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Ten Points for Style (Englisch) Gebundene Ausgabe – 1. Januar 1995
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Essef - The Drake Magistral series. 1. The Crown Jewels (1987) + 2. House of Shards (1988) + 3. Rock of Ages (1995) in one big book. Rock of Ages: He's the Human Constellation's number-one-rated Allowed Burglar, one of a very select few permitted to rob the public and keep his plunder - provided he performs with style and avoids getting caught before the caper is broadcast galaxy-wide to his enormous audience. Drake is so famous as an Allowed Burglar that he has been invited to join the Diadem, the group of celebrities who are well-known enough to need only one name, and whose every movement is recorded and broadcast, and sighed over by billions of humans and aliens in both the Empire and the Human Constellation. Maijstral has made himself a legend by declining to join. But being Number One has its drawbacks. Suddenly you become the target of every other Allowed Burglar in the system. You can't go anywhere without being suspected of every theft that occurs, and your friends suddenly become all too cautious about their valuables. And then there are the Duels. Drake Maijstral can tolerate the constant suspicion and the suddenly cancelled invitations. But the challenges to fight to the death over imagined breaches of hospitality are too much for him. The last straw comes when Drake himself is the victim of a burglary that is clearly a challenge to his status. Someone has stolen Drake's father's coffin, the hibernation module that maintains the old Duke in his status as Legally Dead. Clearly, something must be done.
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Instead these stories are, like another review said, comedies of manner. They're similar to the "gentleman adventurer" stories of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, complete with high-society intrigue and witty, self-satisfied banter.
Allowed Burglar in the Khosali Empire, a mannered society ruled - or
at least with standards set - by faintly canine aliens.
This omnibus edition of three of the Drake Majistral books is a real find.
All three of these books are classics. Here's my review of ROCK OF
AGES, the third and best:
Drake has bested Duke Joseph Bob of Tejas in a duel, scared off a
challenge from Capt. Milo Hay, and put off yet another challenge by
Prince Hunac of Yucatan. He's planning the media spin for all this
with Duchess Roberta Altunin, his second and inamorata:
"Excellent. Then you must tell the media of your plans for a religious
"I will. I'm a hereditary prince-bishop after all - I'll spend the whole
night praying for peace."
"I keep forgetting you're a bishop. You're not very ecclesiastical."
Maijstral composed his face into an expression of piety. "I prefer to
keep my devotions private, thank you."
"Well, I'm a hereditary abbess, so I suppose I should not criticize."
"Really? Which order?"
"The Reformed Traditional Hospice Order of the Blessed Spatula."
"Oh. The Spatulates. . . I wondered why they worshipped a bit of
"They take it out of the vault once a year and make a holy omelette
with it . . . The ceremony is quite moving."
"My piece was a bit leathery when I tasted it, though."
-- and on and on, skipping lightly from one silly episode to another,
never losing momentum or control. I lost count of the number of
times I laughed out loud. Other reviewers compare the Maijstral books
to Wodehouse or Panshin's Anthony Villiers books. I liked this one
more than the Panshins; I found it comparable to Wodehouse at his
best - high praise indeed.
Peter D. Tillman