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09 March 2009

Paladins II: Knight Moves

Joel Rosenberg
ISBN: 1-4165-5562-5
Rating: Buy, Softcover, New

Mrs. Bugbear has pointed out I need to spend more time studying for the PPE so this may be the last review for awhile and the end of my limited social life until 18 April 2009.

Joel Rosenberg is an author I only occasionally read, I enjoyed the first few books of the Guardians of the Flame series but I lost interest after Rosenberg killed off the main character. If you're interested Webscriptions has copies of the three Baen Megabooks that comprise most of the series.

This review is for Paladins II not for the Guardians of the Flame. Beware of spoilers!

The Paladins series is the story of our world if Mordred had won rather than King Arthur with Arthur cast as the villain of the piece. History, after all, is written by the victorious. Most of the characters even reference Sir Thomas Malory at one time or another in the course of Paladins II. The events roughly parallel the real worlds and the time frame would be approximately seventeenth century. I don't generally read much alternate history fiction but this one is interesting in that magic works and the events only roughly parallel our own history.

Not a bad book overall, beware that Rosenberg is not beyond killing off main protagonists, or
maybe the main protagonist isn't who you think it is? Rosenberg manages to create a flawed hero in Gray, a mournful hero in Cully and a perplexed hero in Sir Niko and manages to interweave the three story lines. It's a bit slow at first but manages to get wound up towards the end. Unfortunately the author leaves you on a bit of a cliffhanger at the end.

In one sense the series is more like one giant novel cut up into bits. The first novel introduced the characters, the second novel sets the stage for the epic struggle and the presumably the third will conclude the story.

I've generally enjoyed Rosenberg's prior work so I feel that the Paladins series is worth the time and a minimal investment.

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