If there were justice in the literary world, you’d think Steven Brust would have received more acclaim and notice, as Brust’s writing is crisp and lively, his pacing excellent.
As explained in an “interview” with the book’s pompous narrator, Brust writes for those who love to read, i.e. those who enjoy a good vocabulary, good grammar, good phrasing, and (indeed) a good story. This is not some “page-turner” to be engulfed at one-sitting; if you did that with a box of Godiva chocolates, you’d become ill and lose the appreciation for each one. Just so with each of the book’s chapters. The plot does slow a little too much in places — often due the musings of the intruding, over-erudite narrator — but there are worthy adages, tales and metaphors therein; don’t miss them.
This is a fine, fine work. The swashbuckling spirit of The Phoenix Guards remains intact, but partially cloaked by ominous portents. Do not miss these books if you enjoy a good tale (fantasy or otherwise). I look forward to reading the next one.