The Dream Café

Steven Brust: “A masterful storyteller of contagious glee and self-deprecating badassery” —Skyler White

Brokedown Palace

Brokedown Palace cover

Your basic combination of Hungarian Folktales and Grateful Dead song lyrics. It took eighteen very difficult months to write, and is the only time (so far) that I’ve used a full plot outline. I’m pretty happy with it, though. The names on the map are Hungarian translations of Grateful Dead song titles.


Discussion Page 


  1. After reading this book the second time I feel quite differently than I did the first time. It seemed very “abrupt” and overly fast-paced (even for me) the first time I read it, and this time it didn’t strike me that way at all. Not sure why.

    Anyhow, I have a question:

    Could you say, at least approximately, when this story takes place in relation to the other books (in relation to Vlad and Khaavren)?

  2. Brigitta is Cawti’s mother. Does that help?

  3. After finishing it again just now, I was just wondering that very thing (that is, had we met Brigitta’s and Miklós’ daughter elsewhere). Still one of my favorites of yours, so thank you for those eighteen very difficult months.

  4. Concerning Hungarian folk tales… There is one such tale in _Brokedown Palace_ with the phrase “the King was mad as a Fásbot bull and tore out his beard”. The core (of both the tale and that very phrase) is quite clear, but what by Goddess this “Fásbot bull” is? Internet knows nothing of it, and Fenarian… I mean Hungarian dictionary helps no better than “fás bot” – “wooden staff” – which makes no sense here…

    Steve, could you please drop a small hint for someone not so familiar with proper Fenarian folk mythology?

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