The Lord of Castle Black (Khaavren Romances #4)

Title: The Lord of Castle Black

Author: Steven Brust

Series: Khaavren Romances #4 (The Viscount of Adrilankha #2)

Zerika has emerged with the Orb, thus ending the Interregnum—but not everyone wants the return of the Empire she represents. Kana, a Dragonlord, sees no need to stop his planned consolidation of the previous Empire’s territory under his own banner. He has the troops, he’s been building alliances, and he’s laid thorough plans for the rest of his conquest. But Zerika is not without allies of her own: Khaavren and his friends, his son Piro and his friends, the ancient and powerful Sethra Lavode, and possibly this Easterner-raised Dragonlord named Morrolan . . .

This book contains a lot more of Morrolan’s story—how he came from the East, set up in Southmoor, and the various things that happened to him after that. Morrolan occupies perhaps less of the story than might be expected from a book named for him, but what he does do is both amusing and crucial. He’s determined to build himself a home in a country that happens to stand between Kana and Dzur Mountain, the home of Sethra Lavode. And he’s not about to let some upstart Dragonlord run him over.

The book also contains little gems of philosophy scattered in the story of an Empire struggling to rise from its ashes. My favorite aside was a conversation between Aerich and some of Piro’s friends, in which they debate whether or not the ends justify the means. It was my favorite because of Aerich’s take, which I have not heard before, in that the question is wrong. Good ends can only be reached by good means, so if one finds oneself using bad means, start to question whether the end is actually good.

Overall, although I would not recommend starting with this book, because it picks up so many threads from the previous, this is a very good continuation. I rate this book Recommended.

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