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In the Lion's Mouth (2012)

af Michael Flynn

Serier: January Dancer (3)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
937290,251 (3.5)5
One-time Confederal agent Donovan Buigh is recalled to take part in a secret civil war of sabotage and assassination being waged within the Lion's Mouth, the bureau that oversees the Shadows.
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Viser 1-5 af 7 (næste | vis alle)
I'm of two minds on this one. On the one hand, this space opera is a pretty deep and interesting play on myths and especially the Iliad as seen as an enormous space civil war, featuring the same characters we've grown to love in the previous novels, Bridget ban, her daughter, and Donovan, a man of unique talents. (Multiple personalities and each personality's independence upon different parts of his body at the same time.)

Sound interesting? Well this is space opera with poetry, twisted conventions, literary endowments, and bit explosions. It's war, after all, even if the MCs don't want to be dragged into it. At all. I can respect this novel on a many levels and even raise my hands and praise hallelujah because its a big flip off to all the jerks that say that Space Opera is sub-par literature. This isn't sub-par by a long shot. In fact, I'm certain that anyone would do very well to sit down with these novels and analyze them just to show off to yourself that you're able to follow all the interesting twists going on here.

From a pure enjoyment standpoint, or if you're just looking for a light space opera with explosions and explorations and strife, you might not get as much out of this novel. There *are* a lot of interesting and subtle conceits, but sometimes they feel a bit mismatched with the scope of the action. Almost as if they could very easily get lost among the noise. I still enjoyed it, but I respect it more than I was enthralled by it.

It was decent. :) ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
Michael Flynn's entertaining 'Spiral Arm' series continues with a 3rd volume 'In the Lion's Mouth', where the tale of a convoluted battle between factions of Confederal Shadows and Those of Name is played out across the Rift, related as a chant by one Ravn Olafsdottr to the Red Hound Bridget Ban and her daughter. More is learned of the fate of Donavan buigh, once a hero, now shattered. ( )
  orkydd | Feb 2, 2017 |
January Dancer and Up Jim River were interesting explorations in a confusing universe where the Terran Empire seems to have fallen and the worlds of that empire are entering a dark age. Donavan the a character running through both books appears again as the central figure now.In the prior books the stone ie January Dancer or the quest to find the last treasure ship from Earth and find the Harpers mother Bridget Ban were key motivations for the actions in the books. Now the quest centers around finding Donavan and the mystery of why his mind was shattered into 9, possibly 10 personalities.In doing so we enter a shadow war war between 2 gangs / spy agencies of the 2 competing loci of power in this universe. All this killing and savagery happens while the local population of the various worlds turn a blind eye. The plot lines kept me reading, the various literary genres were a pain to deal with. If you are not familiar with epic poetry and celtic accents you will have trouble with this book. This aspect of it reduced my enjoyment and rating of the book.
( )
  Cataloger623 | Nov 8, 2014 |
The feel of this novel and its two predecessors, January Dancer and Up Jim River is unique. It combines a sort of 'space opera' approach with dialogue and description from what seems like classic mythic literature, where yarns are spun about heroes and villains, and spaceships, even when in quantum space, seem to function more like sail boats.

There are no aliens, just humans from a miscellany of colonised planets with histories so long that they are mostly myth. Scientists like Newton and Einstein are quoted like prophets. The only thing that the ragbag of human cultures agree on is that no one much likes Terrans.

There are two major powers: The United League of the Periphery, and the Confederacy of Central Worlds. The Confederacy is the remnant of Earth and its original colonies while the League is composed of the planets far out on the spiral arm of the galaxy. Both are engaged in a struggle using secret-service agencies, employing agents known as Hounds, Shadows or Those of Name.

In this novel, Donovan, an ex-agent for both sides, who contains multiple personalities, is expected home for a family rendezvous with his daugther Mearana and Bridget his lover. But he does not arrive.

He has been kidnapped by Ravn one, one of "Those of Name", whose organisation seems to be sliding into chaos.Once tasked with Donovan's elimination at the first sign of disloyalty, Ravn has returned at some risk to her to make known to Donovan's fate with his daughter and former lover,a Hound. Much of this novel is set on the ship bringing Donovan back : there is danger even in this confined environ.

So two threads, one taking place in a short period of time and going forward where Ravn is cautiously listened to by Mearana, Bridget and her ready to shoot on sight minions, and the other that has already taken place and involves Donovan and his unintended return to Commonwealth space where civil war is brewing and some of the rebel Shadows seem to need him for their own reasons.... ( )
1 stem AlanPoulter | Jul 19, 2014 |
It’s mildly difficult to discuss In the Lion’s Mouth without slightly spoiling the previous two books in the series, but I’ll try, mostly. This is, as the publisher stated, in many ways a space opera. As such, it’s very plot- and innovation-driven, so I’d rather not spoil it unduly for anyone.

However, without getting too spoilerish, I can easily state that all the books in this series are remarkable in their use of language. It’s not unusual for science fiction writers to make some effort towards restructuring the English language a bit here and there. This is supposed to support the illusion of futurism, since if English has become practically unrecognizable in 1000 years, imagine how it will sound in 10,000!

But Flynn doesn’t pretend to be reporting English as it will be spoken centuries after the human race has abandoned “Terra” for far-flung galaxies, as much as he works with our assumptions about languages and their speakers. Dialects, accents, and languages shift and blur throughout, as characters adopt and imitate and (de-)emphasize their traditional speech patterns to suit their settings and manipulate each other.

Most of this novel is told by the Alabastrian Ravn Olafsdottr, whose own speech pattern tends to “hoot,” as in her opening jibe: “Boot, you moost admeet, that in the mooment I entered, I coold have keeled . . . oh, two of you, I think.” This sets up her listeners, and the reader, to undervalue her intelligence and guile; she “sounds funny” and so is suspect. But she can speak as “plainly” as anyone else, and her assumption or neglect of her accent often indicate a shift in her tale-telling. Just exactly how and to what extent would likely be a fruitful term-paper, and she’s certainly not the only character in this saga whose adoption or abandonment of dialect is an important signifier.

But all that aside–is this a good story? I think so, though I’m not sure how much this novel works as a standalone; I’ve read two reviews by readers who were told it worked that way, and they seemed to pick up on the shape of the story well enough, but there’s a sense of vastness to the background that rewards more time. It also encourages a little bit of reading aloud, not only due to the intricate dialects, but also as Flynn indulges in chapter-opening blank verse and chapter-ending rhyming couplets, which is a pleasantly Shakespearean touch. (However, this doesn’t mean I’m advocating an audio version–the one I tried of The January Dancer was disturbingly sing-song and hackneyed every potentially choice phrase.)

I love dense and absorptive worldbuilding quite as much, if not more, than keenly employed language, and Flynn triumphs here too. In the three novels I’ve read of this series so far, more and more of this universe has been revealed, but it all suggests a layering of culture and tradition over time, rooted in our own earth’s historical past, but transformed and hybridized by space and time. It’s really fascinating just to read the names of the characters with this in mind: Oschous Dee Karnatika, Rigardo-ji Edelwasser, Geshler Padaborn, Manlius Metataxis, Pendragon Jones… yes, it’s humorous at times, but the overall effect is fascinating.

(There's a smidge more here.)
  InfoQuest | Oct 31, 2013 |
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One-time Confederal agent Donovan Buigh is recalled to take part in a secret civil war of sabotage and assassination being waged within the Lion's Mouth, the bureau that oversees the Shadows.

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