Above His Proper Station Hardcover – Nov 23 2010
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"Watt-Evans is an accomplished writer in a number of genres, but sword and sorcery is one of his strengths."--The Hartford Courant
“Veteran SF and fantasy author Watt-Evans (The Obsidian Chronicles) displays his command of the fantasy genre in this fast-paced, fluidly told sequel to The Wizard Lord.”--Library Journal on The Ninth Talisman
About the Author
LAWRENCE WATT-EVANS has written more than a dozen fantasy novels. He lives in Maryland.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
The shadows of Scaramouche continue to haunt this tale, along with its old-fashioned depictions of honor, romance and adventure. The thing is, I'm not sure I wouldn't be happier reading Sabatini. Anrel is sympathetic enough, but the addition of the paranormal elements isn't quite enough to really distinguish this story, or improve upon the characters and events from the original swashbuckling historical adventures of the early 20th century. However, if you'd rather read a fantasy and dislike old books with their fussier language, then this tale (starting with the first book), could be for you!
Well, I must say that I really enjoyed this book. I enjoyed A Young Man Without Magic, but I think that in this book the author succeeded in turning up the suspense and the drama. True, with these books obviously being based on the French Revolution of 1789-99, the story has a certain feel of inevitability about it. But, that said, I think that the story is nonetheless very exciting and entertaining.
Yep, I enjoyed the first book of the series a lot, and I enjoyed this one even more. If you liked A Young Man Without Magic, then check this book out, you won't be disappointed! (By the way, I can't wait for the next book in the series!)
He could not find a job in Lume, but he hoped that Dorias could find him a position within his home province. Valin was waiting for him to return. He too was unemployed.
Valin was so immersed in social discussions in Naith that he was not looking very hard for work. Valin complains that the sorcerers are not giving enough attention to the common people, but he is not going out of his way to provide such services himself.
In this novel, Anrel is an orphan raised by his maternal uncle Dorias Adirane, Bargrave of Alzur. Although his parents were very talented in sorcery, Anrel purposely failed his trials. However, he has some mage talents.
Allutar Hezir is the Landgrave of Aylix Province. He also lives in Alzur rather than Naith, the provincial seat.
Doz is the leader of a gang in the Pensioner's district. He also takes care on some impoverished residents of the district.
Barzal Lord Blackfield is a Gatherman of Quand. He is also an agent of the Lantern Society.
In this story, Anrel flees from the authorities in Beynos. He is thoroughly chilled from his immersion in the Galdin River. The cold winter wind is chilling him even further.
He is stopped by the City Watch at the gates of Lume. He tells them that he is clerk in the city and lives in the Court of the Red Serpent. They allow him to enter the city and he goes to claim shelter from his friends.
Yet none of his friends offer him a bed for the night. The City Watch has clamped down on the students after the Grand Council was subverted by radicals. Alvos was mentioned prominently in the elections.
Since Anrel is Alvos, he has something else to worry about. He finally decides to stay in an inn within the Catseye district. But inns are not very common in that district.
He finally finds food and lodging at the Emperor's Elbow. The stew is bland, but also warm and filling. The red wine is truly abominable.
After eating his meal, Anrel is taken upstairs to his room. A half dozen straw mattresses are laid on the floor. A boy has claimed one already, so Anrel takes one at the other end of the room.
He tucks his coat under his head and falls asleep. Later he awakes to find his coat gone and the boy is leaving the room with it under his arm. Anrel chases after the boy.
Snow is falling on the streets. The boy stays just ahead of Anrel until they enter the Pensioner's district. As they approach a fire, Anrel manages to grab his coat from the boy.
Anrel is surrounded by armed denizens of the district. He allows them to take the few coins in his pockets, but refuses to give up the coat. He tries to build a ward around his body to repel the cudgels and knives.
Doz recruits Anrel into his gang. He wants Anrel to play a wealthy man in various scams. Anrel has no other place to go and has already stolen to survive, so he agrees to work for the man.
This tale reacquaints Anrel with Lord Blackfield. He soon finds himself working with the Grand Council. He also comes into close contact with Lord Allutar.
Anrel survives another social upheaval. The next installment in this series is On a Field Sable, which has not yet been announced on Amazon.
Highly recommended for Watt-Evans fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of various magics, social unrest, and young moderates. Read and enjoy!
-Arthur W. Jordin
This novel picks up pretty soon after the first, following Anrel across the empire as he seeks to bring Lord Allutar to justice. Frustrated by the lord's goons brutal treatment in one town he gives an impromptu public speech using the name Alvos the Orator and suddenly finds himself at the center of a growing uprising against the entire system of government in the Empire. He finds his way to the capital city of the Empire and stumbles across a benefactor who helps him infiltrate the inner circles of power to bring Lord Allutar to justice.
As with the first novel I found myself reading "just one more chapter" far too often. I'm a big fan of Lawrence Watt-Evans (have been since high school and his first Lords of Dusara novels) and found world he's created both fascinating and comfortable. I don't know if there will be any other novels in th is series--this very much seemed like the last one--but we'll see.
HIGHLY recommended for fans of the first book, any fan of Lawrence Watt-Evans fantasy, or just fans of just good fantasy.