and, upon realizing he had reached the magic number, tacked on an abrupt two page climax and dropped the manuscript in the mail with a request for immediate payment from the publisher.
Still, I will keep the other two novels on my "to be read list."
Review by kirwar4face (2003-04-12)
Many years had gone by without a new Demon Princes novel when DAW in the late 1970's, undertaking to publish the whole of Jack Vance's work, contracted for a continuation, ushering forth the fourth and fattest of the series. The Face is delicious for its meticulous exposition of the fascinating and repellent society of the Darsh of Dar Sai, home of monster criminal Lens Larque. The sport of Hadaul is invented in such detail that a person with sufficient wherewithal could hire a field and organize a league within two weeks. Chapter openings are generously furnished with muffledly hilarious scholarship concerning Galactic culture, the Demon Princes, etcetera. And, for the ladies, there is high adventure and romance as Kirth Gersen, in love with a high-born Methlen girl, relentlessly seeks to destroy Lens Larque before that villain's own revenge bears fruit.