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#236 Steven Brust: Brokedown Palace

Steven Brust: Brokedown Palace

Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: Orb Books; Reprint edition (5 Sep 2006)
ISBN-10: 0765315041
ISBN-13: 978-0765315045
Category(ies): Fantasy

Prince Miklós of Fenario is the youngest brother of the King László. With the other two princely brothers, they all live in the old palace, crumbling and leaking a bit, but still their home and the symbol of their kingdom. But when László loses his temper and drives Miklós from the palace, it starts Miklós wandering from mortal lands over into Faerie, where the inhabitants never grow old, and noone ever sees the sun in the sky.

In other words, into the world of Brust's Vlad Taltós books.

But that two years isn't covered in this story. Rather, it's what happens when Miklós returns, and meets a magical Taltós horse, and decides to confront the King's uncertain temper. And it's about the palace itself, surely doomed to collapse, which is almost as much of a character as any real person herein. In the end, the result is a mixture of hope and melancholy, with a slightly unfinished feel to it. And being built on a Magyar base rather than one of the usual bases of modern Fantasy, brings a refreshing difference. It's also small scale (yes, there is a dragon, but that's not actually important), with perhaps a dozen real characters and no epic quests to worry about. All in all, a memorable book, worth this new republication 20 years on.
Tags: books, reviews
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