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The Brave Free Men (The World of Durdane - Book II) by Peter Dana - cover,Jack Vance

Size PDF book: 1106 kb
Size ePub book: 1459 kb
Size Fb2 book: 1954 kb
Book 2 of the battle of survival in the world of Durdane.

Reviews (7)
While not generally considered Vance's tippy top drawer, the Durdane books (The Anome, The Brave Free Men, and The Asutra) are more than readable. Vance fans must not miss these. They take place in the same time frame as Emphyrio (1969), which is one of Vance's very best books. The planet Durdane is a world beyond the perimeter of human civilization (originally far beyond, but at the time of the story only just beyond). Vance mentions several times a large 20,000-star cluster called the Schiafarella that dominates Durdane's summer night sky; Earth is thought to be in that general direction, "beyond" the cluster. The planet has three red/orange dwarf suns, which are apparently in tight orbit, so the planet orbits the trio, which are constantly eclipsing one another and creating strange light effects; this give rise to an obsession in Durdanian culture with color and color symbology; all of this is described but not explicated.

The original inhabitants undertook a long, long migration in the general direction of Galactic inward. They sought to isolate themselves from humanity and dwell on a virgin world in peace, so they scuttled their starships. Flash forward 9000 years. Usual Vance quirkiness and strange societies, including widespread reversion to tribalism.

But the story line is one of the few times Vance treats the implications of an alien civilization whose own perimeter is about to collide with humanity's. He doesn't deal with it head on, but even in the context of his rather baroque and sideways story telling, it's quite intriguing.
A terrific sequel to "The Anome (aka "The Faceless Men") which moves the storyline along at breakneck speed. Gastel Etzwane continues his investigation into the who, and where, of the Anome, as well as finding Finnerack and iniating a war with the Roguskhoi. The ending of this story, the second book in the trilogy, is simply amazing, once again establishing Vance as a brilliant and original inditer whose eclectic verbiage raises the bar for all authors, present and future, who write in this genre!
Combines all the best qualities of VANCE- irony, adventure, language and sheer amazing imagination! My second reading was even better than the first!
Unremarkable second instalment of the Durdane trilogy. Not as creative as part one, with a utilitarian plot narrative. Still an OK read. Just not one of those Vancian jewels one craves for.
The last ten years have seen a Jack Vance renaissance of sorts, with some of his best early work returning to print. New omnibus editions of The Demon Princes, the Alastair novels, "The Dragon Masters" and the Planet of Adventure novels have been put into print. But nobody has yet reprinted the Durdane Trilogy, presumably because the publishers don‛t think there would be much interest. On the other hand, many Vance devotees list this trilogy among their favorites.

Clearly Durdane is not typical Vance work. Compared with his other books, "The Brave Free Men" has only a few instances of humor, little sparkling and delightful prose, and none of those famous Vance societies that seem completely insane yet also entirely plausible. (Which isn‛t to say that the book doesn‛t unfold in a strange society. Rather, we never get a full explanation of what life in the various cantons is like. Instead, we must make do with tantalizing hints and brief glimpses of odd behavior.) The writing is quite plain, and the action is straightforward. Gatzel Etzwane, possessing the tools to manipulate Torcs, sets out to reorganize Shant for war. His adversary: the Roguskhoi, mysterious man-apes who roam the interior of the continent. Etzwane finds numerous obstacles to his efforts: rigid social structure, inadequate technology, and an apparent conspiracy among high-ranking officials. There are ample plot twists and turns, and an ending that explains all the mysteries and apparent contradictions.

As I said, the book is a departure from Jack Vance‛s typical style. The dry irony is mostly gone. Perhaps Vance felt like trying a story with plain style, so that he could focus on plot complexity. Indeed "The Brave Free Men" starts off with an apparently normal pace. At the end, however, you realize that quite a lot has happened, for a novel of only 250 pages. In that respect, "The Brave Free Men", though not Vance‛s best, is well worth reading.

A final note: The Durdane Trilogy is, in fact, a trilogy. It contains three books, no more and no less. Various editors and publishers muddied the waters by printing books under two different titles for their own strange purposes. Here are all the titles:

Book 1: "The Anome", also published as "The Faceless Man"

Book 2: "The Roguskhoi", also published as "The Brave Free Men"

Book 3: "The Asutra"

All three have been out of print for twenty years, so you‛ll have to search through libraries, Z-shops or old dusty used book stores to get them. As you do so, remember to try looking for the alternate titles.
This sparsely told tale is the sequel to The Faceless Man (AKA The Anome) and the second book of the Durdane trilogy. The books are no longer in print but Kindle editions can still be purchased. The copy I read is a limited hardcover edition published in 1983 that I found at my local library. Apparently, they are quite rare.
This book continues the adventures of Gatzel Etzwane as he tries to defend his country, Shant, from the mutant Roguskhoi. Unfortunately, the culture and government of Shant, as they currently exist, are ill equipped to address the situation, so Etzwane must first take control of the government, revamp society, restructure the bureaucracy, develop new technology, and oust the Roguskhoi -- and he has only 251 pages to do so. Vance manages to have him pull it off believably, which is quite an accomplishment.
The way he does it may not appeal to some modern readers, though. He summarizes much of what happens, `telling' the story rather than `showing' it. He restricts the point of view to a single character, Etzwane, and therefore relates much of what occurs in either narrative or exposition.
The plot is interesting, and the setting and characters are imaginative and well conceived. I recommend it.

ISBN: 0440017084

Rating: 4.4/5

Votes: 518

Other Formats: doc lrf mbr rtf

ISBN13: 978-0440017080

Publisher: Dell; 1st edition (August 1, 1973)

Language: English

The Brave Free Men (The World of Durdane - Book II)
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Author: Peter Dana - cover,Jack Vance
Title: The Brave Free Men (The World of Durdane - Book II)