The Seventh Shrine by Robert Silverberg
My rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
The world of Majipoor colonized by humans who conquered the native population is currently governed by an eccentric, by cultural standards, emperor who is attempting to reconcile with the native species, Metamorphs. One of projects is an archaeological study of the ancient abandoned capital of the native Metamorphs, which is considered accursed by both races. The project goes well until the lead-Metamorph scientists is ritualistically murdered. The emperor Valentine, comes the ancient capital to investigate the crime during which he confronts prejudiced, secrets, and cultural mistaken memories.
Overall the story is fine, though for some one having never read any Majipoor works before things are hard to figure out sometimes especially in understanding the ending which requires knowledge of a previous book. However this fact also undermines the story because instead of Valentine remembering the knowledge he has of the “defilement” of the ancient capital when he first arrives it only because relevant near the climax with the solving of the mystery.