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Queen of Candesce: Book Two of Virga [Kindle Edition]

Karl Schroeder
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £17.99
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Book Description

Venera Fanning was last seen falling into nothingness at the end of Sun of Suns. Now, in Queen of Candesce, Venera finds herself plunging through the air between the artificial continents of Virga, far from home and her husband, who may or may not be alive. 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. Queen of Candesce is her story.

Product Description


"* "With QUEEN OF CANDESCE, Karl Schroeder's Virga saga establishes itself as an SF saga of the same order as LeGuin's Earthsea series, Asimov's Robot stories, and Niven's ringworld series." SFRevu * "Comparable to classic SF epics like John Varley's Gaen trilogy and Jack L. Chalker's Well of Souls series, Schroeder's saga is an awe-inspiring example of masterful world-building.... (A) futuristic epic... to reckon with." Publishers Weekly, starred review" --Publishers Weekly

About the Author

Karl Schroeder lives in Toronto, Ontario.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 449 KB
  • Print Length: 334 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0765354543
  • Publisher: Tor Books; Reprint edition (30 Dec. 2008)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B004G5Z4Q0
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #538,791 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Another solid, inventive and interesting novel 22 Feb. 2012
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I read "Sun of Suns", also from Amazon, some time ago, and greatly enjoyed it. It was what I consider an entirely satisfying SF novel: a surprising and carefully worked-out setting, a gripping plot with plenty of interesting details, varied and vivid characters, and the odd surprise which never turns out to be a deux ex machina. There are several books in this series, though none appears to have been republished in Britain, and I put them all on my Wish List. This is the second. The spatial scale of the story is smaller this time: instead of travelling all over the vast hollow world of Virga, it is confined to one (albeit very large) settlement, and the action is ground-based instead of flying around on jet-propelled airships. This does not make it any less exciting or interesting, though. Without a fleet of airships at her command, Venera Fanning finds the strange societies of Spyre just as dangerous as an encounter with the sky pirates or enemy dreadnoughts of the first book--and with no companions, is dependent on her own wits to escape from various nasty situations and find her way home. That Karl Schroeder manages to help her do this without ever seeming to cheat shows how good he is at managing plot. Even the "secret weapon" Venera brings out at the end turns out to be something we were quite openly shown earlier...except that, at that time, we had no reason to think it had a military use. See if you can spot it in advance. This book falls short of greatness, and I would dock it half a star for a couple of short but unnecessarily explicit sex scenes, but nonetheless I strongly recommend it and look forward to buying the remaining books in the series when I have the money!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Steampunk space opera at its best 29 Oct. 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I am not normally enticed by books which are part of a series. Authors that can keep interest and invention alive within the confines set by a series are rare. Buying into a series might mean missing much better stand alone novels from other authors. And this is 'book 2' of the Virga series, which I thought was a trilogy but now discover is longer. But I am happy to be following this series. Why? It effortlessly melds space opera and steam punk with some other other fiction genres, like the adventure novel. Virga is a enormous balloon in space containing air and a declined human civilisation living on spinning structures and dependent on small artificial suns to grow food. Outside Virga is a shadowy machine civilisation, whose agent was killed in the previous book, Sun of Suns, by the heroine of this book, Venera Fanning. Heroine is perhaps not quite the right term as Venera is a vicious Machiavellian whose bad temperament stems from a stray bullet that broke her jaw when she was young. Venera has a device which controls Candesce, the sun which serves Spyre, a cylinder world Venera lands on at the start of this book. The device is taken from her and this book is about how she tries to recover it from the bizarre clans (some squeezed into single buildings) that run Spyre. By the end of the book Venera is a changed woman, not least because she discovers the source of the bullet that has blighted her life.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Enjoyable read 14 Jun. 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I'm enjoying this series so far. It's not the most mature read out there but the characters are interesting and mostly plausible. But the real appeal to these books is the imagination that Schroeder has put into them; I'm having a lot of fun flying around in the world that the's created.

This book changes gears a little from Sun of Suns; it's a little more epic and it gives us a lot more insight into the world itself and even a little bit of information on the world beyond.

Sun of Suns had a storyline of it's own but in retrospect, it appears to be more of an introduction to the setting with our main character as a guide. Pirate Sun also has it's own storyline but it is more of an introduction to what I suspect is going to be the true story arc of this series.

In fact, I'd now class Sun of Suns as the series prequel and this one as the first book of the series. And it leaves me wanting to read more.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars 22 Dec. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Such a good story well sustained from book one. Very recommended.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.7 out of 5 stars  10 reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Best of the three Virga books 21 Feb. 2009
By I C booklover - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I still don't think the Virga books are Karl Schroeder's best work. If you're looking for hard, challenging SF, read Ventus, Lady of Maze, and Permanence. But the Virga books are still very entertaining and original, and well-worth your time.

I've read all three of the currently-published Virga books (I understand there is at least one more on the way), and Queen of Candesce is the best. Still, it isn't stand-alone, and must be read in context with the others. If you've read Sun of Suns and aren't quite sure whether you want to continue with the Virga series (which is where I was after reading that book), Queen of Candesce will make you glad you kept going; it is, I believe, the most artistic and thoughtful of the three; more about the characters than about the world of Virga itself.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellently imagined story 17 Nov. 2009
By Rachel Thern - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback
At the end of Sun of Suns, Venera Fanning, an interesting but not completely sympathetic character, has taken a chance in throwing herself into the gravity-free air of Virga. The air currents have brought her to a vast structure called the Spire, where she is rescued by a disgraced gentleman now living on the outskirts of society. The Spire is a huge cylinder consisting of many independent nations. It contains more gravity-laden land than Venera has ever seen before, but due to its state of ill repair, is in danger of splintering to pieces at any time.

Venera, raised in a highly Machiavellian and paranoid society, is not comfortable staying in a powerless position for long. Through her plots she upends the power structure of one nation and then works her way into being one of the most powerful players in the Spire. During this time, she is also reflective and grows to be loyal to more than just herself.

Of the first three Virga books (I haven't yet read the fourth), this is my favorite due of its focus on character and its well-formed and self-contained story arc. I loved Sun of Suns when I first read it when it came out, but re-reading it now (I found I'd forgotten a lot of the plot!) I can see how his writing has improved in this series. His descriptions of people and the sights of Virga have become more natural and effortless. Of course, some of this may be due to the reader - a gravity-free world is hard to wrap my mind around, but I find I can picture it more and more vividly the longer I spend there.
3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Out Nivens Niven II 21 Feb. 2008
By R. Albin - Published on
This is a well written descendent of Larry Niven's Ringworld and Bob Shaw's Orbitsville. The essential features are an immense, exotic, and technologically formidable habitat in an extrasolar system combined with some kind of action/adventure plot that reveals the interesting features of the habitat and its occupying human societies. Schroeder does well on both counts with an ingenious space habitat and a decently written story line. The habitat is well articulated and the plotting does of a good job of displaying a variety of human cultures occupying the habitat. The plot incorporates a theme of personal transformation on the part of the protagonist that boosts character development.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, possiby the best in the series 15 Nov. 2013
By Richard Shaffstall - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
This book is nothing but surprises. You certainly are not expecting who the main character of the book is, not with the circumstances they were left in from the first book in the series. As the story unfolds the author sets you up for what's coming, yet when it arrives it nothing like you are expecting. It's very unlike any other story I have read before. Had me ordering the next book in the series before I had finished this one. A real page turner.
5.0 out of 5 stars Great book! 30 Aug. 2013
By Amazon Addict - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Loved it! Well written and hated to put it down. I liked it better than book 1 and have just downloaded book 3.
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