L ord Valentine's Castle is the romantic novel by which Silverberg inaugurated a new period of fecundity, after the sabbatical he chose to take for the period of 1974-1978. According to accounts given in interviews, the idea for the book came into his mind spontaneously, an indication that his creative energies — sapped by intense periods of work — were undergoing a renewal.
At any rate, a proposal for the book presented to a publisher in the spring of 1978 was rewarded with a generous contract.
The main themes of Lord Valentine's Castle are the recovery of identity, which has been lost through carelessness and immaturity, and the attainment of one's kingdom or birthright through spiritual growth and the employment of guile without malice.
These themes are rich in narrative possibilities, and Silverberg spares no effort in elaborating the tale of Valentine's quest. The novel describes a richly...