Wednesday, August 22, 2007

The Phoenix Guards

The Phoenix Guards

Steven Brust

Date: 15 June, 1992   —   $7.99   —   Book

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Fiction, Fantasy

This is The Three Musketeers, even going so far as to have four instead of three (The Three Musketeers was about four musketeers, completely confusing the issue.) Instead of Porthos, Athos, Aramis, and d'Artagnan, you have Pel, Aerich, Tazendra, and Khaavren, not necessarily direct cognates. These four, of varying Houses (which in Dragaeran terms mean not only genetic heritage but personality types) have decided to join the Phoenix Guards and, of course, get into all manner of trouble.

The language is convoluted and flowery, the situations are ludicrous, and the adventure is quite real. Brust once said that he giggled all through the writing of this book and is vastly surprised that anyone would publish it. If you are the sort of person who giggles helplessly when confronted by flowery phrases that say very funny things*, then this is the book for you. If you are, instead, the sort of person who can't understand the appeal of Dumas or Jane Austen and just want the author to get to the point, then stick to Brust' Vlad Taltos novels. They are very different in style and should keep you entertained sufficiently.

*This may also work if you giggle when confronted by a character whose weapon of choice is a barstool, which he carries with him wherever he goes. And in the absence of someone to hit, he always has something to sit upon.

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