The sequel to The Phoenix Guards
. More of the same --- very funny, overly elaborate dialogue, intentionally portentous narration that works well to comedic effect, same great characterization and if anything an even more elaborate original plot. The apocalyptic ending was a true page-turner. I'm glad that Brust is choosing to keep the ex-Guardsmen more friendly (although they do all have different goals) than Dumas did his Musketeers in his first sequel. The romance adds a happy ending to an otherwise altogether shocking and terrible end.