Top positive review
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Good, but different, and not really sci-fi
on 3 May 2017
As others have said, it's a "Culture" book purely in the setting.
If you'd never read a Culture book before, this reads as a fantasy novel - a good one - but the Culture is only there in the background and one particular moment.
I enjoyed it, but it wasn't quite what I imagined.
Someone else mentioned this is Culture on a micro-level; seeing how Special Circumstances do their thing. It's not a galactic space opera like Excession.