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Book Note: Jo Walton, The King's Name

I read this book about 10-Dec-2001. This is the first time I've read this book. The book is copyright 2001. This note was last modified Saturday, 19-Aug-2006 10:47:39 PDT.

This note does not contain major spoilers for the book.


This is the sequel to The King's Peace, which I read before I started doing this book log. It was very good, I enjoyed it a lot, so I'm looking forward to reading this one.

Yes indeed, this was very good. I think I'm going to mostly steer clear of spoilers and not talk about what exactly went on (though the opening line is priceless -- roughly "I first learned of the civil war when my sister poisoned me"). (Pamela is now reading it, it's not sitting here to verify the quote.)

I like Sulien as a character, and I like the world. I generally despise religion, but that's nearly all, apparently, because I believe it's nonsense in the real world. In a fantasy book, religion can be handled in ways I accept, even like, and Jo Walton does so. Religion is actually safer than magic (for an author) -- there isn't as much scope for rules-lawyering (or the gods, as active agents, can keep it in check).

Basically, this book is the story of the next step of building the Peace that King Urdo started in the first volume. It's a very important story -- trying to go from tribal society and revenge killing cycles into a nation with the rule of law. A very big step.

The framing story, quoting academic arguments about the provenance and truth of the Sulien manuscript from the 25th century or so, is also priceless.

Good cover, too. Sulien looks about the right age (she's 38 in the book), and Graydon says the armor is *exactly* right to the point of getting the color of well-sweated vegetable tanned leather (flesh side) perfect, and Jo says they do usually wear some neck protection with it. On the other hand, the god pictured on the cover has his name mis-spelled in the acknowledgements, which has got to hurt.

So go get The King's Peace and this and read them!

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David Dyer-Bennet