Tuesday, 2 July 2013

Flandry And Others

In four of the Dominic Flandry novels, we see the central character in conversation with each of the four men who try to become Terran Emperor by force. One succeeds. The four are:

McCormac in The Rebel Worlds;
Molitor in A Knight Of Ghosts And Shadows;
Cairncross in A Stone In Heaven;
Magnusson in The Game Of Empire.

What looks like casual dinner conversation with Magnusson is, of course, very clever espionage which, in this case, does not succeed, although through no fault of Flandry's.

"Flandry was practiced at keeping vigilance behind a mask of bonhomie. Magnusson was not; when he felt such a need, he clamped down a poker face." (Flandry's Legacy, New York, 2012, pp. 394-395)

There are two other neat touches during this conversation.

"[Flandry's] brand of tobacco had an odor suggesting leaves on fire in a northern Terran autumn." (p. 395)

Of course. How appropriate. Flandry had told us, in an earlier installment of the series, that Manuel's Empire was the Indian Summer of Technic Civilization and that, by Flandry's own time, autumn is far advanced.

When Magnusson is having Flandry arrested, he says:

"'...I now have one more proof that the God looks after His warriors.'" (p. 400)

This is frightening because a human being is suddenly speaking like a Merseian. (Think Doctor Who companion suddenly speaking like a Dalek.) But Magnusson has not, impossibly, changed his species. How he came to be loyal to Merseia, and what role Aycharaych may have played in his conversion, is a fascinating story to be disclosed in a later chapter.

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