September 05, 2003

The Lord of Castle Black, by Steven Brust

This is the second volume of Brust's epic The Viscount of Adrilankha, which (like The Lord of the Rings) is really a single novel in three volumes. It's just as delightful as its predecessor--in fact, it's better--and I'm eagerly awaiting the publication of the third volume in the set.

For those who came in late, Brust has long been working on a series of historical novels set in the same world as his Vlad Taltos books. Yes, I said historical novels; they are (supposedly) written by a citizen of that world, Sir Paarfi of Roundwood, a verbose and increasingly testy academic; by the time of the current volume, his books have become quite popular in Dragaera and one senses that he's letting it go to his head.

If you like fantasy, and you haven't read any books by Steven Brust, then you need to do something about that. This, however enjoyable, is not the book to start with. Not only is the middle third of a single novel, but The Viscount of Adrilanhka, taken altogether, is the third novel in a larger series which Brust has written as an homage to Alexandre Dumas's Three Musketeers saga. These books are by no means simple retellings of Dumas' classic works--the plots are entirely different--but there are decided and amusing parallels. You can go to our Steven Brust page to find the other books.

And then there are the Vlad Taltos novels; start with Jhereg, or the more recent omnibus edition, The Book of Jhereg, which groups the first three or so Vlad novels.

Posted by Will Duquette at September 5, 2003 10:04 PM