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Not Exactly The Three Musketeers Mass Market Paperback – Feb 15 2000

3.9 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews

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Harry Potter and the Cursed Child
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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Fantasy; First Edition edition (Feb. 15 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812550463
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812550467
  • Product Dimensions: 10.8 x 2.2 x 17.1 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 141 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars 19 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #631,472 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

From Publishers Weekly

Rosenberg's intrepid retainers of the Castle Cullinane return in this jaunty addition to his popular Guardians of the Flame series. Doughty men-at-arms Pirojil, Durine and Kethol are stuck with the dirty work when sneaky outworlder Walter Slovotsky avoids accepting a commission from the Dowager Empress to investigate claims that Lady Leria Vor'sen is being pressured to marry Lord Miron, the son of ambitious Elanee, baroness of nearby Keranahan. Along the way they're joined by the wizard Erenor, whose arcane powers may be rivaled by his theatrical ability, and whose background is as colorful as those of the Cullinane retainers. Though Lady Leria denies feeling any pressure under the watchful eye of Elanee, the three decide it's best to escort the young woman back to speak directly with the Dowager Empress?a plan that sets in motion a dangerous chain of events, all designed to keep Leria from reaching Cullinane safely. Fortunately Pirojil, Durine and Kethol, ably assisted by Erenor, are equal to the task of protecting Leria under almost any circumstances, given a little help from Slovotsky and Cullinane's dragon, Ellegon. Rosenberg writes his usual competent mix of earthy characters and gritty action, including a surprising climax that will irrevocably change the trio of friends and soldiers.
Copyright 1999 Reed Business Information, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


"Picaresque."--Kirkus Reviews

"A rollicking saga of swordmanship and intrigue, spiced up with dragons, damsels, and droll wizards."--SF site

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I actually started the series by reading this book (thank you, Andy, for the gift. Good call) and I enjoyed it quite a bit.
Summary: Three soldiers are dragged into a political argument and ordered to investigate a minor dispute in the outreaches of the realm, which leads to more than anyone had bargained for.
Pretty good opening concept, although I never read the backs of the books (it ruins the surprise for me). What interested me more than anything else was the pure grittiness of the world that Joel, whom I'm sure doesn't mind being on a first-name basis from me, captured and dropped into my hands. In a land of magic, legends and dragons, one wouldn't expect there to be hardship in simply travelling or even danger in getting a simple drink.
If life were so simple, there wouldn't be much of a story. So the attention to detail, the dangers of everyday life in a world without constant police presence, was impressive.
The characters are hardened veterans, having fought, bled and watched those they've known fall in battle, or even in a street fight. They're honorable without being fanatical about it, exceptionally practical and utterly dedicated to their lord. Joel captures and keeps the societal differences between our world and theirs, and the consistency of it was well done indeed.
The characters are Pirojil, ugly as can be and never is he portrayed otherwise, Durine, large and dangerous and distant, and Kethol, heroic and not too bright but humble. Despite their weaknesses, they are engaging and make for some plausible interaction. It seems obvious that people who have worked together for a long time would know each other, but Joel makes it a point to note some of their conversational short-cuts, and includes some failings among friends that are understandable.
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Format: Hardcover
I truly loved the first three Guardians of the Flame novels, which is why it was so sad reading this book. This new book starts off slow, continues on at a plodding pace until the last 80 pages, and just when it starts to get good, it's all over. The characterization is wonderfull, as always. Joel Rosenberg is a master of that. Unfortunately, the plot has fallen by the wayside. A description of many tiny misadventures that befall the heroes seems to be a substitute for a plot: you hear all about their trip in excruciating detail. You keep waiting for the plot to advance, and it hardly budges until the very end. The first three Guardians of the Flame books were great, but this one has the feel of 'a day in the life of three soldiers loyal to Barony Cullinane' rather than offering a fast paced and interesting plot that initially made this series so enjoyable. I would give it one star, but since the characterization is of the same high quality I expect from Rosenburg, I give it two.
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Format: Hardcover
Once again Mr. Rosenberg has constructed a fantastic story. Ever since reading his first novel some 12 years ago, I have gone to bookstores with the hopes of a newer tale. And on those rare days when a new book lay gleaming on the shelves, I always cloistered myself into a comfortable chair until the cover was closed.
This teaser to another installment of the Guardians series is nothing less than perhaps his finest work to date. As a co-creator and writer of a fantasy gaming system myself, the plot elements, characterizations, and over-all pace is perfection on paper.
As a final credit to Mr. Rosenberg, I would like to thank him personally for carrying on the fine work and tradition of both his and my "mentor", the immortal Robert A. Heinlein. It was almost comical to see your dedication to him in your first novel. There are strong parallels between your writing styles and I'm sure that wherever he is now, he laughs at Walter too. Thanks for your stories and inspiration.
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Format: Hardcover
Joel Rosenberg returns to my favorite ongoing fantasy world with "Not Exactly the Three Musketeers" It is both a departure and a return for the author. The departure is that the characters that we have read about for seven previous novels are background material in this novel. Previous backround characters are now the focus.
The return is in that the authors incredible flair for heroic fantasy is back. His descriptions of battle and the warriors that fight in it are exemplary. He shows the motivations behind all these "heroes", and that is what truly makes this, and all the Guardians books, wonderfull.
I was a bit disappointed not seeing Ahira, Ricetti or Andrea at all. Walters role, while prevalent was smaller than we have come to expect. None of the lingering questions from previous books were addressed in this novel.
I for one look forward to the next addition to this series. Anyone that wants to chat, comment or speculate with me on the series, please mail to
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By A Customer on Jan. 15 1999
Format: Hardcover
I skipped work to gobble this one upyesterday and then reread it today.
Rosenberg keeps surprising me with the Guardians of the Flame series. The first books were well-done swashbuckling [sp?] fantasy series, with well-above-average characters, the best damn fight scenes in modern fantasy, and a quirky bloodymindedness that kept me wondering if Karl Cullinane could still be alive.
Then the second series, the two Walter Slovotsky books, turned things inside out and made it all close and personal.
Now, with the (eighth?) latest book in the series, Rosenberg seems to be reinventing heroic fantasy with almost casual ease.
No, they're not exactly the three musketeers. If you want a Dumas pastiche, read Steve Brust's Parfi (sp?) books.
This one is something else, as though Rosenberg is trying to reinvent what Dumas and ERBurroughs and Sabatini were getting at in their time.
My only question for "Jayar" (I caught the cameo appearance by Rosenberg in his own book -- very sneaky, Mr. R!) is:
When's the next one?
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