Best Served Cold - discussion

Brian G Turner

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WARNING! SPOILERS! DISCUSSION ONLY FOR THOSE WHO HAVE READ THE BOOK!








YES, SPOILERS!


One of the implied themes of BSC is that Monza's quest for revenge results in far more death and destruction than intended - to the point of plunging Styria back into war just when it seemed to be on the verge on unified peace.

First, Duke Orso, then Duke Rogont, both almost achieve this, only to be seemingly undone by Monza's machinations.

However, it is also made plain that both the Union and Gurkish are playing everyone as pawns - and that whether via gold from the bankers or the prophet, one will seek to undermine the other.

The question really is whether everything would have fallen apart anyway.

The Union backed Orso, the Gurkish backed Rogont - so could either really have been able to secure a peace, at the expense of one of the great empires?

I don't see it explicitly stated, but I feel it is generally inferred towards the end.

However, would anyone else agree?

(Also, it is the ultimate irony is that Benna was ultimately responsible for Monza's reputation - and condition)
 
It's been a while since I read the book but from what I recall that was my general take on it as well. That in the end, the grand game being played between The Union (under the command of Bayaz) and the Gurkish (commanded by the other Magus who's name escapes me) rendered any chances of peace in Styra unlikely, no matter what Orso or Ragont did, as both sides wanted thier guy in charge and wouldn't accept the presence of the other. So even if one achived peace, the losing Magus would begin steps to ferment war again and switch the rulers to one of thier choosing.

Under Monza Styra is now something of a wildcard that neither the Union or the Gurksih can influence due to Monza's presence, protected by the other Eater who's name has also escaped me. So I took it that now there is chance for a unified Styra under Monza, even thought she'll have to unify it and keep it by the sword.

Any way you play it, it ends with a lot of people dead.

Typically bleak, typically realistic, typically Abercrombe. :D
 

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