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Book Reviews: The Phoenix Guards + Five Hundred Years After

The Phoenix Guards by Steven Brust
The d’Artagnan Romances are transferred to a fantasy setting in which four strangers become friends, join the Imperial Guards and have long winded adventures. Khaavren (d’Artagnan), Tazendra (Porthos), Pel (Aramis) and Aerich (Athos) have overwritten and slightly dull swashbuckling fun. Through the vicissitudes of fate and much purple prose, adventure is had and a friendship is formed. This was followed by the enjoyable ‘Five Hundred Years After’ and the rancid ‘Paths Of The Dead’, ‘Lord Of Castle Black’ and ‘Sethra Lavode’.

Best Lines:
“In which the plot, behaving in much the manner of a soup to which starch has been added, begins at last, to thicken.”

“Remove the point of your sword from my throat, where it hampers my elocution.”

“Ruffians breaking furniture over each other.”

“Poor advisors to whom he listens.”

“Well, you will understand, I hope, if I do my utmost to kill you.”

~
Five Hundred Years After by Steven Brust
The sequel to ‘The Phoenix Guards’ sees Khaavren still serving the Emperor loyally as plots and disorder doom the empire. A nobleman plans on eliciting a reaction from the Emperor and his ambition is the aggravating factor in the disaster to come. Khaavren has a meet cute with his future wife. The empire comes to an unceremonious end but friendship remains. This was good but not profound.

Best Lines:
“Are you waving that around because you intend to use it, or merely to emphasize a gesture?”

“I have just realized that I am bleeding, and I ought to do something about this.”

“Had sat down suddenly and without first being certain of the location of his chair.”

“With the same thoroughness I formerly displayed in skewering anyone who looked at me in a manner not to my liking.”

“You seem pale and are pitching most alarmingly.”

“He is the Prime Minister; why should he know anything.”

“With all the expression of a wall from which the lone painting has just been removed.”

“You annoy me.”
Tags: book review, musketeers
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