Landing in the ancient nation of Spyre, Venera encounters new enemies and new friends (or at least convenient allies). She must quickly learn who she can trust, and who she can manipulate in order to survive.
But survival isn't her only goal; with the powerful Key of Candesce in her hands, she can control the fate of the entire world of Virga, yet something even more pressing is driving her - the all consuming need for revenge.
©2007 Karl Schroeder; (P)2008 Macmillan Audio
The second book in the Virga series.
Venera Fanning is the most captivating heroine in any science fiction book I have ever read - regal, smart, cunning, ruthless when required (or advantageous). Just as one crisis seems to be averted it spawns another. There are times she is desperate but she is never equivocal.
All in such a well constructed world and all building on a plot that never veers from a clear direction.
And did I mention the reader is so nuanced and so in tune with the story she totally draws you in.
The audio books I get tend to be either 1) scifi or 2) things for my husband and me to listen to on long road trips--humor or history
In this highly engaging second book in the "Virga" trilogy, Schroeder wisely dumps the rather one-dimensional "hero" of the first book and concentrates on the much more interesting female character, Vanera (please pardon any spelling errors--I listened to the book on my smart phone). He also abandons the world-spanning scope of the first book--sort of--to focus on one small part of Virga called Spyre. I say "sort of" because in Virga, terms like "small" and "large" are relative. Spyre is an ancient cylinder(think Rama or B5) that is a world unto itself. Schroeder does a fantastic job getting across how old Spyre is by populating it with hundreds of mutually distrusting fiefdoms for whom political maneuverings and secrets are their meat & potatoes. Into this inbred, labyrinthine society falls Vanera (literally), who rocks their civilization to its girders. Can't wait to read (actually, hear) the third book. BTW, the actress who does the reading is fantastic.
My favorite books are science fiction, fantasy, and a combination of the two. I love listening to audiobooks on long distance runs.
Phenomenal world building, fun characters, and a well done story. Events within the plot are often too convenient, but the cleverness of the world, and the characters forgives such minor quibbles. Overall an excellent no very fun read.
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