sage's Reviews > Red Seas Under Red Skies

Red Seas Under Red Skies by Scott Lynch
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Jan 07, 08

bookshelves: queer-interest, reviewed, sff, fiction
Read in January, 2008

** spoiler alert ** Wow, that took ages to read, but was ultimately worth it.

yay: I love the 'verse (hell, I requested fic in this 'verse for Yuletide) and all of its characters. It's fantastic to see a sexually egalitarian society. Male heroes, female heroes, male villains, female villains; gay, bi, straight, celibate; and sex roles as much a non-issue as they possibly can be. Likewise with people of all colors and sizes. Long-overdue and nicely done.

As a very tiny woman, I'm also delighted to see a very tiny woman kicking ass and being respected for it. No jokes about how cute she is. No demeaning comments about her being hot and feisty. She is what she is *at face value*, without any of that annoying (male) commentary pointing out an author's supposed concessions to feminism.

Fantastically played death-scene, too. No, I'm not happy that Ezri died, obviously, but I knew in this 'verse someone had to and it was most likely to be her. Thing is, I'm content with it and even proud of her. (Why yes, I do self-identify. :P)

The byzantine plots are cool, but then I enjoy Hammett-/Chandler-style convoluted backstabbing. *g*

boo: This book took me more than a month to read and it's only 558 pages long. Like TLOLL, it's *too* dense. And in the case of RSURS, the ending (post-battle against the Sovereign) feels wildly uneven...as if Lynch were three weeks from his manuscript deadline and had to tie up two primary plots and ten subplots in forty pages. Which, hello, is hard. To me, it reads like there ought to be another ninety pages instead of forty. It makes me wonder what he cut out to get under word-count, or else what other scenes he had outlined but failed to get written.

yay: But for all that, the book is a wild ride, a crazy emotional roller coaster, vividly cinematic, and just damned exciting. Trouble is having to stop and process between chapters, otherwise you lose track of who scammed whom and are lost when it comes to matter later.

sum: This book is better-written than Lynch's last, which is awesome, since this is his second novel. I'm looking forward to the third and to the rest of the series. It'll be awesome to see what his style is like ten years from now. :)
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