A thousand years before the birth of Vlad Taltos, the Dragaeran Empire is a hotbed of intrigue, sorcery, intrigue, wild adventure, and intrigue. For those who would be heroes, it is a delightful time to be alive-and an easy place to die. At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.
Brust's ( Phoenix ) latest does not involve the hero of his ongoing Vlad Taltos series, but it is set in the same world, Dragaera, 1000 years earlier, and shares the wit and exhuberance of the Taltos books. Khaavren, a young swordsman, sets out to join the Imperial Guards under the recently ascended Phoenix Emperor. On the way to the capital, he falls in with three other aspiring Guards, and they form an inseparable quartet of flashing blades and impeccable manners. Unwittingly, Khaavren and company are soon enmeshed in secret plots reaching from the Imperial Palace to the far borders of the empire, with only their skill, wits and blind luck to see them through. In self-conscious homage to the works of Alexandre Dumas and Raphael Sabatini, Brust blends snappy, playful dialogue with circuitous narrative passages. Although the plot's naked contrivance verges on parody, Khaavren and his friends are charming, albeit shallow, heroes whose adventure should win Brust more readers, if his adopted style does not throw them off. (Sept.) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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October 13, 2008
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