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Five Hundred Years After (The Khaavren Romances) Mass Market Paperback – March 15, 1995


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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

This sequel to Brust's The Phoenix Guard comes close to crossing the line into self-indulgence but is saved by ultimately becoming a rollicking good read. Initially, however, the narrative is buried in such a flow of periphrasis that the reader begins to suspect the dialogue is a metaphor for the Dragaeran Empire's decadence. The suspicion is belied, however, when even Khaavren--the supposedly terse guard captain, who with companions Pel, Aerich and Tazendra is a main protagonist--rambles on. The action accelerates when the Emperor Tortaalik I becomes more imperial and several characters fall in love with Aliera, daughter of Lord Adron (who has his eyes on Tortaalik's throne). The dialogue picks up to keep pace with mounting tension. The author's delight in his creation is ultimately contagious and there is certainly enough adventure to satisfy most readers. If these characters often seem more cautious and world-weary than they did in the first volume (excepting the delightful Tazendra), and the novel is occasionally trying, it is nevertheless a first-rank addition to Brust's works.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Library Journal

Intrigue in the emperor's palace and revolution in the streets of the underside drive Phoenix guard Khaavren and his longtime companions to action in defense of an empire that may be near the end of its cycle. Full of flamboyant action and arch dialog, this latest adventure in Brust's popular "Dragaeran" novels pits sword against sorcery in classic swashbuckling style. Deliberately reminiscent of the romantic adventures of Dumas, this lush tale of conspiracy, love, magic, and swordplay should enjoy a wide readership.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 576 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Fantasy; 1st edition (March 15, 1995)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812515226
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812515220
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,396,869 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Born in Minneapolis, Minnesota, and raised in a family of Hungarian labor organizers, Steven Brust worked as a musician and a computer programmer before coming to prominence as a writer in 1983 with Jhereg, the first of his novels about Vlad Taltos, a human professional assassin in a world dominated by long-lived, magically-empowered human-like "Dragaerans." Over the next several years, several more "Taltos" novels followed, interspersed with other work, including To Reign in Hell, a fantasy re-working of Milton's war in Heaven; The Sun, the Moon, and the Stars, a contemporary fantasy based on Hungarian folktales; and a science fiction novel, Cowboy Feng's Space Bar and Grille. The most recent "Taltos" novels are Dragon and Issola. In 1991, with The Phoenix Guards, Brust began another series, set a thousand years earlier than the Taltos books; its sequels are Five Hundred Years After and the three volumes of "The Viscount of Adrilankha": The Paths of the Dead, The Lord of Castle Black, and Sethra Lavode.While writing, Brust has continued to work as a musician, playing drums for the legendary band Cats Laughing and recording an album of his own work, A Rose for Iconoclastes. He lives in Las Vegas, Nevada where he pursues an ongoing interest in stochastics.

Customer Reviews

3.9 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 19 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on November 10, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Althogh a big Vlad Taltos fan, these fantasies are my favorite Brust novels, and rank among my favorite comic fantasies (including Jack Vance's "Lyonesse" and John Barnes' "One for the Morning Glory," but not including anything by Piers Anthony or Terry Pratchett.) The fictional author Paarfi is supposedly paid by the word (like his alter-ego, Alexandre Dumas) and it shows: this is one of the most verbose, long-winded and pompous novels I have ever read, yet Brust is obviously having such a good time with the language that I was drawn in inexorably and found myself munching through the long book at an incredible pace. Brust can spend ten pages saying absolutely nothing, yet it remains facinating. I dont want to give the impresion that nothing happens: there is lots of action, subterfuge, and plenty of weaves and twists. Longtime Taltos fans will be thrilled to finaly meet the elusive Mario. Yet the fictional author spends plent of time in the detials, in the characters, and in self-absobed preening. If you want a fast, bang-em-up hack and slasher, do not buy this book. If, however, you are a lover of rich, textured language and the ludicrous, then buy this book. Right now.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By the_smoking_quill on November 29, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
As a fantasy buff, I can't believe I'd never heard of Steven Brust before stumbling across this book's predecessor, _The Phoenix Guards_ (with its striking cover) in the public library. If there were justice in the literary world, you'd think he'd have received more acclaim and notice than a certain Mr. J-----, also a TOR author, 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 two books if you enjoy a good tale (fantasy or otherwise). I'll eagerly await the third.
(Postscript: Perhaps best of all, the story ends! Take note, Messrs. J----- and G-------.)
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8 of 9 people found the following review helpful By Grant Reed on October 26, 2002
Format: Mass Market Paperback
What would the Three Musketeers have been like 500 years after they originally fought together, in say oh, on our timeline, April 2125.
In The Phoenix Guard Brust introduced his three musketeers, and they had a similar parting of ways, but now forces are gathering to cause problems, Mario walks the world, and the friends get together again to save it.
I enjoy the adventures of Vlad Taltos, but this book and it predecessor are perhaps the most entertaining of the lot. Taltos is an outsider in the Dragaeran Society, Khaavren, Aerich, Tazendra, and Pel are within it. Their adventures are no less enjoyable than those of Athos, Porthos, Aramis, and D'Artagnan. Written with the same tongue and cheek perspective as the Taltos series, these books provide an intersting view of classical characters.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Jerry Alan Sayers on December 10, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Phoenix Guards is one of the few books I would recommend to anyone without reservation, and I think I could do the same with 500 Years After. Stephen Brust, I am certain, took great pleasure in writing this novel, savouring every word in his baroque descriptions of his characters, their intrigues, and the incredible setting of the city of Dragaera. After years of hearing about Adron's Disaster from the Vlad Taltos novels, we finally get to see that terribly tragedy, as Adron makes decent, honourable efforts to do his duty to the Empire as he sees fit. Of course, Khavvren, Pel, Tazendra, and Aerich are there to see it, and to try to stop it. Frankly, I enjoy this series even more than Vlad Taltos, and I hope the third installment will appear eventually (it's been a long wait).
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 3, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Brust's style throughout is flowery... so if that turns you off then don't bother reading this fantasy written in the dramatic and flowery style of Dumas. Loads of fun. A good book to curl up under the covers with, with interesting and convincing characters, a well-conceived universe, and thought-provoking ideas. I can't wait for the next one in the series!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Amazon Customer on October 10, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It seems clear from this book that the author had in mind his own enjoyment as much as that of the reader. This self-contentment is reflected in the intricacies of the characters' interplay and the multi-layered, satisfyingly complex plot. For me, it is the author's best work, although the self-referential mythology may put off the casual reader, as may the romanticised style utilised. It is darker in tone than the previous Phoenix Guards, but the harder edge is matched by the richer flow of emotion from all concerned.
It is an exciting ride, and one on which you feel the author is a fellow traveller rather than leading the way.
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