Tuesday, 17 May 2016


Poul and Karen Anderson, The King Of Ys: Gallicenae (Grafton Books, London, 1988), Chapter XVII, section 1, p. 369.

On the opening page of the concluding chapter of the second volume of their tetralogy, the Andersons describe the city of Ys. If we have been reading the series consecutively, then we already know all the place names and have probably consulted the map on p. 10 of this volume. Thus, this description recapitulates the authors' account of a city with which the readers are by now familiar:

"...he let his gaze wander. To one side the city wall curved away beneath this parapet, behind it the blossoming valley. Nestled close was that red-tiled, colonnaded gem called Star House. Not far off, Elven Gardens lifted green and flowery, a chalice for the still more beautiful Temple of Belisama. Other fanes, together with mansions, graced this half of the city. Busy and stately, Lir Way swept down towards the Forum. Towers gleamed into a nearly cloudless heaven. Beyond sea gate and headlands, water heaved blue and white, past holy Sena to the edge of vision. Sails were out there, and uncounted wings."

We already know a lot about:

the city wall;
the surrounding countryside;
Elven Gardens;
Belisama's Temple;
Ysan mansions;
Lir Way;
the Forum;
gleaming towers;
the sea gate;
the headlands;
the island of Sena;
Ysan ships;
sea gulls and other birds around the city.

What goes on in Star House?

The description is perfect. However, our viewpoint character is a young man and is in the presence of Princess Dahut so:

"His glance went helplessly back to Dahut." (ibid.)

1 comment:

Sean M. Brooks said...

Kaor, Paul!

If I recall rightly, Star House is where the guild or school of astrology worked. Studying the stars and moon in an attempt to decide how they affected human destinies. Albeit, by Gratillonius' time some of the astrologers were skeptical about astrology.