Brust, Steven: (202) Five Hundred Years After

It’s the weekend, and I have a copy of Steven Brust’s Five Hundred Years After, the sequel to The Phoenix Guards. Re-reading this was a very weird experience. On one level, I was processing the plot—conspiracies, adventures, and assassinations, all leading up to Adron’s Disaster (“I was afraid Daddy would cause trouble sooner or later,” as Aliera commented about a later consequence of the Disaster—not, note, the Disaster itself, which tells you something about Aliera). On the other level, I was noting all the places where Paarfi must be making all this up: thoughts and actions of people dying in the Disaster, with none around them escaped to tell thee; conversations between people who Paarfi claims haven’t been seen since and people who would never talk to Paarfi; differences between his account and Aliera’s, who was certainly there; and so on. Which makes, as I said, for a very weird re-reading experience. Next time, I shall try to have to ignore the second level and sink more fully into the story. (This is much easier to do in The Phoenix Guards, because of the nature of its plot, which also happens to be more fun.)

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  1. This was also posted to rec.arts.sf.written; people with access to Usenet might take their comments on it there.

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