Results tagged “fantasy”

Starting to read Brust

I am now two books into the Brust canon, having finished Yendi last night. It's a good time, and not what I was expecting. (What I was expecting was unfavorably set by the front cover copy on my ancient Jhereg paperback - "A young man bound for adventure needs a faithful reptile companion!" Which makes it sound like a YA quest-type story. Which it isn't. (It might still count as YA, but I am doubtful.) )

Was Jhereg written as a winking reaction to Dungeons and Dragons? The author perhaps challenging himself to write a coherent story set in a world that seems to operate under D&D-like rules?

I mean, here we have a faux-medieval-euro-world where it's no big deal to suffer an untimely death, so long as your friends or family have access to a sufficiently high-level wizard and you don't totally blow your dice rolls on your way back. And characters conduct long-distance psionic communication with not just the ease but the conversational manner of cell phones, asking each other what's for dinner and such.

But it goes beyond simple parody by then starting to follow through with societal implications for this stuff. The main character is an assassin, a job suddenly fraught with unusual complications in a place where death is often non-fatal. Here is a world where, if you want to send a "stay out of the west side" message to someone, you kill them. This is actually hilarious.

And on top of all this, the protagonist and all his friends each have what some of my friends would call a PC glow that basically lets them hew effortlessly through most any physically dangerous situation, particularly fighty ones, but that's as much an artifact of adventure fiction as it is role-playing games.

I found it a fast and goofy read. Yendi I had to struggle with a bit more, since the first act feels like looking over someone's shoulder while they play Fantasy Underworld Tycoon on their computer. Reading a turn-by-turn account of how Vlad acquired new resources and moved his existing ones around the map made me want to play the game too, but it wasn't otherwise all that interesting. It got better once the plot finally kicked in.

Looking forward to starting Teckla soon.

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