Laurie's Reviews > In Conquest Born
In Conquest Born (In Conquest Born, #1)
by C.S. Friedman
by C.S. Friedman
Feb 19, 10
I was excited to read this as I had loved this author's first book in the Magister series, one of the few fantasy novels that managed to engage me. The premise of In Conquest Born is intriguing: two far-future civilizations--both genetically engineered to evolve as two separate species so that they are hardly recognizable as human, are fighting an endless war far from earth in some distant part of the galaxy. The author builds complex, multilayered civilizations, each with their own mores and societal hierarchies that probe interesting facets of human behavior and question our ideas about the reality of morality in an objective, godless universe. However, with an intensive focus on at least 27 different characters with unpronounceable names, I found it difficult to identify the protagonists. You live with some characters for many chapters only to have them disappear and never show up again, while other minor characters pop up at the end to play a major role. Additionally, while I don't like one-dimensional heroes, all of the characters were so deeply flawed and vicious, ego mananiacs it was hard to feel even remotely connected. She also had this weird, Ayn Rand-like philosophy running through the characters words and emotions where only violence and hatred could fuel their ability to wield power and make huge changes to the course of events. I'd say this was a good first draft of a book that should have been great. Oh well.
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