I’m embarrassed about how long it took me to get round to finishing and reviewing this. I did actually read most of it before it came out, and I’m pretty sure it was one of the books I chose as my Robot for a Day prize when I visited Angry Robot’s HQ, because I’d been enjoying it. Reading it today, I just determinedly pushed right through it so I can finaaaally get onto the next book (and hopefully request the third book too).
There were a couple of rockier moments, in retrospect: some of the female characters and the way the male characters related them — that constant undertone of sex, sex, sex from certain characters, and the description of various female characters as stupid in that vapid pretty blonde stereotype way — and some of the writing, which amounted to “as you know, Bob”, and “little did he know, but”.
Still, the setting is interesting, and the culture clash between the two groups is understandable and bound to drive further conflict. The twist at the end with the assassination, well, I half-expected it, but from a different quarter. I’m interested to see how that plays out; it’s obvious that one group is working on a political agenda, and the other on one directly from their gods. I’m eager to see how the various characters handle it — particularly Nachia and Swech.
I’m less interested in Andover and Tega, because that story is relatively well-trodden in fantasy. But they may yet surprise me.