Nicole's Reviews > Harbinger of the Storm

Harbinger of the Storm by Aliette de Bodard
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May 15, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: first-reads, fantasy, historical-fiction
Read from June 08 to 14, 2011

Events were wrapped up neatly at the end of Servant of the Underworld and a year or so later Harbinger of the Storm begins with the death of the Revered Speaker, leaving the Empire in jeopardy. Political intrigues only impede a timely resolution to the Empire’s problems.

The parts of the book that really shined for me were the action sequences, dealings with the gods, and rich setting details. The overall reading experience was great, though at times for me the investigation dialogs and political intrigue were tedious. This, however, wasn’t something I experienced in the latter parts of the book. I really enjoyed that Teotihuacan was used as a setting, and part of me wishes it could have been more than a cursory visit. Teomitl was one of my favorite characters, owing in part to his awesome granted abilities. I look forward to see how de Bodard continues to develop his character in the next installment of Obsidian and Blood as well as his relationship with Mihmatini, whose role in Harbinger of the Storm left me wanting.

I particularly enjoyed reading a story set in the Aztec Empire, a subject I was previously only acquainted with in the academic realm (a course on Mesoamerican Archaeology and here and there in other anthropology courses). The artistic license the author uses mingled with the historical setting and fantasy elements were a treat to me. I found myself transported into the mystical pre-Columbian world. The world building was skillfully done.

Overall I enjoy de Bodard’s writing, a minor gripe being that the many errors were slightly distracting. If you enjoy high-stakes fantasy with a superb historical setting, intrigue, blood, magic, and mystery, this certainly is a book (and series) you should pick up. If you lose track of the names or have difficulty, it would be worth referencing the extras sections in the back of the book for the list of characters, terms, and concepts as well as the pronunciation guide. Awaiting the third book.

Sincerest of thanks to Aliette de Bodard and the Goodreads First Reads program for the copy of this book.
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06/10/2011 page 79
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