Honor’s Knight by Rachel Bach science fiction book reviewsHonor’s Knight by Rachel Bach

fantasy and science fiction book reviewsHonor’s Knight is the second book in Rachel Bach’s PARADOX series. Don’t even bother to pick it up until you’ve read the first book, Fortune’s Pawn. (And you might not want to read past the second paragraph of this review, either, because it will spoil some of the plot of Fortune’s Pawn.)

This series is best described as romantic space opera. It’s light on the science (it doesn’t even try, in fact) and heavy on the relationship drama. For me, the best aspect of the story is the mystery. Our protagonist, Devi Morris, has gotten herself into a strange and dangerous situation and though I don’t care about her romance — as I explained in my review of Fortune’s Pawn, the “love” doesn’t feel real to me — I am interested in where the story is going.

So, at the end of Fortune’s Pawn, the reset button was pushed for Devi, our gun-loving mercenary. She has lost the memories for the clues she was starting to put together and, more importantly to readers who were enjoying the romance, she has lost those feelings, too. She’s been conditioned to feel a sense of revulsion for her former lover, something that upsets her (because she doesn’t like feeling icky) and him (because he’s in love with her). It would have been easier for the captain of The Glorious Fool to simply kill Devi, but out of respect for his friend, he didn’t. Besides, she really is a great merc.

But even without her recent memories, Devi’s can tell that something is wrong with The Glorious Fool. She’s attracting far too much attention from armed strangers. It’s becoming obvious that people are after her and soon Devi is again questioning the activities of her boss, his daughter, and his cook. Devi is also concerned about the changes she’s noticing in her body and mind. Not only is she threatened by external forces, but there are internal forces, too. Is she going crazy? Sometimes she can’t tell what’s real and what’s not.

New clues appear for Devi and also for the reader as Rachel Bach, in the prologue, lets us see events that Devi is not privy to. There is something creepy and sinister going on and it’s not clear whether Devi is working for the good guys or the bad guys. Or, perhaps Devi’s role is to be her own superpower, not merely a merc but, if so, that is not the future she imagined for herself.

There’s plenty of action as Devi tries to avoid being killed or getting captured, all the while not knowing what each side represents and who should be her friends and enemies. Even the government of her own beloved king is now suspect. Difficult ethical dilemmas arise and Devi starts to realize that some problems can’t be solved by shooting them.

Because she now hates her former lover, the focus of Honor’s Knight is much more on the mystery than the romance, which pleased me. This is still the best part of the story and Bach gives us just enough information to keep us intrigued but not frustrated. Every time we think we’ve figured it out, Bach switches things up by showing us a different perspective. I’m looking forward to the resolution in Heaven’s Queen.

I’m still listening to Tantor Audio’s version of the PARADOX series, read by Emily Durante. She continues to give a convincing performance. She was cast perfectly for this role.

Published in 2014. The rollicking sequel to Fortune’s Pawn — an action packed science fiction novel. Devi Morris has a lot of problems. And not the fun, easy-to-shoot kind either. After a mysterious attack left her short several memories and one partner, she’s determined to keep her head down, do her job, and get on with her life. But even though Devi’s not actually looking for it — trouble keeps finding her. She sees things no one else can, the black stain on her hands is growing, and she is entangled with the cook she’s supposed to hate. But when a deadly crisis exposes far more of the truth than she bargained for, Devi discovers there’s worse fates than being shot, and sometimes the only people you can trust are the ones who want you dead.


  • Kat Hooper

    KAT HOOPER, who started this site in June 2007, earned a Ph.D. in neuroscience and psychology at Indiana University (Bloomington) and now teaches and conducts brain research at the University of North Florida. When she reads fiction, she wants to encounter new ideas and lots of imagination. She wants to view the world in a different way. She wants to have her mind blown. She loves beautiful language and has no patience for dull prose, vapid romance, or cheesy dialogue. She prefers complex characterization, intriguing plots, and plenty of action. Favorite authors are Jack Vance, Robin Hobb, Kage Baker, William Gibson, Gene Wolfe, Richard Matheson, and C.S. Lewis.

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