Emperor and Clown

Another series complete, Dave Duncan’s Man of His Word. I said that the stakes were starting to rise in Perilous Seas; it is only right that the stakes should reach epic proportions in the final volume, Emperor and Clown. To give you an idea, Rap’s dealings with the Imperial family and the four Wardens (sorcerors of exceptional power to whom magical law enforcement and the good of the Impire is entrusted) are not the largest stake of the story.

As much as I enjoyed the series, I spent a lot of time while reading in concern over the tale’s high-powered turn. As our hero says often, people with enough words to be sorcerors are so far above the petty concerns of mundane people as to be men observing ants. It’s hard to hold the interest of an ant once his fellow ant has been elevated to human-status, I should imagine. (Unless the ant is a teenage boy.) Luckily, Duncan was able to avoid most of the apparent pitfalls and put together a worthy conclusion, and even (if the back flap is to be believed) leave open the door for a subsequent series, A Handful of Men. I suppose this makes it time for another bookstore jaunt or three.

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