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Harbinger of the Storm (Angry Robot) Mass Market Paperback – 25 Jan 2011
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Praise for Servant of the Underworld: "Amid the mud and maize of the Mexica empire, Aliette de Bodard has composed a riveting story of murder, magic and sibling rivalry." - Elizabeth Bear "Highly recommended... Ms. de Bodard is a writer to watch." - Fantasy Book Critic "Part murder mystery, part well-researched historical novel and part fantasy... The fantasy element blends neatly with the other parts. 4****" - SFX Magazine "Aliette de Bodard has done it again. Harbinger of the Storm is an action packed Aztec mystery opera with magic, interventions from the gods and more twists and turns than the first book." - Cybermage "The way the story is told in this book is very impressive, the plot is both mature and seductive, twisting and turning like a weather vane in a force 9 gale..." - SF Book Reviews
About the Author
Aliette de Bodard is a writer and computer specialist whose short fiction has already brought her a John W Campbell Award nomination, for best newcomer. Aliette is French, of Vietnamese extraction, but she writes exclusively in English.
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Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
I remember reading Servant of the Underworld, the first book in the trilogy, several years ago and liking it, but I was less enthusiastic about this one. On the positive side, the writing is certainly competent, and the Aztec culture is interesting, if not exactly appealing (human sacrifices are so common that they’re simply background noise, and the priests and courtiers have to prick their earlobes with thorns to give the gods blood offerings several times a day). The magical scenes, involving visits to the worlds of the gods, were vibrant and exciting, the best things in the book.
I did not find the individual characters interesting, however. The unfamiliar, multisyllabic names made it hard to remember who the various players were, and their political machinations were too complex to keep track of easily. Worst of all, I didn’t really care. It was also unfortunate that there were almost no female characters; even the official called the She-Snake, who was supposed to represent the feminine principle, in fact was male. Similarly, among the deities, the goddesses were generally less powerful than the gods, and almost all were malevolent. The only human woman with much personality or power was killed off early in the book. This lack perhaps was unavoidable given that the culture was so clearly male-dominated, but it was still too bad, since I know that de Bodard can do a very good job with female characters (see The Tea Master and the Detective, for instance).