Sunday, 23 February 2014

Memorable Scenes

Poul Anderson, Time Patrol (New York, 2006).

So far, I have mentioned three scenes in "Brave To Be A King" as particularly memorable:

the fight in the forest;
the angelic apparition to Astyages;
Keith Denison's difficult reunion with his wife, Cynthia.

And Sandra Miesel rightly points out that the solstice festival scene is so meaningful that a comprehensive analysis would be longer than it. But the pivotal dramatic scene comes when an enormous, scarlet-robed figure enters a peacock-domed room and bellows three times:

"'Halt! Fall on your faces! The King comes!'" (p. 79)

Even men fighting with swords must stop and hit the floor. A band of the guards called Immortals trots in and makes an alley to the couch. A chamberlain runs in to put a special tapestry over it. The robed Cyrus strides in followed by a few armed courtiers and a hand-wringing slave MC who would have spread a carpet or summoned musicians.

"'Where is the stranger that the slave ran to tell me of?'
"'I am he, Great King,' said Everard.
"'Arise. Declare your name.'
"Everard stood up and murmured: 'Hi, Keith.'" (pp. 80-81)

The truth about the King had "...blazed upon Everard." (p. 78)

- and, when he called for the King, others tried to stop him. Meanwhile, Keith Denison has waited sixteen years for a word from home. That has to be one of the most dramatic scenes in time travel fiction.

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