The Phoenix Guards

Posted by : atcampbell | On : April 1, 1997

The Phoenix Guards by Steven Brust

On April 1, seven of us gathered at the FACT Office to discuss Steven Brust’s The Phoenix Guards. The book is a swashbuckling romp in the tradition of Dumas and Sabatini, with a few minor fantasy elements thrown in. We all enjoyed the book immensely. Brust’s prose style was a clever and humorous pastiche of classic adventure writing (The multiple-page discussion of “brevity” was particularly amusing) . We loved the book’s clever forward and afterward, supposedly written by a fictional narrator. The book is set in the distant past of Brust’s well-known Vlad Taltos series, so the story definitely does not take place in our world. Various races of people have lifespans ranging from decades to millennia, and gender roles in society are different. Brust’s four main characters all have distinctive and enjoyable personalities, although it goes without saying that each is a master fighter. There are so many wonderful and clever touches to this book that I can’t even begin to mention them all, so let me repeat the recommendation of our group: “Read This Book!”

–A. T. Campbell, III