This and that about the book:
- This is a middle novel of a trilogy, and it reads like a middle novel. Decent, but not great, and slow slow slow in some places. I think he couldn't quite decide whether he wanted to focus on the world-building or the building war. Since the building war only interests me in that it helps drive the world-building, I'll confess to some skimming of the fight senses.
- The book contained references to Harry Potter, Star Trek, and that list that used to go around the Internet, back when we all used things like newsgroups, that went something like "The [Number] Things I will Not Do When I am an Evil Overlord." I'm sure that there were other pop culture references that I missed. They were most amusing.
- Did I mention that while lovely, this book was slow in places? Lots of languid prose describing the scenery in south Oregon. Very pretty, but not recommended for 6am reading at work.
- The religion was not quite as heavy handed in this one as in Dies the Fire.
- Neither were the references to the SCA, thank bob.
- S.M. Stirling does not kill off main protagonist characters, in this series or the Nantucket series. Secondary ones that will cause the main protagonists some grief, sure, but not the folks we've been compelled to care about. On the one hand, this is gratifying, as I don't have to worry about mourning characters I care about. On the other hand, it does push the envelope of disbelief sometimes.
- On the other hand, the bad guys will, without fail, die, in as gory a fashion as humanly possible. One, and only one, minor antagonist survived the Nantucket trilogy.
- I really, really hope that S.M. Stirling doesn't cop out the way he did at the end of the Nantucket trilogy, whence after thousands of pages of buildup, the main bad guy and his family are poisoned to death. It worked once, and it was a clever way for the good guys to win without having to fight more battles, but doing it twice it two related series would be silly.
- Despite these quibbles, in general, I loved it, and I'm looking forward to A Meeting at Corvallis, which doesn't have a release date yet, gnar. In the meantime, maybe I'll finally read The Peshwar Lancers or more of the Draka books.
I owe book reports for something like the last three months. Of course, until school ended, I wasn't reading that much. Funny how that can change when you're paid to guard an almost empty gym for 10 hours. :)