Sarah's Reviews > A Brother's Price

A Brother's Price by Wen Spencer
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's review
Dec 28, 08

bookshelves: fantasy
Read in December, 2008

The conceit of this book, as many reviewers have mentioned, is that male children are rare in this world, which is a blend of a fantasy kingdom and the American wild west. If our kind-hearted, sweet-natured hero were female, I'd no doubt have left this one on the shelf.

But the conceit works, and Spencer's worldbuilding is wonderful. There are so many intriguing, half-explored ideas here that I do hope this is only the first book in this universe. (What becomes of sisters ejected from their families? They can't all turn outlaw. What are the reforms Princess Lylia wants to institute? What of the cribs? Wouldn't trading husbands to improve the bloodlines be a better solution, especially as inheritance is matrilineal, anyway? With their science capable of distinguishing sperm carrying Y chromosomes from X's, how long will it take before they selectively sort for males to improve the gender ratio? Or at least turn to artificial insemination to prevent the spread of disease via the cribs?)

Yes, several of the characters could benefit from the added depth and development of a sequel. But any flaws aside, this was such an entertaining (rollicking!) read that I was sorry to reach the end.
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