"A book as exotic and complex as a mosaic in a Coptic chapel. The story begins in dreams and fantasies, with tales of bizarre rites, miracles and wonders, as the author emphasizes, of unicorns and unipeds, a kingdom that bordered Eden itself."
San Francisco Chronicle
"Silverberg has pieced together the life history of the myth of Prester John, the astonishing Christian potentate of the East—a legend which cast a powerful spell over Latin Christendom for centuries. Rumors of the warrior-king-prelate's fabulous realms first reached Europe in the eleventh century where they quickly assumed an exalted status alongside such wonders as El Dorado, The Fountain of Youth, and the Holy Grail. The defeat of a menacing Moslem Turkish tribe by a Buddhist Chinese warlord seems to have been the unlikely historical nugget around which the splendiferous myth grew, but contributions to this strange saga have also been traced to the Apostle Thomas' apocryphal preaching in India, to the actual existence of small colonies of Nestorian schismatics in central Asia, and—incredibly—to Ghengis Khan… Silverberg serves up the fantastic details lavishly while diligently striving to sort out the shadowy facts from the imaginative incrustations."
Robert Silverberg, whose work is well known to science fiction fans, originally published The Realm of Prester John in 1972. The first modern account of the genesis of a great medieval myth—which was perpetuated for centuries by European Christians who looked to Asia and Africa for a strong ruler out of the east—Silverberg's romantic and fabulous tale is now available in paperback for the first time.
Robert Silverberg, author of such science fiction classics as Lord Valentine’s Castle, also writes books reflecting his special interest in myth, history, archaeology, and anthropology.
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