Barbarian Goat-Skin Reading Digest September 2012

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Barbaric Goat-Skin Reading Digest is just a series of blog posts in which I review the books I read each month, be it literature, programming books or any other kind of treatises.

It has been a while since I wrote a book review I see… Why is that? You may be wondering and I shall obligue and be kind enough to answer your question. The reason is simple, the cause straightforward, I just have not read as much as I used to as of late.

Image of the front cover of The Phoenix Guards

Apparently, one of the reasons why I did not progress as much on my side-projects before, was that I spent an inordinate amount of time reading, yes! As you read it… and so, now that I am working on an actual project per month looks like all my reading is limited to audio books on my commute to work or at the gym, two of the few activities where I am blessed to be able to multitask.

Hmmm reading these last two paragraphs, and a study I recently wrote at work I would venture myself to say that I have been remarkably influenced by re-reading The Phoenix Guards, which is a wonderful tribute from Steven Brust to Alexandre Dumas and one of my favorite books of all time: The Three Musketeers. It has the same witty conversations, the swordplay, the courtesan intrigues and entwined plots, and, of course, the particular and colourful way of speaking of the nobility in the French court of the early 17th century (or so Dumas will have us believe). Way of speaking like this below, as when Khaavren (our D’Artagnan) and his party of six meet an invading Easterner army of thousands upon thousands (EPIC):

*Khaavren talks to the leader of the invading Easterner army*

“How? You cannot be here to invade, therefore…”

“But, my lord, why can we not?”

“Well, because as you have done us the honor to observe, there are six of us.”

“Well, and?”

“Therefore, you perceive, you are outnumbered.”

Steven Brust The Phoenix Guards

or when the group discusses about Khatana e’Marish’Chala and how she came to fall in disgrace with the emperor:

*As Khatana first displayed a painting of a dragon she had been working on for years*

“He felt it was too melancholy to be a dragon, and not fierce enough. The Baroness, I am told, wished to demonstrate that she knew as much about ferocity as did he, and removed his head with her broadsword in the course of demonstrating this.”

“And it was well done, too,” affirmed Tazendra. “I’d have done the same, only…”

“Yes?”

“I don’t paint.”

Steven Brust The Phoenix Guards

Great book indeed. I also had the chance to read Field Of Dishonor, the fourth installment of the Honor Harrington series, and I have to say it is probably my favorite book of the series so far. Because it is a great book of course, but also because David Weber is, if not as virtuous as Patrick O’Brian, great nonetheless in creating a bond between the reader and the characters, in this case Honor Harrington, that makes it a pleasure to anticipate and recognize Honor’s behavior and reactions and achieves the same effect as to make her as known and familiar to us as a close friend.

Wrap up

As customary and in summary:

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