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Book Reviews: The Silken Shroud + Borders Of Infinity + The Warrior’s Apprentice

The Silken Shroud: Silken Magic #2 by ElizaBeth Gilligan
In this 2004 novel dead girl Alessandra the Romani princess is still a damsel in distress from cruelty-fuelled ambition. Her mancandy Mandero tries to save her despite unnecessarily hostile Rom and Alessandra’s half sister Luciana’s stupidity and the Queen’s cesspool of bad judgement and loathsome self-confidence. This was not substantive as clichéd evil religious types cause divisive, wrathful, acrimonious dispute. There is a total disconnect between this book and reality.

This book is unwaveringly devoid of interest. A believed dead heir resurfaces from an unambiguous death and more opulent tales are promised. The promised third volume ‘Sovereign Silk’ wasn’t published as promised in 2005 and it seems this saga is dead in the water due to author illness.

This was badly written, tireless in its illogic and elite snobbery and exemplifies all that can go wrong with fantasy. Alessandra is a vampire or something and an idiot. Mandero has no sense, the cardinal plots for unclear reasons and this was bad showing a lack of ambition and it just ends and nobody cares.

Best Line:
“Then send for your husbands, signoras, and pray that they forgive you in this impossible bid at the future.”

Borders Of Infinity by Lois McMaster Bujold
This 1989 novel is made up of three short stories and a wrap around tale. In the wrap-around tale Miles does his usual trying too hard zaniness to unmake another lot.

The Mountains Of Morning
As 20 year old Miles prepares for his 1st military assignment, he is sent to look into a backcountry murder case. This was an excellent tale of a cold-blooded and vicious case and Miles’ determination.

The unfazed 23 year old Miles goes on a mission to the disgusting Jackson’s Whole. This is a whole planet of yuppie perverts absolved of any oversight. He rescues people and triggers the paranoia of power in an enemy. An act that will have ugly repercussions in ‘Mirror Dance’. This was okay but Miles’ seduction of a damsel in distress is gross.

The Borders Of Infinity
24 year old Miles gets himself flung into an escape-proof POW camp by the Cetagandans. It’s all part of a plot to rescue the POWs. This was okay if dark.

Best Lines:
“If more than half of him became spare parts, could he be declared legally dead?”

“You got what you earned.”

“An entire team of huge, menacing hill hulks.”

“Tree piracy.”

“He saw her face only as a white blur as she whipped away in the blackness.”

The Warrior’s Apprentice by Lois McMaster Bujold
This bad 1986 novel has a horrible cover that looks like it was cribbed from a ‘Flash Gordon’ poster. Miles fails to get into the Imperial Service Academy so goes on holiday and accidentally creates a mercenary company of people who have instantaneous obedience to him. Being rather dumb and unpleasant, he fails to consider the consequences. He also endorses rape culture and thinks he is acting in a spirit of generosity and wit. Also the self-sure Ivan is painted as a benighted ass, which is different from later depictions. Miles gets away with everything as usual without the least hint of an apology.

Best Line:
“Not chase around through those mountains trying to collect taxes from homicidal illiterates and keep chicken-stealing cases from turning into minor guerrilla wars.”
Tags: 2nd hand book store find, book review

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