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To Reign in Hell: A Novel Paperback – July 7, 2000
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“Consummate grace and genuine artistry” ―Roger Zelazny
“Steven Brust just might be America's best fantasy writer.” ―Tad Williams
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.
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Top Customer Reviews
Given the title, I'm surprised none of the reviewers I've read have noticed that this is not so much a prequel to Genesis as to Paradise Lost. FYI, the title is a direct quote from Milton, and the events of the book lead up to the events (and to the odd slant on Satan)in Paradise Lost. It has about the same relationship to scripture as Niven and Pournelle's Inferno; it's based on a text that's based on the Bible.
But then, who in his right mind reads Milton anymore?
For starters, I didn't care for Brust's prose at all. I found his writing style dry, repetitive, and descriptively spartain. His dialogue seemed especially weak: characters speak in almost monosyllable sentences, and again there is a heavy redundancy. For some reason, Beelzebub spoke Shakespearian English, which especially grated on me.
Of course, one can dislike an author's prose yet still like his plots - several of my favorite authors actually fall into this category! Unfortunately, his handling of the plot was my other major stumbling block. To justify that would require my delving into spoilers - something I refuse to do in a review - so please pardon my vagueness. Suffice it to say that key aspects (such as the nature of creation, Waves, etc.) struck me as internally inconsistent. Maybe I missed something, but there is just too much in this novel that is left unexplained. This left me feeling disenfranchised at first, and cheated by the end.
My other main problem was that much of the plot conflict relied on one conniving angel whose motives I never did fully grasp.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Answers the age old question, why/how did God make the devil? It's quite brilliant.Published 21 days ago by Amazon Customer
Steven Brust is an amazin fantasy writer. This re-telling of the war in Heaven was intriguing and fascinating. Read morePublished 6 months ago by Headless Bob
Very interesting concept. I liked the idea of mixing mythology and Judeo/Christian. A gun read.Published 9 months ago by Amazon Customer
This is Brust's best work. i love Taltos and the other stuff he's written, but this is just brilliant.Published 10 months ago by Adam Chandler
It's a bit of a cliche to point out that in retellings of the fall of Lucifer, the great Lord of Hell and Heavy Metal often comes across as the far more interesting character... Read morePublished 12 months ago by Michael Battaglia
So they say the winners write history. Well, that only means Yaweh gets to tell us humans his version of how he created the universe and banished Satan from heaven. Read morePublished 17 months ago by B. Crosby