Book: The Phoenix Guards - Livre d'Or








Miscellaneous. Eclectic. Random. Perhaps markedly literate, or at least suffering from the compulsion to read any text that presents itself, including cereal boxes. * Blogroll * Strange words * More links * Bookies * Microblog * Recent comments * Humans only * Second degree * By topic * Cool posts * Writing * New post

Tags

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *



livredor
Book: The Phoenix Guards
Sunday, 01 February 2009 at 10:03 pm
Tags:

Previous Entry Next Entry


Author: Steven Brust

Details: (c) 1991 Steven Brust; PubTor 1992; ISBN 0-812-50689-8

Verdict: The Phoenix Guards doesn't quite live up to its premise.

Reasons for reading it: In common with many geeks, I like Brust and I like Dumas, so Brust doing Dumas sounded like a good thing.

How it came into my hands: cartesiandaemon lent it to me.

I wasn't as impressed by The Phoenix Guards as cartesiandaemon was. I mean, it's fun, and it's good to have extra stuff in set in that world, but the pastiche of bad translations of Dumas thing gets old long before you've extended it over a 500 page novel. Honestly, I think the best thing about the Vlad series is Vlad; the worldbuilding isn't bad, but it's his character that really carries it, whereas Khaavren is little more than a caricature of D'Artagnan.

That said, there are flashes of really hilariously funny writing, and the story is exciting enough to sustain interest even when the genre means that you know everything will work out out for the heroes in the end. It's perhaps obvious, but I did like making Porthos a woman. It's been something like twenty years since I read The three musketeers, and then only in translation, but as far as I can recall, tPG works well as midrash on it rather than a direct retelling.

So, I enjoyed tPG, but on a kind of mental candyfloss level, and I think I may be inspired to reread the original, perhaps in French since I read it when I was too young to read whole novels in French. (The other problem with Dumas pastiche is that it corrupts me into writing really pompously; I plunged into an internet flamewar with a comment that started I respectfully beg to differ, and it's all Paarfi's fault!)


Whereaboooots: Dragaera
Moooood: okayokay
Tuuuuune: The Bird and the Bee: Polite dance song
Discussion: 3 contributions | Contribute something
Tags:

Previous Entry Next Entry




Contribute something
View all comments chronologically



cartesiandaemon: default
From:cartesiandaemon
Date:February 3rd, 2009 12:21 am (UTC)
3 hours after journal entry
(Link)
I was possibly too blinded by my love to see the areas in which it isn't as strong. I think mainly, I just love that style. (I don't have as good a recollection of the overall story as I do of many individual moments.)

There'll hopefully be continued erudite comments on my entry when I get round to replying.

a comment that started I respectfully beg to differ, and it's all Paarfi's fault!)

:) COngrats. Where was that?
(Reply to this comment) (Thread)
siderea: default
From:siderea
Date:February 3rd, 2009 06:45 am (UTC)
9 hours after journal entry, 02:45 am (siderea's time)
(Link)
The other problem with Dumas pastiche is that it corrupts me into writing really pompously

I finished tPG shortly before having to write the invitation letter for my Pennsic camp. So, yeah. IKWYM.
(Reply to this comment) (Thread)
lethargic_man: default
From:lethargic_man
Date:February 3rd, 2009 10:45 am (UTC)
13 hours after journal entry, 11:45 am (lethargic_man's time)
(Link)
the pastiche of bad translations of Dumas thing gets old long before you've extended it over a 500 page novel.

That was my reaction precisely, particularly given that I'm a slow reader for a bibliophile. Sixty pages in, I was still not hooked, and wondering when the story was going to get going. Recall, the only reason Dumas wrote so long was because he was paid by the word, and wrote in serial form. That's not an excuse to the rest of the world. Things like the following got old fast:
"I have something to tell you," said Pel.
"You do?" said Khaavren.
"Yes, I do."
"Well, do so then."
"I shall."
"Indeed," said Khaavren.
"And?" said Tazendra, whose patience was wearing out.


Suffice it to say that by the time I reached the end I was fairly frothing at the mouth at the ridiculously overlong dialogues and narratorial digressions; the protagonists getting involved in multitudinous duels without getting injured themselves; the characters that couldn't see the answers to questions without having them patiently explained to them...

The cumulative effect of which was to put me off trying the Vlad Taltos books. Maybe I should give them a try, though, if you liked them.
(Reply to this comment) (Thread)



Contribute something
View all comments chronologically