Like the Saga of Seven Suns, Anderson proves he is a sadist. Writing interminable sagas. My misfortune was coming in on the beginning of this one. Now in my mid-sixties, I hope I live long enough to hear "the rest of the story."
Anderson throws in enough human interest sub-plots to keep one yearning to find out what happens next. For one, I wanted a little more juice in the Cleoparia finale. It would be a spoiler to say any more.
Sagas have a way of stretching your attention span. My wife, ha ha, thought we would die before the end of The Saga of Seven Suns. This saga is so different, set in a medieval world. I think this is a commentary on Earth's world religions. It takes awhile to figure out which group represents Christians, Muslims, secularists, and various sects. Don't rush to judgment. That's part of the fun in this opening salvo, figuring out who's who in this saga. I hope Anderson doesn't trash the Christian-like group, the cheap shot so many journalists and novelists take whenever portraying Christians. It's boring in its predictability. Sagan was kind to religionists in Contact, making the evangelist compassionate and human rather than a bizarre abberation so many writers make of Christians. (I am a Christian in case you were wondering, and happy to be one.)
The religious aspects of this saga are not spelled out as Muslim, Christian, and secular. Kevin doesn't throw it in your face. He doesn't vilify one group and exalt the other, yet he does keep the religious conflict high in the order of things--the interactions between Urabins(Muslims) and the Aidenists (Christian) is scary, bloody, and pitiless for the most part.
I noticed people are bad-mouthing Scott Brick. No way. Scott does a wonderful job, as he always does. He's a great reader and worth whatever small fortune they pay him.
Have fun, and take your time with this book. It's not great literature, but it sure is worth listening to.
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