two comments on The Phoenix Guards

Sun Apr 6 14:49:00 PDT 2003

Pg. 175 - Tazendra makes flash-stones.  The procedure includes chanting in
Serioli, "of which she had at least memorized what she needed to know."
Chanting in an unknown language doesn't sound much like the sorcery
described in _Issola_ - Vlad would say it actually sounds like witchcraft.

There is a lot of excellent humor I missed on first reading.  For example,
on pg. 215 Fayaavik says, "Blood of the Horse, I am consistent, I think."
I take this apparent wrong-character anachronism as SKZB poking fun at
himself.  Or Paarfi got mixed up - note the "the Horse" is used as an
exclamation elsewhere, e.g. pg. 207.  Another instance of subtle (?)
humor - on pg. 198, Uttrik is describing a recent battle: his commander is
mortally wounded, but manages to gather and array her forces and lead a
charge before succumbing.  I previously took this literally, but now it
seems to me like a fish story from a slight young man whose dueling
costume includes "sufficient ruffles and lace to have made a dance-party
for the court" and who Khaavren refers to as "Dragonling".  Finally, on
pages 203/4 Mica compares himself to Kieron the Conquerer - I believe
Paarfi intends this as farce, which is amusing.