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Queen of Candesce (Virga, #2)
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Queen of Candesce (Virga #2)

3.95  ·  Rating Details ·  965 Ratings  ·  67 Reviews
Venera Fanning was last seen falling into nothingness at the end of Sun of Suns. Now, in Queen of Candesce, Venera finds herself plunging through the air among the artificial worlds of Virga, far from home and her husband, who may or may not be alive. Landing in the ancient nation of Spyre, Venera encounters new enemies and new friends (or at least convenient allies). She ...more
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published August 21st 2007 by Tor Books (first published 2007)
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Ben Babcock
I read Karl Schroeder's Sun of Suns almost a year ago and liked it but didn't love it. Queen of Candesce, in addition to standing by itself, has made me wonder if I was uncharitable to the first book. I honestly enjoyed Queen of Candesce every step of the way.

There is no question that Schroeder's Virga is a fabulous example of world-building. But it was so obvious in the first book, so overt, that at times it overwhelmed the story. That isn't the case here. Virga still plays an important role, b
Apr 14, 2011 Russ rated it really liked it
I read this book as part II of a double edition with Sun of Suns, the first book in the series.

Sun of Suns was a great book. It focuses on the world of Virga, which is a giant hollow sphere, 5,000 miles in diameter, filled with air and rocks, people and cities, fish and birds. At the center is a giant artificial sun, called Candesce.

Queen of Candesce loses some of the vitality of Sun of Suns. It's set in the claustrophobic, insular world of Spyre, one of the oldest habitats in Virga. Venera Fann
Jun 20, 2016 Frank rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
No spoilers here.
Schroeder continues the story of the Sun of Suns as one of the characters, Venera Fanning, last seen was falling into the vast skies of Virga. Adrift she is pulled from the sky by an exile Garth Diamandis living on Spyre, a group of small nations, that exist in a closed society of the truly dysfunctional and, anitsocial.
The problem, part of Spyre is falling apart, and one of the nations is blocking the repairs. So Venera sets out to impersonate an heir of a nation in order to ge
Francesco Caria
Dopo Il sole dei soli lo scenario si restringe, diventa claustrofobico e Venera deve fare i conti con sè stessa e, nell'affrontare esperienze che la metteranno a dura prova, rafforzerà il proprio carattere, crescendo pagina dopo pagina e capendo che il prossimo non è sempre e solo un avversario da sbaragliare con uno dei suoi intrighi, ma può diventare un alleato sincero e senza secondi fini. Nel finale del libro lo scenario cambia di nuovo e metaforicamente Spyre, un luogo chiuso verso gli stim ...more
Aug 08, 2016 Suzi rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Super liked it. The world where a character from Book #1 ends up is endlessly fascinating and so visual. How is this not a mini-series yet? The spy networks, the democratizing handbill printers, the weird and secretive trade, the HORSES. Wow. And then the feeling of being home and having friends - and having that all snatched away. Nonstop action, again.
Mar 26, 2012 Bookbrow rated it really liked it
Compelling story, Venera fanning is decent interesting character, wild world building i enjoyed the fact that I didn't know where the story was going. Schroeder has created a nice palate with the world he has created here. This series is a nod to Larry Niven's amazing The integral trees/ smoke ring duo. I am looking forward to the next book in this series.
Michael Martineck
Nov 13, 2010 Michael Martineck rated it it was amazing
Loved this book. It's just so much fun. Unpredictable, but never silly. I found it very difficult to stop reading. Usually my eyes gave out before my desire to set it aside for the night. Schroeder gets a lot of credit for his highly imaginative world, but deserves more for getting me rooting for a character that's not all that sympathetic. At least not at first.
Rachel (Kalanadi)
Nov 01, 2014 Rachel (Kalanadi) marked it as did-not-finish
DNF'd because I wasn't interested and I really hate Venera. Took me over 2 weeks to read 4 chapters, so this just isn't going to happen.
Jesse Whitehead
Mar 24, 2010 Jesse Whitehead rated it really liked it
Karl Schroeder is probably the best science fiction writer still writing today. He also happens to be one of those sadly under-appreciated writers. I think his low number of fans is probably due to the fact that his books are hard to quantify. His ideas are so big that they can't be described in a few phrases or often even in a few pages. In fact many of the ideas that Karl Schroeder writes about would easily fill an entire series for most authors. Karl Schroeder just throws in three or four (or ...more
Jan 18, 2011 Cy rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Queen of Candesce picks up where Sun of Suns left off, but from the very beginning it is clear that this book is an entirely different beast from its predecessor. Gone are all the major characters from the first book save one: Venera Fanning, the admiral's wife. The book focuses exclusively on her after the events in Candesce.

For the most part, I enjoyed this book because Schroeder's obvious skill with worldbuilding is on display again here, though it seems a bit less concrete than in his previ
Michele (Mikecas)

Secondo episodio della Saga di Virga del canadese Karl Schroeder dopo il successo de Il Sole dei Soli. Nell'introduzione scritta per questa edizione, Schroeder spiega che ha disegnato il mondo di Virga, un'enorme bolla gassosa in mezzo al nulla riscaldata dall'interno da "soli" a fusione, di cui Candesce è il principale, ma senza un campo gravitazionale centrale e dominato sostanzialmente dalle correnti convettive, per attrarre altri possibili autori ad
Jul 27, 2016 FerroN rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Sfuggita alla morte nei pressi di Candesce (il Sole dei soli), Venera Fanning precipita sul mondo di Spyre; qui sopravvive ad un atterraggio (a corpo libero) alla velocità di diverse centinaia di chilometri orari. Il suo obiettivo ora è quello di tornare a Slipstream per vendicare la presunta morte dell’”amato” marito Chaison Fanning; ma lasciare Spyre si rivela fin da subito impossibile.

Rispetto alla prima parte della trilogia, “La Regina del sole” si svolge in uno spazio molto più circoscritto
Nov 23, 2012 Peter rated it liked it
This is a sequel to Sun of Suns, and focuses on Venera Fanning, the clever and ruthless architect of the mission from the first book (as well as wife of the Admiral who led it), as she's stranded in the ancient and decaying city of Spyre, a huge rotating cylinder. Aided by the aging dandy Garth, who found and nursed her back to health, her efforts to escape back to her homeland quickly embroil her in intrigues that could threaten the entire world of Virga.

Whereas the first book was mostly a trav
Dec 27, 2013 Wise_owl rated it really liked it
It's been some time since I read the first book in the Virga series, though I recall intensely enjoying 'Sun of Suns'. Queen of Cadesce also proves to be an immensely enjoyable book, centred around a character who was a sort of morally ambiguous... if not outright 'villain' than certainly of a villainous bent to the first books protagonist.

Virga is, for lack of a better metaphor, a giant balloon in space. A huge sphere filled with air. It's internal structure is filled with small artificial suns
Scott Firestone
Mar 25, 2013 Scott Firestone rated it really liked it

Queen of Candesce is a sequel to Sun Of Suns, so be sure and read that one first. It follows the story of Venera Fanning, who was floating through the nearly weightless world of Virga at the end of the last book.

She's landed on Spyre, one of the oldest settlements in Virga. It's made up of numerous nations, all full of paranoia, skullduggery, and political machinations. But they're so inwardly focused that they can't see their ancient, crumbling home can't last much longer.

While Sun Of Suns wa
Jul 10, 2008 Belarius rated it really liked it
Recommends it for: Steampunkers & Skybikers
Recommended to Belarius by: Malgas
Queen of Candesce is the direct sequel to Sun of Suns by the same author. And, like a solid Hollywood sequel, it provides a very similar experience to the first volume.

One could split hairs and discuss the pluses and minuses compared to Sun of Suns. Queen of Candesce mostly (but not quite fully) abandons the multi-character storytelling that helped make Sun of Suns a page-turner. Instead of leapfrogging all over the exotic setting, the author tucks in for a detailed examination of a specific sl
Eva Mitnick
Aug 15, 2008 Eva Mitnick rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This second installment in the Virga series is nearly as mind-blowing as the first ("Sun of Suns" - Tor, 2006). Imagine an enormous balloon, at least the size of a planet, floating in space. Inside the balloon is breathable air, heated by numerous artificial suns. There is no gravity, so all the "principalities" must spin, most being wheel-shaped.

Venera Fanning, an exciting loose cannon in the first book, is back. She has crash-landed on Spyre, an ancient cylindrical place about 12 miles long an
Jul 28, 2008 Hotspur rated it liked it
Recommends it for: Hard SF fans, steampunk fans
Recommended to Hotspur by: Frequency Picnic
Shelves: science-fiction
Just started this, and it's early days yet so no star rating. I loved the Virga, book 1. This is a sort of-steampunk meets space setting, a little bubble of reality space in a very odd setting where people can breathe air, and live on little constructed cities that have to generate their own air, power, light and weather with very rudimentary technology.

I found the first in the series (sun of suns) to be very imaginative, and this one shows every sign of being just as good. (Concluding review,
May 19, 2008 Jenne rated it really liked it
OK, so this Schroeder guy who I had never even heard of a year ago is now one of my favorite SF writers. I would not call him a "crossover" writer however; this is strictly for nerds. But nerds are cool, right?

Anyway, this is the second one in a series, obviously, and the deal with this Virga thing is that it's kind of an inside-out planet, with a big man-made sun in the middle, and a bunch of littler suns farther out, and then a sort of skin around the whole thing, so it's like a ballo
Jared Millet
Now here's some good sci-fi for you. World-building is a big deal in science fiction, but one mistake some authors make when their fantastical setting takes center stage is to sacrifice character for the sake of the "Wow, look at this!" factor. This is something Karl Schroeder does not do.

Book 1 ended with Venera Fanning cutting herself adrift into the wide open spaces of Virga, the giant zero-g gasbag lit from within by artificial suns that is the setting for this series. As Book 2 opens, she "
Sarah Sammis
Jan 11, 2010 Sarah Sammis rated it really liked it
For the 2009-10 Canada Reads challenge I started reading Karl Schroeder's Virga series. In typical fashion I read the series completely out of order. I stared with the final book, The Sunless Countries and went back to the beginning with Sun of Suns. Now I'm at the second book, Queen of Cadesce.

In the previous book Venera Fanning fell to her presumed death. Except she's living inside an artificial world. So instead of going splat, she's burned by a man made sun and lands on the crumbling remains
Feb 17, 2009 Brittany rated it really liked it
Shelves: sciencefiction
I read Sun of Suns two summers ago, and remember being completely absorbed in the fantastically imagined (but mathematically realistic) world of Virga. {book: Queen of Candesce] picks up where Sun of Suns left of. (Though it took me a while to realize this. I wish I'd reread Sun of Suns first.)

It follows the indomitable Verena Fanning as she attempts to gain control over her own life and reunite with her husband.

Karl Schroedr is a very good storyteller. Occasionally he slips into the cliche, but
In this highly engaging second book in the "Virga" trilogy, Schroeder wisely dumps the rather one-dimensional "hero" of the first book and concentrates on the much more interesting female character, Vanera (please pardon any spelling errors--I listened to the book on my smart phone). He also abandons the world-spanning scope of the first book--sort of--to focus on one small part of Virga called Spyre. I say "sort of" because in Virga, terms like "small" and "large" are relative. Spyre is an anci ...more
Robert Hudder
Jan 16, 2016 Robert Hudder rated it liked it
Sick for two days allowed me to plow through this novel between naps. It follows the main female lead from the last book. The only issue I had was the sex in the book. Sometimes, it is better not to write those scenes. I understand that this probably sets up a triangle for the last book in the series and gives motivation to several of the male characters but ... I don't know.

This is a great and complex world that seems clunky in the sex. Also, it turns out that my son may be in a class with the
Bookmarks Magazine

The ingenuity and inventiveness of Karl Schroeder's miniuniverse has ushered the acclaimed author into the ranks of leading world-builders. In this second chapter of the Virga saga, Schroeder takes a different approach, with mixed reactions from the critics. He largely abandons the worlds and characters introduced in Sun of Suns and focuses on one character, the Machiavellian Venera Fanning, and one place, the world of Spyre. Most critics agreed that Venera was one of the most interesting protag

Sep 15, 2012 Katie rated it it was amazing
I really enjoyed this book, even more than the last one. Venera Fanning is such a fascinating character, I loved getting a whole book dedicated just to her. In this book she goes from being an interesting/fun character to being one of my favorite characters ever.

The story itself was full of lots of twists and turns, but it had an overall cohesiveness that I felt helped bring all the crazy/random bits together. There was a point, near the end, where I started to feel like too much was happening
I liked Queen of Candesce better than Book 1 of Virga (Sun of Suns). I love the cranky, complex, action-oriented female protagonist, Vanera Fanning. I am impressed by the way she develops over the course of the story.

I absolutely love the narrator, Joyce Irvine. She has an unusually harsh voice, but it really works for this book (the POV is mainly the protagonist's).

The overall plot is space-opera based (various governments and government agents trying to defeat each other), which isn't a genr
Grayson Queen
Jul 07, 2011 Grayson Queen rated it really liked it
The second book the series. I had high hopes for the direction of the story and the series.
As a story about political manipulation it had some weak spots but came through well enough.
I had two major gripes:

The first involved a scene where the main character had the ability to act but didn't not. It was especially frustrating because it was something that the character was more than comfortable with doing. The reality was the author didn't have her act in order to set the final scene of the book.
The setting for QoC is not quite as jaw-droppingly awe-inspiring as Sun of Suns, in that this story takes place almost entirely on a world-cylinder within Virga. (If none of that makes sense to you, then do yourself a favor and read Sun of Suns.) But on the other hand, the deeper character building in this sequel makes it quite satisfying in a way that its predecessor did not. So I can confidently recommend both of them, and I look forward to reading the next in the series: Pirate Sun.
Luca Cresta
Jan 30, 2016 Luca Cresta rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Un ottimo proseguimento del "Sole dei soli". Una costruzione SF di solidissimo impianto e di notevole impatto. In questo volume, si va più sui personaggi e sulla storia che il vede protagonisti, piuttosto che sulle dinamiche di questo meraviglioso universo. Diverso dal primo ma appassionante allo stesso modo. Grazie ai traduttori che hanno svolto un ottimo lavoro. Perosnalmente ho gradito di più il primo, perchè più pieno del "sense of wonder" proprio della SF classica che apprezzo oltremodo ma ...more
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Karl Schroeder is an award-winning Canadian science fiction author. His novels present far-future speculations on topics such as nanotechnology, terraforming, augmented reality and interstellar travel, and have a deeply philosophical streak. One of his concepts, known as thalience, has gained some currency in the artificial intelligence and computer networking communities.
More about Karl Schroeder...

Other Books in the Series

Virga (5 books)
  • Sun of Suns (Virga, #1)
  • Pirate Sun (Virga, #3)
  • The Sunless Countries (Virga, #4)
  • Ashes of Candesce (Virga, #5)

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