October 16, 2003

The Lord of Castle Black by Steven Brust

cover picPaarfi cracks me up.

For anyone not familiar with this series, Brust is writing in the spirit of Alexandre Dumas's The Three Musketeers and its many sequels. Brust has made the story reasonable by setting them in his Dragaeran universe, the same milieu as his Vlad Taltos books, though much earlier in that world's history. In order to make the style reasonable he has introduced the conceit that the books are written by a Dragaeran historian, one Paarfi of Roundwood. Paarfi writes popular history conveniently in a style similar to that of Dumas. This translates into a very stylized sort of exposition which you will either love or hate. I think it's hilarious, but judging from Becky's reaction every time I read passages to her, she might not.

This is the second volume in a three-part novel called The Viscount of Adrilanka. As a second volume, it predictably consists of lots of character positioning and one really big battle, all of which gets everyone into place for the exciting conclusion. Of course since this is by Brust, the inventor of the "cool" theory of fiction writing, it's a lot more fun than that sounds, but it really is the nature of this book, and even his cool flourishes aren't quite enough to make the book shine on its own. As part of the series, though, it's a fun read and leaves enough things unresolved to make me look forward to the final volume: Sethra Lavode.

Posted by jeffy at October 16, 2003 02:50 PM
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