The Traitor Baru Cormorant

The Traitor Baru Cormorant
Seth Dickinson, 2015

Premise: After her island home is taken over by an empire, Baru is determined to gain enough power within the system to make a change.

I bought this book when it was cheap at some point because it got lots of acclaim when it came out. I can see why: it's very well written, the characters and the world are complex and intriguing, there are non-heteronormative cultures (and more powerful cultures that oppress LGBT and polyamorous people). The detail in the governments and economies at play is impressive.

I read it now because the sequel came out recently and reminded me that the book existed. And... I think I liked it? It's just that I am not, of late, in the mood for hard stories, stories of impossible choices and great betrayals, stories of brutality and horror.

And the ending of this book is a horror, with only the smallest embers of potential vengeance to carry light to the sequel. I felt myself consciously distancing my emotions from the characters as I felt it coming on, even as I hoped there would somehow be another way out.

So I can see that it's a masterpiece, but I'm not sure whether I want to read any more in the story. Maybe at some point.

?? - Undecided Rating.


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