Steven Brust:The Phoenix Guards

It's not absolutely necessary to have read The Three Musketeers before reading this book, but it would certainly help. Likewise with Brust's previous Vlad Taltos series of books.

The book takes place in Dragaera a while before the Interregnum, the time of chaos just ended in the Vlad Taltos books. Dragaeran lifespans being what they are, there's at least one character in common, and also the parents of others.

The ostensible 'writer' of the book is Paarfi, a post-Interregnum historian whom Brust deliberately writes in the style of Dumas, or rather of Dumas's translators. He is almost another character in his own right. One might get a bit impatient with his style, but others will probably find it delightful. (The Author's Note at the end he writes about Brust is nothing short of hilarious.)

Like in Dumas, the action rarely slows down. Before they go on the mission that takes up the bulk of the book, things get a bit slow as we spend time showing what the villains are up to, but after that it takes off and continues flying.

This is the first of a planned trilogy, the other two books also intended to parallel Musketeer books--Five Hundred Years After, now out in paperback, and the still-forthcoming The Viscount of Adrilankha. A departure from the down-to-earth style of the Vlad Taltos books, that just shows how versatile Brust is as a writer.

%A Brust, Steven
%T The Phoenix Guards
%I Tor
%C New York
%D August 1991
%G ISBN 0-812-50689-8
%P 491 pp.
%S Phoenix Guards
%V Book 1
%O Paperback, US$4.99, Can$5.99

Click here to go back to Alfvaen's Review Page.

The Den of Ubiquity / Aaron V. Humphrey / alfvaen@gmail.com