Wednesday, 12 December 2012

Finishing Rogue Sword

OK: "Boniface" is a word applied to innkeepers and is derived from the name of a dramatic character of that profession, like calling a traitor a "Judas" etc.

Since Rogue Sword is the only Poul Anderson volume in my possession while spending four nights away from home, I will probably run out of new additions to make to this blog. Slightly longer term, I might acquire some (to me) new material that will have to be read for the first time, not just reread, before it can be commented on.

Setting Rogue Sword in 1306 was, for those who know the relevant history (I suppose not many of us), kind of like setting a twentieth century novel in 1913 or 1938: it is already known what will happen next. In this case, the Templars will be suppressed; the Hospitallers will take possession of Rhodes where they will rule for over two hundred years before, after another period of homelessness, being given Malta and becoming known as the Knights of Malta. Great events are about to occur.

In fact, just as the Western Roman Empire had fallen a thousand years earlier in Poul and Karen Anderson's King of Ys tetralogy, the Eastern remnant of the Empire is now in terminal decline.

Lucas, evading the Inquisition, is hidden, fed and helped to escape by a woman called "Xenia." Because the name is familiar, I googled it to check whether Anderson was cameoing an existing character. He wasn't but "Xenia" turns out to be a Greek word for hospitality.

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