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The Lord of Castle Black by Steven Brust

The Lord of Castle Black (2003)

by Steven Brust

Other authors: Neil Gaiman (Afterword), Teresa Nielsen Hayden (Editor)

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Dragaera: Khaavren Romances (3b), Dragaera, Viscount of Adrilankha (2)

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Showing 1-5 of 7 (next | show all)
Steven Brust has been one of my favorite authors for several years now. I have followed the adventures of Vlad and picked up a few other books by Brust.

I stumbled upon a very nice 1st edition hardcover of “The Lord of Castle Black” the other day at one of the nicest used bookstores I’ve had the pleasure to peruse and just had to snag it. Of course I have the paperback version for awhile now, but I do have a hardcover fetish.

Castle Black is part of Bursts’ “The Khaavren Romances” and is of course a good read (is there anything by Brust that isn’t?). For fans of Vlad the writing style in the Romances can be a bit of a shock. At my 1st go I actually had to dig out a copy of Dragon to confirm that the author was in fact the same!

Brust meets Dumas and decides to toss the Three Musketeers on their heads. Great fun and good action makes this a book you really should give a go. ( )
  WDBooks | Apr 24, 2010 |
Morrolan, the future lord of Castle Black, must help the new Empress keep her throne. Having the Orb and all doesn't help much, with the Empire splintered many ways, and no idea who is on what side. However, having Morrolan on your side along with his powerful friends is a very good start.
If you like Brust's other books about Vlad and the Empire, you'll like this one. ( )
  Karlstar | Sep 6, 2009 |
Book 4 of the Khaavren series-the plot thickens!: As others have mentioned, this may be Book 2 of the Viscount trilogy, but it's actually book 4 of a series, and you DO need to read the previous 3 in order to appreciate this one.

I have noticed, as time goes by, that there is a pattern to opinions about the Khaavren series: those who started reading Steven Brust's Vlad Taltos series first, and bought one of the Khaavren books because it was by Brust, don't seem to appreciate the Khaavren books as much. Those of us, on the other hand, who started on Brust with this series, or with some of Brust's other fantasies entirely, seem to enjoy the Khaavren books more. I believe it's a question both of writing style, and of one's definition of action. Thus, if you really, really like the Vlad Taltos books, and you expect these to be similar, it may be that you will be less than enchanted with these.

I believe that those who have read a lot of older literature - Dumas, as many have mentioned, and definitely Shakespeare - will enjoy this book, and the Khaavren series, more than the Vlad Taltos fans will, on average. (Of course, every reader has a unique background and a unique perspective - don't let me stop you from reading!!) Certainly a background of the Three Musketeers (and not the movie, people!) helps one appreciate what's going on here - but a knowledge of, say, the battles in Shakespeare's Richard and Henry plays, does not come at all amiss. And a comfort level with the intricate language of Shakespeare, as well as the overwrought prose of Dumas, gives one the stamina to follow Paarfi's extensive perorations.

Let me also mention that there's a dash of Romeo and Juliet in here, with lovers from different houses and their disapproving families. Those who feel that there is not enough action in this book, apparently do not consider a good heartbreaking love story to be action. But it is! So is the evolution of the magic taking place - if moving hundreds of warriors via magic/mental powers, over hundreds of miles, which has never been done before in this world, is not action, then what is? There are no slow moments if one is interested in emotion and magic as well as in swords and battle; there is always something happening between people.

As with previous books in the series, if you do like it, it has an effect on you: you talk funny for days afterward, if not weeks! Hey, if you are planning on taking the GREs or GMATs, this series is a terrific vocabulary builder!! There will be nothing in the verbal section that you can't handle, if you enjoy and appreciate Paarfi!

In short - if you already like this series, this volume is a must; if you like Dumas and Shakespeare, you'll like this; if you like Vlad Taltos, then start in on this series in cautious, easy steps.
1 vote iayork | Aug 9, 2009 |
Some books I love for the characters, some I love for the plots, some for the premise. This series I love for the writing, the sheer joy of playing with words that is evident on every page. I'd probably have given it 5 stars even if nothing happened, just because I had so much fun reading it.

The Lord of Castle Black is volume 2 of the third book in the series that starts with The Phoenix Guards. It takes place in the same universe as his Vlad Taltos series, but is written in a completely different style.

In this volume, Zerika has brought the Orb out of the Paths of the Dead, but only a few people know this--most everyone else thinks she died there. There are several factions fighting for control, including a pretender to the throne; Zerika's small band, including our old pals Khaavren, Pel, Aerich, & Tazendra; and Morrolan, who's just taken over his estates. There's action and intrigue as they maneuver and fight each other.

There's also the story of how Morrolan develops magic and how he comes to have a floating castle (the Castle Black of the title), as well as his introduction to and subsequent alliance with Sethra Lavode, the enchantress of Dzur Mountain.

And there's Khaavren's son Piro, the Viscount of Adrilankha, with an ill-fated love affair and a reunion with his father.

So there's action, romance, intrigue, and magic--plenty to keep the story moving. But if the writing doesn't grab you, I'd think it would drive you nuts. This is definitely one of those YMMV series. If you're not fond of, say, first person narratives, you can often make an exception if the story's really good. I'm not sure that would be the case with this series, because the writing is so distinctive, it's almost a character in itself. Here's a sample:

..."you must understand that this answer, laconic as it is, only produces more questions."
"How, does it?"
"I promise you it does."
"Well, I cannot help that."
"But can you answer them?
"My dear sir, should you but ask, I will turn my entire attention to doing so."
"Very well, let me begin then."
"You perceive that I am listening."

If that makes you want to smack one of the speakers, the series probably isn't for you. ( )
1 vote Darla | Nov 23, 2008 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Steven Brustprimary authorall editionscalculated
Gaiman, NeilAfterwordsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Hayden, Teresa NielsenEditorsecondary authorall editionsconfirmed
Bowman, EricCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Russo, CarolCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0812534190, Mass Market Paperback)

With his bestselling novel The Phoenix Guards, Steven Brust took readers to a time a thousand years before the events of his popular Vlad Taltos novels. Its sequel, Five Hundred Years After, was hailed by Science Fiction Chronicle as the best fantasy novel of the year.
Now, in the Viscount of Adrilankha series, Brust has returned to the Khaavren epic, first with The Paths of the Dead, and now with its direct continuation, The Lord of Castle Black...a novel that gives Vlad Taltos and Khaavren fans alike a new look at one of Brust's most popular characters, the Dragonlord Morrolan.
Along the way, we'll also encounter swordplay, intrigues, quests, battles, romance, snappy dialogue, and the missing heir to the Imperial Throne. It's an old-fashioned adventure, moving at a twenty-first-century pace.

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:17:00 -0400)

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