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Brokedown Palace Paperback – September 5, 2006


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Editorial Reviews

Review

"Brust is an indubitable master of swashbuckling high fantasy."
--Booklist on Five Hundred Years After

"Steven Brust just might be America's best fantasy writer."
--Tad Williams on Steven Brust

"Watch Steven Brust. He's good. He moves fast. He surprises you. Watching him untangle the diverse threads of intrigue, honor, character and mayhem from amid the gears of a world as intricately constructed as a Swiss watch is a rare pleasure."
--Roger Zelazny on Steven Brust

"Delightful, exciting and sometimes brilliant, Steven Brust is the latest in a line of great Hungarian writers, which (I have no doubt) includes Alexandre Dumas, C. S. Forester, Mark Twain, and the author of the juciest bits of the Old Testament."
--Neil Gaiman on Steven Brust

About the Author

Steven Brust is the bestselling author of Issola, Dragon, The Phoenix Guards, Five Hundred Years After, and many others. A native of Minneapolis, he currently lives in Las Vegas.
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Orb Books (September 5, 2006)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765315041
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765315045
  • Product Dimensions: 5.5 x 0.8 x 8.5 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 11.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #751,878 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

4.2 out of 5 stars

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 7, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Brokedown Palace is not high fantasy. It is not the story of the Great and Noble (or the Simple and Humble) Overcoming Great Evil. It is, rather, about four brothers dealing with themselves and each other during some extraordinary events in their lives. But Brust integrates the magical and fantastic with the ordinary in surprising and unusual ways. The focus is always on the relationships of the characters, and Brust uses a brief, sketchy style to paint what is at heart a very complex portrait.

Set in the world of Brust's Vlad Taltos series - albeit in a completely different part - Brokedown Palace offers some tantalizing hints of how the pieces of these very different stories may fit together. I read Brokedown Palace before the Taltos books, and have found additional pleasure in re-reading it since then.
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23 of 28 people found the following review helpful By William Bourdeau on July 14, 2004
Format: Mass Market Paperback
That is not a misspelling of dedication, the book is Deadicated to the members and lyric writers of the Grateful Dead in the mid-80's. All the "legends" are created from various Grateful Dead songs. For example, the boy trying to win the Princess meets the Demon Goddess in three guises, one twice his age, one twice his height, and one twice his weight. That's a reference to the song "I Need a Miracle". The wolf sleeping by the stream where the woodcutter's son finds the silver mine is a reference to the song "Cassidy". There is no Dead album called "Brokedown Palace" it's a song from the "American Beauty" album.
"River gonna take me, sing me sweet and sleepy..."
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10 of 11 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on December 9, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Steven Brust had outdone himself. Brokedown Palace is a book written in the style of a Hungarian folk tale, with all of the dark, gothic mystery, and none of the Disney-esque cuteness. This is not a children's fairy tale. The characters are complex, and the plot is both powerful and subtle. Devoted readers of Brust may notice the veiled references to the world of his Taltos series; the connection makes a fantastic book even more enjoyable.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Wendell on September 9, 2013
Format: Paperback
Brokedown Palace is a fantasy fable, as told by Stephen Brust.

The tale itself is set in the Dragaeran world of Vlad Taltos in the human (Easterner) kingdom of Fenario, which borders the land of Faerie (Dragaera). Legend tells that mighty Fenarr established the land and brought it peace by riding a Taltos horse (talking horse) across the mountains into Faerie, where he took up the magic sword Allam, and forced the lords of Faerie to swear to leave his people alone forever. (Of course, another view of the legend of Fenarr is found in The Phoenix Guards, where we see him from the Faerie (Dragaera) view point.)

If you are interested in reading this book because it is set in Brust's Dragaera, I would feel remiss in not pointing out that - while the dragaera are mentioned at various times in the story - they have little part in the actual plot of this tale. So be forewarned.

The majority of the action in Brokedown Palace takes place within the confines of the actually Palace of the Fenario Kings, which has become a crumbling ruin. There King Laszlò, the oldest of four brothers, rules in his father's stead, aware of the decay of his home but steadfastly determined to maintain the status quo. With him resides his three brothers: Prince Andor, the second oldest, is a man seeking meaning in his life; Prince Vilmos is a giant of a man, endowed with physical strength and limited intellect - or so it seems; and lastly, Miklòs, who is the deep thinker of the family.

Our tale begins with Miklòs and King Laszlò having argued, and the younger brother throwing himself into the mighty river beside the palace to save his life.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 12, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is my favorite Brust book (and I like Brust). This book clearly fits into the Vlad series, SOMEHOW, but also has a great deal to do with the album containing its namesake song... You can find nearly all (if not all) of the songs alluded to, and yes, it pretty much starts "on its hands and knees by the riverside".
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
It had been a while since I read Steven, and it took a while to get back into his writing style.

However, his dry humor and understated narrative works for me, as long as I work to follow it.

I found Brokedown Palace to be rather dark and a little less funny that some of his other work. I am also still confused about Brigitta. Possibly because I took about a two month break right in the middle of reading.

That being said, I still very much enjoyed this story. I loved the interactions between the brothers and the complex relationship they shared. The way they each evolved as the story progressed. I especially loved Vilmos and his dedication to his Norska.

I loved that the conflict seemingly revolved around the condition of the palace, but there was really so much more at stake and at risk.

The other characters (Brigitta, Mariska, Sandor, Viktor, Bolk) were at times mystifying, but definitely added depth to the story. I had to learn that I didn't have to understand what was going on when some of these characters said things. I just had to trust that I would understand in the long run.

I find that Steven Brust is by no means an easy read, but I for one think it is worth the work to read - and enjoy!
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