Laura de Leon's Reviews > Garment of Shadows

Garment of Shadows by Laurie R. King
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Sep 06, 12

bookshelves: review-copy, nook, mystery
Read from May 21 to 23, 2012

4.5 stars.

I have yet to encounter a Mary Russell book I didn't greatly enjoy, and this was no exception. It's a return to a style from earlier in the series, after some highly successful ventures into comedy with Pirate King and a more political thriller in The God of the Hive. This is a more straightforward adventure, more like O Jerusalem and The Game. These aren't my favorite books of the series, but I still enjoy them, as I did this book.

It explores a new exotic setting in Morocco, an area of the world I am unfamiliar with, far more than those in the previous novels. That was the biggest weakness of the book for me-- it ties significantly into the politics of the time and place. These are explained in great detail, since the majority of readers won't be familiar with the information, but I just never brought myself to actually care.

I admit to being seriously concerned about the amnesia plotline, but it actually worked quite well for me, giving a reason for information to be doled out slowly, and as an added bonus, giving some of the delicious tension between Russell and Holmes that was so present in the early books, but much less so as they've settled into marriage.

If you are a fan of the series, this is a must read. If you haven't read these books before, I wouldn't pick this as a starting point, largely because of two recurring characters that appear here. I'm sure the book reads just fine without prior knowledge of the pair, Laurie R. King is far to skilled to have it be otherwise, but I think there is a layer of the character interaction that will be missing without knowing these two, and that would significantly impact the book. So I say start elsewhere, they are all worth reading!
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