Brokedown Palace ePUB Þ Mass Market Paperback

Brokedown Palace ePUB Þ Mass Market Paperback


  • Mass Market Paperback
  • 274 pages
  • Brokedown Palace
  • Steven Brust
  • English
  • 10 October 2015
  • 9780441071814

10 thoughts on “Brokedown Palace

  1. Bookwraiths Bookwraiths says:

    Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths Reviews Brokedown Palace is a fantasy fable as told by Stephen BrustThe 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 forewarnedThe 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 uo 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 familyOur 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 The younger brother miraculously survives his watery flight is found by a taltos horse like his ancient forefather was and is taken into the land of Faerie After several years Miklòs grows weary of his life in Faerie and longs to go back to his riverside home so one day he leaves his master’s lands and does just that When he gets there of course it does not live up to Miklòs’ memories and he finds that the joy of his reappearance among his brothers is mingled with suspicion of him This wariness a byproduct of the growth of a mysterious tree in his long vacated roomsSoon Miklòs finds himself clashing with his brother the king yet again Now though armed with the power of Faerie a taltos horse and a mission for change he will not flee his home but is determined to transform the palace for the better The remainder of the tale concerns itself with this struggle for change and the mysterious treeFor those wishing to try this story you need to keep several things in mind one funny and one seriousThe funny item first Supposedly the title of the novel the “tall tales” in the book as well as the names of places and things were all inspired by the Grateful Dead On the Dead’s American Beauty album there is a song titled “Brokedown Palace” which talks about returning to a riverside home a different person after a long journey As for the “tall tales” an example of the Dead’s influence can be seen in the story of the boy trying to win the Princess where he meets the Demon Goddess in three guises one twice his age one twice his height and one twice his weight Those three forms are specifically mentioned in the Dead song I Need a Miracle And an example of the Grateful Dead’s influence on place names is clearly seen by Cukros Elofa which supposedly is Hungarian for Sugar Magnolia another track on the Dead’s American Beauty album So basically the whole novel can be viewed as a tribute of sorts to the Grateful Dead Now the serious thing to keep in mind This is not a standard fantasy novel but is correctly labeled a folk tale or fable As most of you are aware a fable is a fictional story that generally “features animals mythical creatures plants inanimate objects or forces of nature which are anthropomorphized given human ualities such as verbal communication and that illustrates or leads to an interpretation of a moral lesson a moral which may at the end be added explicitly in a pithy maxim” Wikipedia A “maxim” is a wise saying “especially one intended to advise or recommend a course of conduct” Wikipedia And this is exactly what Brust is writing a fable regarding the inevitable societal clash between the old status uo and the new Indeed in this novel Brust uses everything as an allegory for society as a whole The palace itself is the sociopolitical status uo which is aging and showing signs of decay King Laszlò is the stagnant dominant class attempting to maintain the status uo The government of this status uo is represented by the magical sword Allam Prince Miklòs represents the Proletariat who are subordinate but demanding that change takes place Prince Andor is the representation of religious adherents he is shown as a follower of the Demon Goddess the land’s patron deity and is portrayed as ignorant gluttonous and lacking motivation to discover the truth on his own The wizard Sandor is the religious leader who rules over Andor religious adherents and influences the ruling elite so as to maintain power Prince Vilmos represents the majority of society fully of mighty strength yet slow to respond to change and bound tightly in its loyalty to tradition Bolk the taltos horse is the voice of reasonscience prodding his student Miklòs toward a revolutionary upheaval And the mysterious “tree” is the evolution of a sociopolitical change which the dominant class wishes to contain or destroy Naturally all these divergent interests take sides and struggle among themselves throughout the book as would be expected because according to Karl Marx history is nothing but a constantly class struggle and social upheaval Now am I saying this “fable” Brust has given his readers is nothing but a literary device to expound the virtues of revolution or Marxism? Some people view it as such but I suppose it can be read as merely an entertaining novel if you overlook the lack of anything happening Because the majority of this book is focused on a palace crumbling down and the brothers taking sides whether to destroy a tree growing out of it uite simply that is what the story is aboutI personally find allegorical stories boring especially ones where the story is about nothing but the sociopolitical message of the writer Unfortunately there is practically no way to read Brokedown Palace without being slapped in the face over and over again with the philosophical message that Brust is expoundingAllow me to give a few simple examples of thisOne of the first steps in Miklòs change for the better at his palace home is the destruction of religion Naturally there is no way to solve the decrepit edifices issues without the kingdom’s patron goddess being destroyed or at least that is what Miklòs trusty taltos horse Bolk advises him “But the Goddess You can’t be serious” Miklòs “Have I ever been anything else dear master?” Bolk “But how? How can I fight the Goddess?” “It is what I am for” “But you said you couldn’t ” “I cannot You can I shall be your weapon” “But what will it gain us?” “It will remove a powerful weapon from those who wish todestroy the tree It is the Goddess who inspires them against it Without her much of their will to fight will be gone”And when Miklòs and Blok finally set out to destroy the goddess they go to the palace’s central courtyard where her statue resides Once there our young prince contemplates the nature of his former god specifically her statue and wonders if his planned deicide is “ a desecration or perhaps the expression of a sick perversion?” Thus this scene which seems out of place in the flow of events allows Brust to explain to his readers that the appropriate methods to destroy religion and thereby aid revolution is either by desecrating its message or perverting it Desecration being a violent disrespect or degradation of its tenets until no one feels it is worthy of belief any While perversion is merely the act of altering something from its original meaning misapplying its rules or misrepresenting the true meaning By doing either thing religion’s influence on society will be nullifiedWith the goddess dealt with Miklòs must destroy the Palace sociopolitical status uo and so Brust’s avatar of the proletariat begins to manipulate his brother Vilmos bulk of society attempting to persuade him to join in this destruction revolution “What is it you want right now than anything?” Miklòs “What I want? To keep my norska children safe?” Vilmos Miklòs nodded as if that were the answer he’d been expecting “Good The danger to the norska is the Palace societal status uo isn’t it?” Vilmos nodded “Then the way to save them is to make it so the Palace isn’t a danger any” “Ha” said Vilmos “Easily said I have been working for thelast two days to ” “I know But listen Vili remember the tree in my old roomand how you couldn’t make yourself destroy it? “ ”There are those who wish to destroy it the tree The chief among them was the Demon Goddess” Miklòs “She like Laszlò wished to leave the Palace standingrather than replace it even though it has become a danger to us all If we leave it standing it will collapse upon us”When Andor religious adherents hears this manipulation of Vimos by fear mongering he intervenes but Miklòs stops him by stating the following “ From as far back as I remember you have been looking for something to make life meaningful for you Time after time you have failed Why? Maybe it isn’t something you have been doing wrong as we’ve all been thinking it was Maybe there just isn’t any way to find out who you are when everywhere you turn you are surrounded by either the collapse of your home or desperate efforts to hold back this destruction “But I have another alternative for you embrace it Embrace the collapse of all we’ve lived with and work to create something better in its place”Naturally Andor responds by asking a simple uestion “How better? You’ve been saying what is wrong with the Palace societal status uo but how do I know that what you want to replace it with is better?”Miklòs responds by stating that “Whether it is better or worse than what we have now matters not in the least”Revolution for revolutions sake I suppose?In any event I have read some reviews that compare this novel to Animal Farm by George Orwell and I believe it is a fair assessment Brokedown Palace is obviously Brust’s attempt “with full consciousness of what he is doing to fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole Why I Write by George Orwell However here Brust is holding up revolution or Marxism if you will as the hope of society not a failed experiment With that being said I do not believe most fantasy fans of Mr Brust swashbuckling Vlad Taltos or Khaavren Romances will enjoy this book But obviously Brokedown Palace was not written for those type of readers It is penned for those who love analyzing a story for all the possible allegorical meanings hidden within every sentence and paragraph So if you need a novel to discuss with your book club and have already dissected Animal Farm pick up Brokedown Palace It might make you YAWN in its arguments in favor of Marxism but you can spend lots of time discussing its flawed logic


  2. Jon Jon says:

    Synopsis A stand alone fantasy set in the world of Steven Brust's bestselling Vlad Taltos novels Once upon a time far to the East of the Dragaeran Empire four brothers ruled in Fenario King Laszlo a good man — though perhaps a little mad; Prince Andor a clever man — though perhaps a little shallow; Prince Vilmos a strong man — though perhaps a little stupid; and Prince Miklos the youngest brother perhaps a little — no a lot stubborn Once upon a time there were four brothers; a goddess; a wizard; an enigmatic talking stallion; a very hungry dragon; and a crumbling broken down palace with hungry jhereg circling overhead My Thoughts and Reactions It felt like I was reading a faerie tale a fable or some other sort of morality play The Interludes between chapters sometimes worked and sometimes just distracted me I felt one step removed from the characters The story led me along and attempted to hammer home its point or moral but I felt it missed the mark slightly Action seuences were limited to a dragon hunt that lasted one chapter and the nearly irrational behavior of King Laszlo and his obsession with the Palace Characters developed and matured but nothing was tied up neatly with a bow at the end I surmise I finished this so uickly because of prevalent dialogue although somewhat lacking in wit most of the time


  3. [Name Redacted] [Name Redacted] says:

    I first picked this book up because it had cover art by Alan Lee and at the age of 13 as today I was an avid fan of Lee's work What is I somehow managed to read the entire thing enjoy it thoroughly and NEVER CONNECT IT WITH BRUST'S VLAD TALTOS SERIES Despite the fact that it mentions animals specific to the world in which that series was set Despite the fact that I was already a fan of Brust's work DESPITE THE FACT THAT I HAD JUST READ THE FIRST SIX BOOKS IN HIS VLAD TALTOS SERIES I'd picked them up from a used book store while visiting my grandparents the previous Summer What I'm saying is that adolescent Ian wasn't always the most observant reader Maybe the beauty of the cover art just distracted me?I don't imagine it helped that I read it while forced to attend an actor's training camp in Berkeley back in the days when my parents seemed to think acting would be my thing I think this was my self prescribed reward for finishing the tedious Emma my least favorite of Austen's work which I had been assigned to read for school I remember being perched in an oak tree hiding from the burning rays of the Californian sun and devouring this novel but I also remember being repeatedly distracted by the other young thespiansNow I'm re reading the Vlad Taltos series can decades really have passed since I last read them? and coincidentally discovering that Brokedown Palace is set in the same world is a decidedly surreal experienceLooks like I'll have to re read this too


  4. Wm Wm says:

    I like the way that the characterssetting didn't always react in the way that a fantasy reader would expect Part of that is due to the novel being an allegory but I think it outgrows the allegorical ness and turns into something a bit interesting and strange while still very familiar a fairytale ish family drama ish high fantasy ish allegorical ish kind of thing


  5. Blake Blake says:

    loved the cover art the story it self was tremendous my favorite character being Vilmos a little disappointed with the ending of the book didn't go uite as I had expected But I can definitely see myself rereading this book at some point


  6. Jack Jack says:

    Possibly my favorite Brust novel it's a curious little work set in the same world as the Vlad Taltos series albeit with no obvious connection other than geography This takes place in Fenario a small kingdom in the East King Lazslo has three brothers and the crumbling palace of the title and the book revolves as these so often do around the future of the kingdom Where it differs from most palace intrigue novels is that there is no villain None of the brothers is inflamed with hatred against the others nor power mad nor oppressive and overbearing They simply have different personalities and motivations that inevitably bring them into conflict despite their obvious love for one another and the kingdom The book is in part a reflection on the necessity of change and how people variously resist accept or embrace it There's a healthy dose for fantasy fans of magic and Heroic Deeds in the book A talking horse is a major character there's a menacing dragon and Verra the Demon Goddess puts in an appearance Highly recommended for anyone who likes Steven Brust and worthwhile for any fantasy fan


  7. Frank Vasquez Frank Vasquez says:

    Point? I don't know my Prince Maybe within this story there is a prophecy of the tale of your own life Maybe Maybe the point is the futility of all human endeavor Maybe it is the triumph of justice whatever the cost The point? I don't know You wanted to hear a story so I told you a story Ask yourself the point If you were entertained that is enough for meWhat a brilliantly written novel Burst is on poin here Each character is crafted finely and you can really get a feel for the history and place of this stand alone story both in context of the Dragaera novels and without those for context A really beautiful and mature story And you'll never realize how much you care about norska until you read this book full of Hungarian and winks at things to come for Vlad Taltos himself and so much


  8. April April says:

    Damn damn and dammit This book was over way too soon Started it yesterday and finished it this morning I even went so far as to make myself get up and get a new cup of coffee at the end of each chapter I think this is my favorite book of the year Whimsical magical heartbreaking and joyful I am sitting her contemplating picking the book up again and re reading it I fell in love with each of the characters I fell in love with the palace both old and new I fell in love with the land itself One of the interludes between chapters exemplifies exactly WHY I read fantasy and WHY I game Mr Brust You have once again enchanted and enthralled me I am in your debt Now if you will excuse me I think I need to go back and red Brokedown Palace one time


  9. Jinjifore Jinjifore says:

    This was the first book by Steven Brust that I read and it's still one of my favorites I loved the disjointed almost dreamy style of the narrative and loved the characters and the way they interacted with each other mostly based on how they regarded the old castle I really enjoy stories where the characters come into conflict not because they are bad or evil but because they simply have different motivations motivations that aren't necessarily in themselves wrong or misguided


  10. Chy Chy says:

    Short Summation This is the tale of four brothers the oldest of whom is the King of Fenario and they are in the last days of their crumbling 400 year old castle The king refuses to acknowledge that it’s crumbling even as stairwells and walls collapse The others struggle in one way or another to back him up make him see truth or do what they can to keep the walls from collapsing another day And the whole time something is growing in the youngest prince’s room Something that is special Something that started its growth on the day the king drove his youngest brother outWhy this book? In the world where Brust’s Vlad runs around with Dragaerans there is a country called Fenario to the east That’s where the humans live y’all Taking into effect how little these humans know about “faeries” I’m assuming the events of this book take place before Vlad’s time but I’m a fool of an assumptionist I’m hoping I’ll know much after reading the next Vlad book on its way here on the 8th When I went to the bookstore with a gift certificate this was the only Brust book they that I had not read I read it now because I heard Jhegaala is to follow Vlad as he travels back east and this was like catching up on the history before I followed him Basically just so I can smirk at the things I recognize Should I recognize anything But I can’t imagine Brust not throwing in a thing or fourHow’d it go? I admit the galloping prose got on my nerves at first but I settled into it I didn’t actually get comfortable with it until the first interlude that was a story within the story That’s when the feeling of a fable or fairytale or some combination of the two took hold when my brain finally went “Ah I get it” From then on it was fun to try and decide if it was supposed to be historical a fairytale of the land; legend myth or a fable Since I gleaned a lesson from the whole thing I vote fable but I wouldn’t argue it being anything on that list I mentioned I think it’ll be different for each reader It’s an interesting fable interspersed with page long fables and myths of the land here and there each of them lending to this overall story in ways that you actually have to think about And since I’m certain they lend to it in different ways for each reader as I know they lend differently depending on which way I tilt my head I’m not going into that It would feel like stealing something from the story Vlad’s Demon Goddess plays a part as does the flitting presence of Devera Overall if the writing gets to you then you probably won’t like the story either To me if the style were any different the story would be changed and that would be a crime Because this story of death bringing forth new life and growth only allowed when old ideals are put aside couldn’t be told well in any other way in my opinion Still not everyone enjoys a fable No wait metaphor Yeah


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Brokedown Palace[Download] ➵ Brokedown Palace By Steven Brust – Capitalsoftworks.co.uk Back in print after a decade a stand alone fantasy in the world of Steven Brust's bestselling Vlad Taltos novels Once upon a timefar to the East of the Dragaeran Empire four brothers ruled in Fenario Back in print after a decade a stand alone fantasy in the world of Steven Brust's bestselling Vlad Taltos novels Once upon a timefar to the East of the Dragaeran Empire four brothers ruled in Fenario King Laszlo a good man—though perhaps a little mad; Prince Andor a clever man—though perhaps a little shallow; Prince Vilmos a strong man—though perhaps a little stupid; and Prince Miklos the youngest brother perhaps a little—no a lot—stubborn Once upon a time there were four brothers—and a goddess a wizard an enigmatic talking stallion a very hungry dragon—and a crumbling broken down palace with hungry jhereg circling overhead And then.


About the Author: Steven Brust

Photo by David Dyer Bennet.


10 thoughts on “Brokedown Palace

  1. Bookwraiths Bookwraiths says:

    Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths Reviews Brokedown Palace is a fantasy fable as told by Stephen BrustThe 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 forewarnedThe 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 uo 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 familyOur 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 The younger brother miraculously survives his watery flight is found by a taltos horse like his ancient forefather was and is taken into the land of Faerie After several years Miklòs grows weary of his life in Faerie and longs to go back to his riverside home so one day he leaves his master’s lands and does just that When he gets there of course it does not live up to Miklòs’ memories and he finds that the joy of his reappearance among his brothers is mingled with suspicion of him This wariness a byproduct of the growth of a mysterious tree in his long vacated roomsSoon Miklòs finds himself clashing with his brother the king yet again Now though armed with the power of Faerie a taltos horse and a mission for change he will not flee his home but is determined to transform the palace for the better The remainder of the tale concerns itself with this struggle for change and the mysterious treeFor those wishing to try this story you need to keep several things in mind one funny and one seriousThe funny item first Supposedly the title of the novel the “tall tales” in the book as well as the names of places and things were all inspired by the Grateful Dead On the Dead’s American Beauty album there is a song titled “Brokedown Palace” which talks about returning to a riverside home a different person after a long journey As for the “tall tales” an example of the Dead’s influence can be seen in the story of the boy trying to win the Princess where he meets the Demon Goddess in three guises one twice his age one twice his height and one twice his weight Those three forms are specifically mentioned in the Dead song I Need a Miracle And an example of the Grateful Dead’s influence on place names is clearly seen by Cukros Elofa which supposedly is Hungarian for Sugar Magnolia another track on the Dead’s American Beauty album So basically the whole novel can be viewed as a tribute of sorts to the Grateful Dead Now the serious thing to keep in mind This is not a standard fantasy novel but is correctly labeled a folk tale or fable As most of you are aware a fable is a fictional story that generally “features animals mythical creatures plants inanimate objects or forces of nature which are anthropomorphized given human ualities such as verbal communication and that illustrates or leads to an interpretation of a moral lesson a moral which may at the end be added explicitly in a pithy maxim” Wikipedia A “maxim” is a wise saying “especially one intended to advise or recommend a course of conduct” Wikipedia And this is exactly what Brust is writing a fable regarding the inevitable societal clash between the old status uo and the new Indeed in this novel Brust uses everything as an allegory for society as a whole The palace itself is the sociopolitical status uo which is aging and showing signs of decay King Laszlò is the stagnant dominant class attempting to maintain the status uo The government of this status uo is represented by the magical sword Allam Prince Miklòs represents the Proletariat who are subordinate but demanding that change takes place Prince Andor is the representation of religious adherents he is shown as a follower of the Demon Goddess the land’s patron deity and is portrayed as ignorant gluttonous and lacking motivation to discover the truth on his own The wizard Sandor is the religious leader who rules over Andor religious adherents and influences the ruling elite so as to maintain power Prince Vilmos represents the majority of society fully of mighty strength yet slow to respond to change and bound tightly in its loyalty to tradition Bolk the taltos horse is the voice of reasonscience prodding his student Miklòs toward a revolutionary upheaval And the mysterious “tree” is the evolution of a sociopolitical change which the dominant class wishes to contain or destroy Naturally all these divergent interests take sides and struggle among themselves throughout the book as would be expected because according to Karl Marx history is nothing but a constantly class struggle and social upheaval Now am I saying this “fable” Brust has given his readers is nothing but a literary device to expound the virtues of revolution or Marxism? Some people view it as such but I suppose it can be read as merely an entertaining novel if you overlook the lack of anything happening Because the majority of this book is focused on a palace crumbling down and the brothers taking sides whether to destroy a tree growing out of it uite simply that is what the story is aboutI personally find allegorical stories boring especially ones where the story is about nothing but the sociopolitical message of the writer Unfortunately there is practically no way to read Brokedown Palace without being slapped in the face over and over again with the philosophical message that Brust is expoundingAllow me to give a few simple examples of thisOne of the first steps in Miklòs change for the better at his palace home is the destruction of religion Naturally there is no way to solve the decrepit edifices issues without the kingdom’s patron goddess being destroyed or at least that is what Miklòs trusty taltos horse Bolk advises him “But the Goddess You can’t be serious” Miklòs “Have I ever been anything else dear master?” Bolk “But how? How can I fight the Goddess?” “It is what I am for” “But you said you couldn’t ” “I cannot You can I shall be your weapon” “But what will it gain us?” “It will remove a powerful weapon from those who wish todestroy the tree It is the Goddess who inspires them against it Without her much of their will to fight will be gone”And when Miklòs and Blok finally set out to destroy the goddess they go to the palace’s central courtyard where her statue resides Once there our young prince contemplates the nature of his former god specifically her statue and wonders if his planned deicide is “ a desecration or perhaps the expression of a sick perversion?” Thus this scene which seems out of place in the flow of events allows Brust to explain to his readers that the appropriate methods to destroy religion and thereby aid revolution is either by desecrating its message or perverting it Desecration being a violent disrespect or degradation of its tenets until no one feels it is worthy of belief any While perversion is merely the act of altering something from its original meaning misapplying its rules or misrepresenting the true meaning By doing either thing religion’s influence on society will be nullifiedWith the goddess dealt with Miklòs must destroy the Palace sociopolitical status uo and so Brust’s avatar of the proletariat begins to manipulate his brother Vilmos bulk of society attempting to persuade him to join in this destruction revolution “What is it you want right now than anything?” Miklòs “What I want? To keep my norska children safe?” Vilmos Miklòs nodded as if that were the answer he’d been expecting “Good The danger to the norska is the Palace societal status uo isn’t it?” Vilmos nodded “Then the way to save them is to make it so the Palace isn’t a danger any” “Ha” said Vilmos “Easily said I have been working for thelast two days to ” “I know But listen Vili remember the tree in my old roomand how you couldn’t make yourself destroy it? “ ”There are those who wish to destroy it the tree The chief among them was the Demon Goddess” Miklòs “She like Laszlò wished to leave the Palace standingrather than replace it even though it has become a danger to us all If we leave it standing it will collapse upon us”When Andor religious adherents hears this manipulation of Vimos by fear mongering he intervenes but Miklòs stops him by stating the following “ From as far back as I remember you have been looking for something to make life meaningful for you Time after time you have failed Why? Maybe it isn’t something you have been doing wrong as we’ve all been thinking it was Maybe there just isn’t any way to find out who you are when everywhere you turn you are surrounded by either the collapse of your home or desperate efforts to hold back this destruction “But I have another alternative for you embrace it Embrace the collapse of all we’ve lived with and work to create something better in its place”Naturally Andor responds by asking a simple uestion “How better? You’ve been saying what is wrong with the Palace societal status uo but how do I know that what you want to replace it with is better?”Miklòs responds by stating that “Whether it is better or worse than what we have now matters not in the least”Revolution for revolutions sake I suppose?In any event I have read some reviews that compare this novel to Animal Farm by George Orwell and I believe it is a fair assessment Brokedown Palace is obviously Brust’s attempt “with full consciousness of what he is doing to fuse political purpose and artistic purpose into one whole Why I Write by George Orwell However here Brust is holding up revolution or Marxism if you will as the hope of society not a failed experiment With that being said I do not believe most fantasy fans of Mr Brust swashbuckling Vlad Taltos or Khaavren Romances will enjoy this book But obviously Brokedown Palace was not written for those type of readers It is penned for those who love analyzing a story for all the possible allegorical meanings hidden within every sentence and paragraph So if you need a novel to discuss with your book club and have already dissected Animal Farm pick up Brokedown Palace It might make you YAWN in its arguments in favor of Marxism but you can spend lots of time discussing its flawed logic

  2. Jon Jon says:

    Synopsis A stand alone fantasy set in the world of Steven Brust's bestselling Vlad Taltos novels Once upon a time far to the East of the Dragaeran Empire four brothers ruled in Fenario King Laszlo a good man — though perhaps a little mad; Prince Andor a clever man — though perhaps a little shallow; Prince Vilmos a strong man — though perhaps a little stupid; and Prince Miklos the youngest brother perhaps a little — no a lot stubborn Once upon a time there were four brothers; a goddess; a wizard; an enigmatic talking stallion; a very hungry dragon; and a crumbling broken down palace with hungry jhereg circling overhead My Thoughts and Reactions It felt like I was reading a faerie tale a fable or some other sort of morality play The Interludes between chapters sometimes worked and sometimes just distracted me I felt one step removed from the characters The story led me along and attempted to hammer home its point or moral but I felt it missed the mark slightly Action seuences were limited to a dragon hunt that lasted one chapter and the nearly irrational behavior of King Laszlo and his obsession with the Palace Characters developed and matured but nothing was tied up neatly with a bow at the end I surmise I finished this so uickly because of prevalent dialogue although somewhat lacking in wit most of the time

  3. [Name Redacted] [Name Redacted] says:

    I first picked this book up because it had cover art by Alan Lee and at the age of 13 as today I was an avid fan of Lee's work What is I somehow managed to read the entire thing enjoy it thoroughly and NEVER CONNECT IT WITH BRUST'S VLAD TALTOS SERIES Despite the fact that it mentions animals specific to the world in which that series was set Despite the fact that I was already a fan of Brust's work DESPITE THE FACT THAT I HAD JUST READ THE FIRST SIX BOOKS IN HIS VLAD TALTOS SERIES I'd picked them up from a used book store while visiting my grandparents the previous Summer What I'm saying is that adolescent Ian wasn't always the most observant reader Maybe the beauty of the cover art just distracted me?I don't imagine it helped that I read it while forced to attend an actor's training camp in Berkeley back in the days when my parents seemed to think acting would be my thing I think this was my self prescribed reward for finishing the tedious Emma my least favorite of Austen's work which I had been assigned to read for school I remember being perched in an oak tree hiding from the burning rays of the Californian sun and devouring this novel but I also remember being repeatedly distracted by the other young thespiansNow I'm re reading the Vlad Taltos series can decades really have passed since I last read them? and coincidentally discovering that Brokedown Palace is set in the same world is a decidedly surreal experienceLooks like I'll have to re read this too

  4. Wm Wm says:

    I like the way that the characterssetting didn't always react in the way that a fantasy reader would expect Part of that is due to the novel being an allegory but I think it outgrows the allegorical ness and turns into something a bit interesting and strange while still very familiar a fairytale ish family drama ish high fantasy ish allegorical ish kind of thing

  5. Blake Blake says:

    loved the cover art the story it self was tremendous my favorite character being Vilmos a little disappointed with the ending of the book didn't go uite as I had expected But I can definitely see myself rereading this book at some point

  6. Jack Jack says:

    Possibly my favorite Brust novel it's a curious little work set in the same world as the Vlad Taltos series albeit with no obvious connection other than geography This takes place in Fenario a small kingdom in the East King Lazslo has three brothers and the crumbling palace of the title and the book revolves as these so often do around the future of the kingdom Where it differs from most palace intrigue novels is that there is no villain None of the brothers is inflamed with hatred against the others nor power mad nor oppressive and overbearing They simply have different personalities and motivations that inevitably bring them into conflict despite their obvious love for one another and the kingdom The book is in part a reflection on the necessity of change and how people variously resist accept or embrace it There's a healthy dose for fantasy fans of magic and Heroic Deeds in the book A talking horse is a major character there's a menacing dragon and Verra the Demon Goddess puts in an appearance Highly recommended for anyone who likes Steven Brust and worthwhile for any fantasy fan

  7. Frank Vasquez Frank Vasquez says:

    Point? I don't know my Prince Maybe within this story there is a prophecy of the tale of your own life Maybe Maybe the point is the futility of all human endeavor Maybe it is the triumph of justice whatever the cost The point? I don't know You wanted to hear a story so I told you a story Ask yourself the point If you were entertained that is enough for meWhat a brilliantly written novel Burst is on poin here Each character is crafted finely and you can really get a feel for the history and place of this stand alone story both in context of the Dragaera novels and without those for context A really beautiful and mature story And you'll never realize how much you care about norska until you read this book full of Hungarian and winks at things to come for Vlad Taltos himself and so much

  8. April April says:

    Damn damn and dammit This book was over way too soon Started it yesterday and finished it this morning I even went so far as to make myself get up and get a new cup of coffee at the end of each chapter I think this is my favorite book of the year Whimsical magical heartbreaking and joyful I am sitting her contemplating picking the book up again and re reading it I fell in love with each of the characters I fell in love with the palace both old and new I fell in love with the land itself One of the interludes between chapters exemplifies exactly WHY I read fantasy and WHY I game Mr Brust You have once again enchanted and enthralled me I am in your debt Now if you will excuse me I think I need to go back and red Brokedown Palace one time

  9. Jinjifore Jinjifore says:

    This was the first book by Steven Brust that I read and it's still one of my favorites I loved the disjointed almost dreamy style of the narrative and loved the characters and the way they interacted with each other mostly based on how they regarded the old castle I really enjoy stories where the characters come into conflict not because they are bad or evil but because they simply have different motivations motivations that aren't necessarily in themselves wrong or misguided

  10. Chy Chy says:

    Short Summation This is the tale of four brothers the oldest of whom is the King of Fenario and they are in the last days of their crumbling 400 year old castle The king refuses to acknowledge that it’s crumbling even as stairwells and walls collapse The others struggle in one way or another to back him up make him see truth or do what they can to keep the walls from collapsing another day And the whole time something is growing in the youngest prince’s room Something that is special Something that started its growth on the day the king drove his youngest brother outWhy this book? In the world where Brust’s Vlad runs around with Dragaerans there is a country called Fenario to the east That’s where the humans live y’all Taking into effect how little these humans know about “faeries” I’m assuming the events of this book take place before Vlad’s time but I’m a fool of an assumptionist I’m hoping I’ll know much after reading the next Vlad book on its way here on the 8th When I went to the bookstore with a gift certificate this was the only Brust book they that I had not read I read it now because I heard Jhegaala is to follow Vlad as he travels back east and this was like catching up on the history before I followed him Basically just so I can smirk at the things I recognize Should I recognize anything But I can’t imagine Brust not throwing in a thing or fourHow’d it go? I admit the galloping prose got on my nerves at first but I settled into it I didn’t actually get comfortable with it until the first interlude that was a story within the story That’s when the feeling of a fable or fairytale or some combination of the two took hold when my brain finally went “Ah I get it” From then on it was fun to try and decide if it was supposed to be historical a fairytale of the land; legend myth or a fable Since I gleaned a lesson from the whole thing I vote fable but I wouldn’t argue it being anything on that list I mentioned I think it’ll be different for each reader It’s an interesting fable interspersed with page long fables and myths of the land here and there each of them lending to this overall story in ways that you actually have to think about And since I’m certain they lend to it in different ways for each reader as I know they lend differently depending on which way I tilt my head I’m not going into that It would feel like stealing something from the story Vlad’s Demon Goddess plays a part as does the flitting presence of Devera Overall if the writing gets to you then you probably won’t like the story either To me if the style were any different the story would be changed and that would be a crime Because this story of death bringing forth new life and growth only allowed when old ideals are put aside couldn’t be told well in any other way in my opinion Still not everyone enjoys a fable No wait metaphor Yeah

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