Derek's Reviews > The Sword of Rhiannon

The Sword of Rhiannon by Leigh Brackett
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's review
Dec 03, 2008

really liked it
bookshelves: sword-and-planet
Read from November 04 to 07, 2016

Its economy of writing, its sheer pacing, is amazing. There's a scene transition early on when Matthew Carse decides he will search for The Tomb of Rhiannon and after a brief piece of narration explaining Rhiannon, he is at the tomb. Everything about it respects the readers enough to let them fill in the gaps.

But in its second half I think the compactness works against it. The scope of the story has opened from Brackett's decayed Mars of decadent, inward-looking cities and dry sea beds and economic domination from younger Earth, to a living Mars of squabbling city-states and maritime adventure. But there's no room to revel in this setting and allow Matthew Carse and his merry band to adventure a bit before the next plot point lines up.

The discipline of the first half falters. Information is unnecessarily repeated to the reader (the Quiru, Rhiannon, the Dhuvians and Sarks), and Brackett takes a simple approach to the Ywain-as-love-interest problem. Finally, the Dhuvian villains act like stereotypically dense Evil Overlords at the very last, bringing the conclusion more quickly and cleanly than it really deserved.
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Reading Progress

11/04/2016 marked as: read
11/04/2016 marked as: currently-reading
11/08/2016 marked as: read

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