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Speak To The Devil (2010)

by Dave Duncan(Favorite Author)
3.28 of 5 Votes: 3
0765323478 (ISBN13: 9780765323477)
Tor Books
The Brothers Magnus
review 1: Speak to the Devil takes place in the kingdom of Jorgary, where magic is regarded as Satanism and the Church comes and drags you away if you so much as hint at being a Speaker. Never mind that Speakers believe they’re actually talking to (and asking from) the Saints themselves.Anton Magnus is the fourth son of a penniless family seeking to make his name – and he gets the attention of the man who wields the power behind the throne. One brother is Baron, one is a prisoner of war, one was grabbed by the Church, and the youngest serves as Anton’s squire. Sent to a remote castle to avert a war after its keeper and his heir dies – many say by foul means – Anton and Wulf travel via limbo to get there in time to stop the machinations of the neighboring noble (hurrah!) an... mored for Wulf to fall in love with Anton’s betrothed (uh oh). Romeo & Juliet, anyone?There are politics and mercenaries, scheming nobles and shrewish maidens, bad guys and good guys, and a lot of descriptions of Anton’s fabulous mustache. Which isn’t on the character on the cover, more’s the pity. Along with the above, Speak with the Devil has colorful characters and witty dialogue, and an entertaining story wrapped around all of it. I thought it tried just a little too hard to not take itself too seriously, but will say that fans of Terry Pratchett will definitely appreciate the humor.drey’s rating: Pick it up!
review 2: When Anton Magnus attempts a foolish stunt to impress the court, his brother Wulf risks exposing his greatest secret, an illicit magical power called Speaking, to save Anton's life. This brings them both to the attention of the King's chief minister, who assigns Anton to defend a border fortress from invaders using only a small number of troops and Wulf's power. If Anton succeeds, then he keeps the castle as well as the title and bride that come with it, but Wulf may not be happy about facing so many dangers while his brother claims all of the rewards.This book takes place in an alternate version of fifteenth century Europe, while early firearms and cannons are starting to threaten castles that had previously been secure from attack. Speakers are hunted by the church, and if they can't suppress their power they end up burned as witches or locked away in monasteries. The setting is really interesting, its only real weakness is that, as a fictional country plopped down somewhere in Europe, it was impossible for me to get a sense of exactly where it was supposed to be. Maybe it shouldn't matter, but the mix of real and imagined place names left me feeling a little disconnected. I don't ordinary care one way or the other, but in this case I really wanted a map.The characterization was light and predictable, especially in the second half when the plot started raining Magnuses. Thankfully the story held a surprise or two, because the main characters, while they were fun enough, sure didn't. The scenes were written well, with good amounts of historical detail and a pace that kept me reading. This is an adventure story that's middle-of-the-road in a lot of ways, but that's exactly what I was in the mood for. It was actually kind of nice to spend some time with a new, adult fantasy novel that wasn't overly dark, grim, weird, or too full of deep emotional turmoil. It should be a good read for anyone who's willing to just go with it.The ending is less than satisfying, so some readers may want to wait until they can get their hands on the next book. I swear, I remember a time when it was more typical for each book in a trilogy to have its own ending... less
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Good start interesting characters and take on Joan of Arc and other saints.
That was fun, but it has the least satisfying ending I have ever read.
The ending was disappointing
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