Title: Brokedown Palace
Author: Steven Brust
Length: 351 pages
Where Bethany’s Copy Came From: IndyPL
Plot Basics: The palace of the kingdom of Fenario has stood for hundreds of years. Now, King Laszlo and his three brothers are the heirs of the palace and all its trouble. To keep the kingdom standing, each brother will have to face realities of place and person and what it means to grown.
Banter Points: I love Brust’s Vlad Taltos series but had never read his standalone myth novel set in the East (where Vlad is from.) It does standalone from that storyline, though there are a few nice things to know about the world from Vlad’s tales.
This cautionary tale from the East isn’t peppered with the smart remarks that characterize the Vlad books. Rather, it’s a rambling story within stories, all told to make a point.
Bummer Points: This is a fairly heady book. It doesn’t read like a straight-up adventure book and I suspect it needs at least a second reading to get Brust’s true point. The problem is, I’m not sure it’s worth the time to do that.
Word Nerd Recommendation: You don’t have to read this book to thoroughly enjoy the Vlad series. I’m glad I did read it, but it was very much not what I was expecting. Die-hard fans could get into it.