Review at Dear Author

I’m over at Dear Author with a review of A Promise of Fire by Amanda Bouchet. Book 1 in the Kingmaker Chronicles, this is not the complete story so don’t expect everything to be resolved at the end. However, there are no cliffhangers and there’s a lot to like. It has a whiff of Kate Daniels and a more than a smidge of Captive Prince while being unique and different.

A brown-skinned woman with long dark hair holding a flaming sword

Mirror Dance by Lois McMaster Bujold, narrated by Grover Gardner

Mirror danceWhy I read it:  I am slowly making my way through this series and Mirror Dance was up next.

What it’s about: (from Goodreads)  The dwarfish, fetally-damaged yet brilliant Miles Vorkosigan has more than his share of troubles. Having recently escaped an assassination plot whose tool was a brainwashed clone of himself, Miles has set the clone, Mark, free for a new chance at life. But when he decides to let his clone brother assume his secret identity and lead the Dendarii Free Mercenary on an unauthorized mission to liberate other clones from the outlaw planet of Jackson’s Whole, things start to get really messy. The mission goes awry, Miles’s rescue attempt goes even more wrong, and Miles ends up killed and placed in cryogenic suspension for future resuscitation. Then, as if that weren’t bad enough, the cryo-container is lost! Now it is up to the confused, disturbed Mark to either take Miles’s place as heir of the Vorkosigan line or redeem himself by finding and saving Miles.

What worked for me (and what didn’t):  I hadn’t planned writing a review of this one. But there was a thing which happened late in the story which changed my mind. I won’t go in to a lot of detail about the thing (for reasons which, I hope, will become obvious) but given that it happens later in the story, I should probably give a SPOILER warning about now.

On holiday!

Our family is heading off on the Big UK Adventure, so no new blog posts until we get back in early August. I’ll be posting pics and chatting here and there on Twitter so I’ll still be around the place but I won’t have any time for reviewing and hardly any for reading.

Here is just one of the places we are going:

A long view of Tintagel Castle and surrounding countryside

Photo of Tintagel Castle, Cornwall, courtesy of Guiseppe Milo

Don’t miss me too much!





June Round Up

Monthly Mini Review

the cockpit of a spaceship looks out over a planet to the right and Miles Vorkosigan's face superimposed in the background on the left.Brothers in Arms by Lois McMaster Bujold, narrated by Grover Gardner – B Another strong entry into the Vorkosigan saga, (I’m getting close to the Miles romance books! Whee!!) which I am slowly making my way through. I listened to Borders of Infinity before Brothers in Arms and the former has a framing story around three novella length tales – I’m pretty sure at least one of those short stories takes place after Brothers in Arms so I did have a bit of cognitive dissonance when Miles was doing the business with Elli Quinn. I’m sure I’ve heard a story where Ellie falls in love with someone else. (Did I get that wrong? Am I confusing this series with something else?)

I enjoyed Miles’ ponderings on what makes family and I liked Ivan’s appearance in this one – he makes me laugh actually. Ivan strikes me as a fairly simple sort of guy, not at all stupid but a little lazy and almost Miles’ polar opposite. He makes a good foil for our hero. I also liked the way Elli and Miles hooked up here and how it was implicit that they were having, essentially, a FWB relationship. Appearances are another theme in this story – Miles’ appearance, Elli’s appearance and how it has changed since Miles has known her, the various consequences of their respective visages and bodies, not to mention the appearance of “Mark”.

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