Cetaganda: A murder mystery in space

Cetaganda by Lois McMaster Bujold

Cetaganda (1996) is the ninth novel that Lois McMaster Bujold published in her popular VORKOSIGAN SAGA but, chronologically, the story takes place earlier in the sequence, between The Vor Game and Ethan of Athos. If you’re new to this series, I (and the author) recommend reading these novels in order of internal chronology which is how we have them listed here at Fantasy Literature. I read some of them out of order because of how they were presented in the Baen Omnibus editions and I regret that. The story flows much better if you read them chronologically. (Still, though, any order is better than not reading them at all — this is a great series!)

In Cetaganda Miles Vorkosigan, the “mutant,” and his tall handsome cousin Ivan are off on a diplomatic mission for ... Read More

Days of Blood and Fire: Disappointed

Days of Blood and Fire (US) or A Time of War (UK) by Katharine Kerr

A Time of War (Days of Blood and Fire in the US) is the third book in the secondDeverry quartet. Here all the action takes place in the present — we meet the Rhiddaer folk and the Gel Da'Thae (in the form of Jahdo and Meer) who quest to Deverry in search of Meer's brother. When they find him, they discover he is part of a major plot dreamt up by Alshandra in order to regain her daughter. At the same time Jill charges Rhodry to find the only weapon that will help the Deverrians in their war against the Horsekin and Alshandra's evil followers.

I was disappointed in A Time of War — I feel as though Kerr has lost her way a little. One of the high points of her first quartet is the fact that the storyline flits back and forth in time, deepening your affection ... Read More