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The Traitor Baru Cormorant af Seth Dickinson
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The Traitor Baru Cormorant (udgave 2015)

af Seth Dickinson (Forfatter)

Serier: The Masquerade (1)

MedlemmerAnmeldelserPopularitetGennemsnitlig vurderingOmtaler
9956415,419 (4)40
"Baru Cormorant believes any price is worth paying to liberate her people--even her soul. When the Empire of Masks conquers her island home, overwrites her culture, criminalizes her customs, and murders one of her fathers, Baru vows to swallow her hate, join the Empire's civil service, and claw her way high enough to set her people free. Sent as an Imperial agent to distant Aurdwynn, another conquered country, Baru discovers it's on the brink of rebellion. Drawn by the intriguing duchess Tain Hu into a circle of seditious dukes, Baru may be able to use her position to help. As she pursues a precarious balance between the rebels and a shadowy cabal within the Empire, she orchestrates a do-or-die gambit with freedom as the prize. But the cost of winning the long game of saving her people may be far greater than Baru imagines"--… (mere)
Medlem:Cora-R
Titel:The Traitor Baru Cormorant
Forfattere:Seth Dickinson (Forfatter)
Info:Tor Books (2015), Edition: 1st, 401 pages
Samlinger:Kindle, Read, Dit bibliotek
Vurdering:***1/2
Nøgleord:colonialism, lgbtq, science fiction

Detaljer om værket

The Traitor Baru Cormorant (The Masquerade) af Seth Dickinson

Nyligt tilføjet afgyme, pateke, yhlee, snorrelo, Safran2017, Jack_Feser, SnowyJen, unsquare, privat bibliotek
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» Se også 40 omtaler

Viser 1-5 af 64 (næste | vis alle)
How to describe this book? It has an exciting premise, some interesting characters, a well built world, and a good plot. Yet I didn't like it.

Once you actually finish the book and think a bit, the many weaknesses become apparent. One of the main premises of the book is based on coincidence, everything after that on an unfounded assumption. I don't really see how the central attraction - a math-accountant in a web of intrigue holds together in the second half of the book.

( )
  Andorion | Feb 6, 2021 |
Well written clockwork march to the inevitable conclusion. I don't know, in some ways it's poignant, in some ways not. Played or player? As always with this kind of question the only real answer is "Yes". I don't know if sequels are planned, there do seem to be hints at that. Further development might change the way we see this story. Not sure if that would be an improvement or not. ( )
  tatere | Dec 30, 2020 |
Calling this "geopolitical fantasy" is pretty accurate, but (of course) it's also character-driven. The mostly-suppressed deeper needs of the protagonist are always lurking in wait for expression, and Seth Dickinson does a good job of keeping the attentive reader aware of them.

The strategic political maneuverings, both those in a purely social and economic realm and those that involve the movements of armies, are deftly handled within the context of a fantasy novel intended to appeal to a "general" audience. The hints for almost every twist and reversal in the plot are placed about as long before they bear fruit as it is reasonable to insert them into the story, which I appreciate. While I predicted every major turn to some degree before it happened I was (almost) never sure of my prediction, and in some cases I had two or three expected outcomes to some question competing in mind.

I liked the handling of logistics, technological superiority, public education as an enforcer of cultural change (because ultimately culture is what controls the ebb and flow of empire), psy-ops warfare, basic economic principles manipulated for short-term political ends, the shortcomings of republican (not the same as Republican for those who might misunderstand this comment) government, the implications of the first rule of battle (no plan of action survives first contact) scattered throughout, and the importance of innovation in warfare. I also like the somewhat subtle references to the biggest problems of warfare: that, in the end, those most affected by it are those with the least to gain from it.

While the characters presented in it are myriad, they remain distinct, and I had no difficulty keeping track of them, apart from those who were most remote in their presentation (e.g. Admiral Ormsment; I struggled a little to remember whether that was the same admiral almost every time she came up). At least those characters weren't all that critical to keep straight for enjoyment and understanding of the story most of the time. Factions were somewhat varied, but they were described through interactions most of the time, rather than by simply giving them names and letting the reader try to sort them out, so they did not seem very prone to confusing the reader, and they tended to have a somewhat "organic" character to them that rang true for me.

While I felt compelled (in a good way) by the narrative focus to wish for the protagonist's success, always at least a little (even when the means to reach her aims ran directly counter to my own desires), my favorite characters were her closest female companions, Tain Hu and Aminata; her secretary, Muire Lo; and the philosopher-duke, Lyxaxu. Among those, Aminata and Lyxaxu were the least well-developed, and in the case of Lyxaxu I was somewhat disappointed by that fact because it felt more like oversight than simple lack of opportunity. His philosophical bent was a matter of narrative assertion rather than of actual representation in the events of the story, and his supposed family-oriented motivations and deep love for his family were so thinly displayed that it was close to the end of the book before I caught on to that aspect of his character, and even then only by way of a couple narrative assertions that it existed. If Seth had taken the time to enrich that character's presence in the novel a bit more, his actions during the sprawling climax of the war would have been much more impactful.

My biggest gripe was a single line in the midst of some high-strung tension that just ripped me right out of the narrative flow, perhaps the author's single biggest misstep:

Three thousand freshly invented light cavalry broke south on their new steeds . . .

The fact this was happening was exciting. The fact he slapped a big fat label on it saying "THIS CHARACTER INVENTED LIGHT CAVALRY" with a spotlight to illuminate it, on the other hand, was a bucket of cold water in the face. Don't tell me what she did. I can already see it happening. If you must, describe people's reaction to the shock of this tactical maneuver's implications to drive home the innovative nature of it, but don't just instruct the reader with dry pedantry in the midst of the event, please. I suppose it is possible Seth did not literally mean "invent", in the sense of the creation of a whole new tactical instrument of war, but if so his choice of words is rather misleading, and still problematic.

That's a pretty small gripe, in the grand scope of this novel, so if that's my biggest complaint, the author did pretty well.

Finally, there's the commentary on our world. Consider, as you read it, the state of the emperor, and what it says about executive power in real-world republics (in both horrifying and, to some degree, comical metaphor). Consider, as you read it, the references to the Masquerade's parliamentary body, and what it says about legislatures in real-world republics. Consider how young people are shaped by the influence of their state-run schools. Consider the historical uses to which people have turned their "scientific" knowledge, especially when -- despite all rigor and theoretical genius involved -- that knowledge was mistaken, and even how people combine hubris with theory to imagine grand political schemes to "improve" the world with the firm conviction that their motives are pure and sometimes you have to just treat people as numbers in your arithmetic.

I'm sure many people will focus on the most overt expressions of political parallels to our world, with special attention given to the modern social hot-button topics of Western democracy, such as culture, gender, and race issues, but those particular issues in their most obvious forms are only parts of a larger, more sophisticated whole, setting ideas of personal choice and will against the deeper problems this story also addresses. Whether the author was fully cognizant of all those deeper problems, problems that create the conflict over issues like identity politics, they are a necessary underpinning for presenting those more overtly described matters.

In the end, it all comes down to two things, I think, and this novel reinforces such understanding:

1. Every person must make choices, and the character of those choices is important.

2. The two most powerful forces for change are culture and violence, and the long-term power of violence lies in its ability to affect culture.

It's kind of a weighty book, when one stops to think about it. ( )
  apotheon | Dec 14, 2020 |
I thought this book was excellent--but the ending hurt real bad. I was gullible enough to hope that the Dickinson wouldn't kill a pivotal gay character for a second time. I feel stupid for not seeing it coming. I don't know if I can face the sequel. ( )
  dwarvensphere | Dec 13, 2020 |
If you enjoy the planning and implementation of battle, plus political intrigue, this is the book for you. I nearly gave it up a few times but the twists and turns of the plot kept me reading. ( )
  Saraishelafs | Nov 4, 2020 |
Viser 1-5 af 64 (næste | vis alle)

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"Baru Cormorant believes any price is worth paying to liberate her people--even her soul. When the Empire of Masks conquers her island home, overwrites her culture, criminalizes her customs, and murders one of her fathers, Baru vows to swallow her hate, join the Empire's civil service, and claw her way high enough to set her people free. Sent as an Imperial agent to distant Aurdwynn, another conquered country, Baru discovers it's on the brink of rebellion. Drawn by the intriguing duchess Tain Hu into a circle of seditious dukes, Baru may be able to use her position to help. As she pursues a precarious balance between the rebels and a shadowy cabal within the Empire, she orchestrates a do-or-die gambit with freedom as the prize. But the cost of winning the long game of saving her people may be far greater than Baru imagines"--

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