Short Story Review: “The Seventh Shrine”

“The Seventh Shrine”
Majipoor series
By Robert Silverberg
Collected in Legends
Edited by Robert Silverberg

Set on the planet Majipoor, “The Seventh Shrine” follows Pontifex Valentine, human ruler of Majipoor, as he investigates the murder of an alien archaeologist at a government-sponsored dig.

The team of archaeologists have been tasked to uncover and restore an ancient Piurivar city. When the team discovers and plans to open a sealed shrine, the lead Piurivar archaeologist is discovered dismembered. Valentine travels to the site, but everyone seems to be keeping a secret from the Pontifex.

When the secret is revealed to be the grave of a former Pontifex, Valentine gives orders to open the sealed shrine. The Piurivar holy man objects, but Valentine ignores his objections and enters the vault.

“The Seventh Shrine” was very well-written and enjoyable, but it also seemed more akin to science fiction than fantasy. I might consider picking up more books in the series when I am looking for a well-told story, but based on this novella I would read something different to get my fantasy fix. I would recommend this story to anyone who is a fan of the series or who is just looking for a good read.

This review originally appeared 10 November 2012 on

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