An Exchange of Hostages
During his tenure, Andrej will earn the devotion of his personal slave. He will gain the grudging ...more
Nominee: Phillip K. Dick Award for Best Novel (1998)
Nominee: Locus Award for Best First Novel (1998)
1. Depersonalization -- viewing the subject as merely an object, not a person
2. Focus on process -- trying not to view the subject at all, but to think about the science and physiology of the torture methods
3. Professionalism -- thinking about the en ...more
So, this is a story about a doctor and, he discovers over the course of the story, a sadist, who is forced by his state into becoming a torturer, and how he deals with that. (There is a certain amount of torture, none ...more
Susan R. Matthews has set a new mark in the area of realistic, informed science fiction. Her "Kosciusko" hexology, of which An Exchange of Hostages is the first volume, is a psychologically penetrating body of work in which the tensions in the plots arise from the personal conflicts within, and between, the characters. Her universe is unusually well thought-out along political, cultural, economic, religious, sexual, and military lines, and the political and moral implications of the patterns of...more
As a work of fiction, this book let me down in parts. The writing style took time to get used t ...more
Now I have the perspective to see the lead is as Mary Sue as they come. Everyone thinks he's handsome, but he looks in the mirror and sees nothing special. The head of medical is awed by his just-learned surgical skills. The head of training thinks he's beyond exceptional. His bonded servant (basically a slave) becomes utterly devoted to him because he's so ama ...more
ETA: Okay I finished and I have no idea how to rate this. It is very dark and very, very, very iddy. Lots of torture and slaves and impassioned loyalty and the main character is a Torquemada Sue. I can't think of anyone I know who I'd rec this to, except maybe Sam, except there are too many dicks on the dance floor for that. I am, however, reading the next one, which is even darker and more horrifying and very... homoroma ...more
"Their charitable forbearance of his fish’s impertinence, which puffed itself up proudly to be so stroked and petted; and their generous permission to let his fish dive deep where it was certain it belonged, granting the greedy thing such new and delightful seas in which to disport itself that, in the end, it wilted of an excess of exercise and had to be returned with gentle hands to where fish were generally to be found."
Read and confirm.
Andrej Koscuisko has recently graduated as a highly skilled doctor, but instead of being allowed to practice medicine, his father has commanded that he join the Fleet as a Ship's Medical Officer -- a position which has far less to do with healing than it does with conducting torturous Inquisitions on those accused of crimes against the Jurisdiction.
Andrej is a decent man who hates his assignment, but who takes some comfort in bui ...more
This is a very difficult book to read for some obvious reasons - the graphic scenes of torture, the soulless inhumanity of the Jurisdiction government, the horrific plight of the Bonds. And yet, there is so much here that is profoundly human and deeply touching - the mutual respect and tenderness that bind Kosciusko to his security, Kosciusko's courageous struggle to face his darkest desires with absolute honesty, his profound commitment to human life and heal ...more
It's so frank and dark that there's 5% of me that worries that this book has no larger moral framework and is just torture porn bound up with an 18th century sensibility about the high character of hereditar ...more
That said, you will love or hate this series based on how you feel about our protagonist the unwilling/willing torturer and his relationships with the slaves who love and abe ...more
The book covers training a doctor to be a torturer in a society where judicial torture is commonly practiced. While not specifically a bondage and discipline book, there's certainly enough here to gladden the heart of any John Norman fan. While the character development is well done and the background was interesting, I won't be reading more in this series, just too close to my personal yuckk! alarm.
Contains graphic torture ...more