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Mass Market Paperback Not Really the Prisoner of Zenda: A Guardians of the Flame Novel Book

ISBN: 0765340127

ISBN13: 9780765340122

Not Really the Prisoner of Zenda: A Guardians of the Flame Novel

(Book #10 in the Guardians of the Flame Series)

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Format: Mass Market Paperback

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Book Overview

Kethol is an adventurer with an easy smile, a man who is quick with a quip and quicker with a sword. His partner, Pirojil, the ugly one, looks impressive and deceives people into thinking he's stupid... This description may be from another edition of this product.

Customer Reviews

5 ratings


I first got turned onto the Guardains of the Flame series ten years ago and have really enjoyed reading all ten books. What first hooked me was the original premiss of modern people being transported to a fantasy world. It is a fantasy that many of us have had. But, in his recent books Rosenberg seemed to forget the original premiss and get caught up with this story arch involving characters who had no dirrect tie to the Otherside. While I still very much enjoyed the books I was lonnging to have the earlier concept picked up again and to find out the answers for some of the questions Rosenberg seemed to have forgoten. Not Really The Prisoner of Zenda didn't pick up on those old storylines but it brilliantly finished off a three book long subplot. And, at the same time he reminded the reader that he hasn't forgotten the the old intreagues. Jason Cullinane finally once again picks up the subject of the Sword of Arta Myrdhyn. Wow was I relied. The Old Emperor and father of Jason, Karl Cullinane, had died just after finding out about the sword and then the subjuct wass almost complete dropped. We've been waiting for severl books to find out about this sword and while this book doesn't deal dirrectly with the sword at least Rosenberg lets us know that the theme will once again be picked up. This was an excellent book with terrific twists and turns and an encouragement to fans of the series who were afraid that story plots had been dropped never again to be found.

A ~great~ story, but Rosenberg frustrates me...

This book was possibly the best "finisher" book of a series (the three-book story arc in what is an eight book series right now) that I've had the pleasure of reading. Joel Rosenberg has some amazing talent. He's also incredibly trying and frustrating to read, sometimes. There are scenes in this book where Joel's describing every door, every wall, every dust bunny in the scene, regardless of whether these things are involved in the story. That irks me, because it's obvious how good a writer he can be. The last eighty pages of this book had me flipping through them like a fiend, muttering to myself as I forced myself to read one line at a time, so as not to give anything away. I distracted my girlfriend from her video game. This often takes an Act of the Cosmos. The end of the book made my jump and cheer, and I was utterly amazed at how appropriate it was. Joel's characters are good, if all a bit overly-suspicious and yet fatalistic. There's a dark edge to this series that I appreciate, and I think it does an excellent job of smudging the line between light fantasy and dark fantasy. Real things pop up, minor things go wrong, amazingly beneficial things go right, and you never know what it's going to lead to. Despite Joel's need for a stern editor, he was able to take me through the gamut of emotions as we bid farewell to a long friendship, watch the death of a noble and witness the greatest Just Desserts scene I've ever read. If you've read the other Guardians of the Flame novels, especially the last two before this, you will not, must not, miss this book. If you liked Glory Road, Not Exactly the Three Musketeers and/or A Game of Thrones, you will probably love "Not Really the Prisoner of Zenda".

Domestic Disturbances

Not Really the Prisoner of Zenda is the tenth novel in the Guardians of the Flame series, following Not Quite Scaramouche. In the previous volume, Pirojil, Kethol, Erenor, Leria and Ellegon searched for Forinel as the heir presumptive of the Barony of Keranahan, hoping to block the succession of Elanee's son Miron. They found Forinel in Therranj, happily married to an elven woman. Although Forinel refused to return to the Middle Lands to claim the barony, Erenor persuaded the elves to use their wizardry to change Kethol to be his exact duplicate. When Kethol returned to Biemestren as Forinel, he was named to the Barony by Parliament and was betrothed to Leria, a smart lady who is quite satisfied with her fate.In this novel, Forinel returns to Keranahan after Parliament to claim his new estate. But first he and Leria drop off at Dereneyl to visit Treseen, local Imperial governor, and find Miron there before them. After a few words, they take Miron with them to the Residence and start making domestic arrangements. Pirojil and a disguised Erenor stay with them for the time being to guard Forinel and Leria. Although all seems to be right at the estate, the guard force is mostly too young or too old and not well trained. Forinel finds, however, that his yeomen are competent with the bow and may stand up to armed opposition. He takes some of them out bandit hunting and is well pleased with their actions.Forinel is also well pleased with his betrothed, who overcomes his shyness with noble ladies with a well planned seduction. Moreover, her words of advice are informed and shrewd, just what he needs to carry out the impersonation. Unfortunately, she is called back to the capital by the Dowager Empress, leaving him alone and lovesick.While she is away, an assassin penetrates the Residence security and reaches the master bedroom. But he is frustrated in his attempt to murder Forinel by the wizardry of Erenor. Although the assassin dies without providing any information, Forinel and his friends decide that the instigator was probably Miron or somebody else in the capital and they leave for Biemestren.In this story, intrigue and treason is the game du jour. The Dowager Empress is still trying to kill off Jason Cullinane to protect her son, yet not being very successful. Baron Tyrnael has been frustrated in his attempts to give the barony to Miron, but now he seeks to marry his daughter to Thomen and thus gain the throne for his grandson. Miron is busily outwitting everybody, winning sword matches, and playing the innocent. Meanwhile, Kethol (not Forinel) is itching for a chance to cross swords with Miron.This story is a tour de force worthy of Anthony Hope or even Dumas, but with a more cynical and realistic approach. The surprise ending is not foreshadowed in the slightest, but is still fully satisfying. The author's writing improves with time, but can he produce an even better sequel than this volume?Highly recommended to Rosenberg fans

More twists and turns than a two-lane highway!

Rosenberg wraps up the "Not Musketeers" trilogy in fine style with 'Zenda,' which continues his story of characters at once broadly drawn and yet detailed enough to be endearing. A mixture of one part military/action novel, one part suspense thriller, and one part mystery, Rosenberg also adds just enough political intrigue to satisfy any reader of Clancy or Fleming, though the genre is quite different. Readers of previous entries in the series may see this trilogy as an unwanted departure from the earlier story lines of "Guardians," but they stand alone quite well. 'Zenda' maintains the standard of quality set in the first two, and surpasses them in terms of surprises. Highly recommended to any Rosenberg fan!

intelligent, exciting Dumas like action fantasy

Emperor Thomen has plenty to worry about already, but now has looming another major crisis to contend with involving the death of the very important Baron Forinel (see NOT QUITE SCARAMOUCHE). The heir to the Barony, Miron is a nasty individual who does not allow morals or scruples to stand in the way of his achieving his aspirations; fidelity to Miron is to one person: himself.However, on the positive side, very few people are privy to the fact that Forinel died. Cullinane loyalists to the crown come up with a rather simple solution. They use magic to transform warrior Kethol into looking like Forinel so he can serve in that post. However, malevolent Miron will not allow the return of his half brother from thwarting his goals and he has an ally at the emperor?s court, the Dowager Empress Beralyn.Fantasy readers know that when Joel B. Rosenberg releases a new tale it is an automatic winner. His latest ?Not? tale is the usual intelligent, exciting Dumas like action fantasy story that makes magic seem real through strong characters whether they are the ?good guys? or the thugs. NOT REALLY THE PRISONER OF ZENDA is a superb story set in a vivid realm. The return of the ?Not Exactly the Three Musketeers? is a welcome treat even if they are frustrated because they see their hope of opening their dream establishment diminishing. This novel and its predecessors are books not to be missed.Harriet Klausner
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