Friday, 29 April 2016
The Ysan Palace
small but ample and pleasant;
surrounded by a walled, intricate garden of hedges, bowers, topiaries, flowers and paths;
vigorous images of wild beasts in a forest on the northern and southern walls;
boar and bear sculptures flanking the stair to the portico;
a bronze main door, decorated with human figures;
domed upper storey set back on a green copper roof;
on the dome, a gilt eagle with outstretched wings;
inside, luxurious chambers off a hall and an atrium floored with a mosaic of charioteers;
brow-touching servants, not slaves;
on a spring day, dew, blossoms, every kind of bird song and storks overhead.
It has been worthwhile to pause and appreciate this description. The palace and its garden are the setting of a serious conversation between the new King, Gratillonius, and his youngest Queen. On a first reading, we race ahead to find out what troubles Queen Dahilis. The authors have given us all this detail that we probably miss but it is there to be reread. A large format edition of The King Of Ys illustrated in color would be a good idea.