At last, the sequel to Brust's glittering bestseller, The Phoenix Guards: Five Hundred Years After In which our Heroes-Khaavren, Pel, Aerich and Tazendra-are reunited again a mere five centuries later...just in time for an uprising that threatens to destroy the Imperial Orb itself! This is the story of the conspiracy against the Empire that begins in the mean streets of Underside and flourishes in the courtly politics of the Palace where Khaavren has loyally served in the Guards this past half-millennium. It is the tale of the Dragonlord Adron's overweening schemes, of his brilliant daughter Aliera, and of the eldritch Sethra Lavode. And it is the tale of four boon companions, of love, and of revenge...a tale from the history of Dragaera, of the events that changed the world. At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.
This sequel to Brust's The Phoenix Guard comes close to crossing the line into self-indulgence but is saved by ultimately becoming a rollicking good read. Initially, however, the narrative is buried in such a flow of periphrasis that the reader begins to suspect the dialogue is a metaphor for the Dragaeran Empire's decadence. The suspicion is belied, however, when even Khaavren--the supposedly terse guard captain, who with companions Pel, Aerich and Tazendra is a main protagonist--rambles on. The action accelerates when the Emperor Tortaalik I becomes more imperial and several characters fall in love with Aliera, daughter of Lord Adron (who has his eyes on Tortaalik's throne). The dialogue picks up to keep pace with mounting tension. The author's delight in his creation is ultimately contagious and there is certainly enough adventure to satisfy most readers. If these characters often seem more cautious and world-weary than they did in the first volume (excepting the delightful Tazendra), and the novel is occasionally trying, it is nevertheless a first-rank addition to Brust's works. (Apr.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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August 17, 2009
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