Thursday, 21 April 2016

Two Knights Of Ghosts And Shadows

Aycharaych is the title character of Poul Anderson's A Knight Of Ghosts And Shadows:

"'Aycharaych...Who else? Masks within masks, shadows that cast shadows...'"
-Poul Anderson, Sir Dominic Flandry: The Last Knight Of Terra (New York, 2012), p. 503.

Kenjiro Murasaki is the "...knight of ghosts and shadows..." in Jerry Pournelle's and SM Stirling's The Prince (New York, 2002), p. 901.

"'Murasaki is like a ghost; rumored to be here, to be there, never proven.'" (p. 976)

They have something else in common.

"'I've sometimes thought [Aycharaych]'s an artist.'
"'An artist of espionage and sabotage, whose materials are living beings?'" (Anderson, p. 391)

"'...I suspect [Murasaki's] primary motivation is aesthetic - he is artist, artist of assassination and subversion and death.'" (Pournelle and Stirling, p. 976)

Anderson and his successors know how to write formidable adversaries for their heroes who, in both cases, are defenders of civilization. I think that again we end the blogging for the day on a high point.

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

Dang! I see you have another Andersonian allusion in the books written by Pournelle and Stirling! A very apt one too. If I was not in the middle of reading Allen Steele's ARKWRIGHT, I would hunt up my copy of GO TELL THE SPARTANS.

And Kenjiro Murasaki's last name happens to be the surname of the Emperors of the Wang Dynasty in Anderson's Terran Empire. At the beginning of Chapter 1 of ENSIGN FLANDRY we see this: "His Imperial Majesty, High Emperor Georgios Manuel Krishna MURASAKI..." Yet another Andersonian allusion!

But, I strongly suspect old Emperor Georgios was a far more decent man than Kenjiro Murasaki!