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The Tyrant Baru Cormorant

(The Masquerade #3)

4.36  ·  Rating details ·  1,299 ratings  ·  196 reviews
Seth Dickinson's epic fantasy series which began with The Traitor Baru Cormorant, returns with the third book, The Tyrant Baru Cormorant.

The hunt is over. After fifteen years of lies and sacrifice, Baru Cormorant has the power to destroy the Imperial Republic of Falcrest that she pretends to serve. The secret society called the Cancrioth is real, and Baru is among them.

Hardcover, 656 pages
Published August 11th 2020 by Tor Books
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May 18, 2020 rated it it was amazing
After the first two books in the Masquerade, the third would have to pull off a miracle to outdo what has already been done.

I mean, seriously, I've never read a more grimdark tale of friendship and betrayal in the name of a cause. The second one already blew my mind with a certain bloody scene, so I was frankly a little worried that this one would be yet another huge build-up and betrayal.

Strangely, I got the feeling that the author was worried about the same thing. And, indeed, he went out of t
Aug 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I have a lot to say about this book. TLDR: it was great.

Now for the long version.

I read *Monster* immediately before reading *Tyrant*. *Monster* had been lurking on Mt. Readmore since it came out, and getting an ARC of *Tyrant* finally pushed it to the top of the queue, for obvious reasons. So I basically read them as one big book, and I’m glad that I did.

*Monster* is about a broken Baru. Bluntly, I didn’t *like* Baru in *Monster*. I could certainly empathize with her, but I didn’t *like* her. S
Sep 18, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is my MOST anticipated book out of all the upcoming in 2020 books. Can’t wait to see a cover and summary blurb. The title is awesome.

EDIT 09/26/2019 LOOK AT THAT COVER! It’s gorgeous! The hype is so real.

EDIT 11/16/2019 FINALLY WE HAVE A SUMMARY. Oh my gosh. Baru, what have you gotten yourself into? And that Tain Hu mention ... my heart. :(

Christopher Yin
Aug 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I genuinely don't know how this book/series/author can exist.

I legitimately have no idea how Seth Dickinson wrote this.

There are so many different threads he has to maintain and weave together--not just plot threads, but character, culture, commerce, geography, history, weather, disease, etc. And somehow he does it. He knows instinctively the lesson Baru is brutally taught, that other people exist, that they aren't just vectors of plot but individual agents with their own motives and interioriti
Aug 01, 2020 rated it really liked it
The Masquerade series holds a place on my shelves as one of my all-time favorite fantasy series. As such, The Tyrant Baru Cormorant was my most anticipated book of 2020. While the book goes a different direction than I expected and I'm not fully satisfied with the ending, I still very much enjoyed it and believe fans of the series will too.

The tone of Tyrant does a complete 180 from its predecessors. If Monster is  the lowest low, Tyrant is the manic high that follows. While I still wouldn't cal
Mayim de Vries
Sep 07, 2020 marked it as to-read
I think Baru is waiting for my 1-star review. Shame I don't have the time for her antics. ...more
charlotte, (½ of readsrainbow)
“Why did you come here?” To destroy Falcrest! To betray Cairdine Farrier, avenge Tain Hu, and liberate her home!

Actual rating 4.5

On my blog.

Rep: lesbian mc with hemilateral neglect, depression & epilepsy, bi mc, nonbinary mc, bi side characters, polyamory

CWs: violence, gore, descriptions of brain surgery

Galley provided by publisher

The Tyrant Baru Cormorant picks up immediately from where The Monster left off. Baru has located the Cancrioth, with whose help she hopes to release the Kettli
Aug 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: series, fantasy
Update, September 14: This was probably a 4.5 star read for me—I’d put it behind Traitor and before Monster. It was much more hopeful? than the last two books, and that was a nice palate cleanser. The author, in the Afterword, notes that these books are exhausting for him to write, and if this is the last one, if the fourth is never released, I’ll still be satisfied with the series overall.


Update, August 24: My anxiety about what's going to happen to some of these characters isn't good for me
Alex O'Connor
Nov 28, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I really enjoyed this book- it definitely felt like part 2 of a duology, and a lot of the threads started in Monster were completed here. It was really nice to have Baru rediscover her sense of purpose- her purposelessness in the last book was hard. Seeing her final plan to take down the Masquerade was really pleasing, and I can't wait to watch it unfold. The growth of her relationship with Iscend and Yawa was also wonderful. However, the body horror elements... really were quite extreme, and I ...more
Probably my favourite book of this year so far. I heard that Seth Dickinson is unsure about his writing and I have no idea why. Masquarade books are probably the most scrupulate and and deatiled works I've read since Malazan. Also I love Seth's prose, he has very unique way in words and it makes reading even more enjoyable.

I first loved this series, because of the worldbuilding and emotional impact it had on me. And now we are on 3rd book wchich definitely shines in character development. And n
Zrinka Sinkovic lavi
Wow, wow and once again wow! The themes covered, the strong female characters, the character development, the insane amount of plotlines that intertwine and continue through all three books without losing their appeal. On the contrary, each book in the series just made me crave the next one! Is there s fourth one? Bring it on!
Cora Lee
Aug 28, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I'm floored. It's hard to believe the breadth of this series. I am completely taken by this devastating, brilliant, epic, and intimate story. Dickinson doesn't shy away from any aspect of the human experience, and it means the world he's created is so perfectly difficult. Within that world every character is both genuinely powerful and hard-pressed to keep up with the sheer chaos and beauty urging the wheel onward. Yet the most compelling aspect of the book is still Baru herself. With her heart ...more
Eleanor Cunningham
Aug 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy, lgbt
absolutely phenomenal. every concern i could have possibly had about the narrative after the end of the second book was explicitly addressed & treated with utmost grace & care. i wish seth all the best in writing the final book & truly cannot wait to get my stubby fingers all over it.
Matthew Bryan
May 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I just finished an ARC of this book 30 seconds ago and I swear this is going to be the best book of 2020. Mark my words. I know that Stormlight 4 is coming out and another Malazan book I believe but this book was just that good!

So I have a lot to say about this book. First off, I'm excited to say I think we're getting a 4th book?! I was under the impression this was a trilogy but maybe not.

So what I liked about it:
•Seth Dickenson is clearly an incredibly intelligent guy. His series has a ton
May 16, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
*copy from Netgalley in exchange for a review*

The Tyrant Baru Cormorant is the conclusion to Seth Dickinson’s Baru series. I absolutely adored the first of those, and the second was no slouch either; a conclusion had a lot to live up to. And, to get the tl;dr out of the way: it does. Absolutely smashes it. There’s a whole lot of stuff I loved from the first two books - life-in-crisis Baru, looking at deep moral and ethical issues through a fantasy lens, some baffling magic, and rock-solid, multi
Getty Hesse
Dec 27, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Having progressed through most of my undergraduate history degree since I read the last book, I noticed a lot more of the historical fabric from which this book is woven, which only made me appreciate the series even more.

And the characters, as ever, are heartbreakingly real. The meditations on power, empire, ideology, etc. complex and clearsighted.
Aug 23, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
forget game of thrones this should’ve been the series they adapted into an HBO show. it is the best!!
Aug 20, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I was really happy to finally read this book, considering Monster left Baru, Tau, Aminata and plenty other characters in really fragile places. This picks up right where Monster ended, and continues to build upon both Traitor and Monster's thematic and narrative throughlines in a very satisfying way, and it even closes a surprising number of them by the end, leaving plenty of blank spaces for book 4, which I find very exciting!

Surprisingly, I feel like this book retroactively makes Monster more
Aug 31, 2020 rated it it was amazing

[First, why did my brain tell me that there were only going to be three? I thought I was getting Baru's final story!]

All the hallmarks of this story and Dickinson's writings are here, odd pacing and flow that really works if you just let it happen and don't struggle. Lots of philosophy, politics, economics. The depths of these characters and the expanse of this world is really stunning, even in light of the fact that these books are super duper long.

The ambition of this series is stunning. I was much more prone to waxing rhapsodic about the potential of historicist fantasy when this series was first released (in the heyday of Game of Thrones discourse) than I am now, and I've kind of made that point in my previous reviews already, but it's worth reiterating: the Masquerade series is still, years into the start of this genre, way out ahead of the pack. Seth manages to get his fingers much deeper into the guts of historical causality and stri ...more
Sep 20, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This series is still great. It's not perfect in everything, but it's consistently clever and original without being overbearing.

This third installment goes from Baru having managed to secure her position near the top of the Falcrest empire's hierarchy, to putting into action her plan to destroy it from the inside. It quickly appears that she is making much of it up as she goes along. There is much suffering and way too many near misses along the way to see the outcome as more than a happy fluke
Gautam Bhatia
Sep 03, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Rapidly cementing a place as one of my absolute favourite SFF series, along with Yoon Ha Lee's Machineries of Empire. Themes of political economy, Empire, colonialism all intersect amidst some fantastically good world-building, story-telling, and characterisation. ...more
Sep 14, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: adult, lgbtq, fantasy
SETH HAS DONE IT AGAIN 😭 what a brilliant book. oooof.
Sep 15, 2020 rated it it was amazing
AHHHH. The third Baru book is DARK. I'm blown away by the depth of the world-building and insanely impressed with this book. ...more
C. Kimmi  Ramnine
Baru continues to be a brilliant and difficult story!
Aug 30, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A masterpiece. I've never read anything like it and I know I never will. I am so thankful this series is still planned as a quartet (!!!!) and am eager to find out how Seth Dickinson brings this to a masterful conclusion....I trust him more than I trust most authors, and know he will bring Baru an ending that us worthwhile, challenging, and inspired. ...more
traitor felt v serious and kind of depressing, monster was hilarious, and at first i thought tyrant was a return to Real Depression Hours but ultimately it felt SO hopeful. the stakes were always serious, the tension was always high, and the consequences were always scary, but it never felt punishing, or like it was wallowing in self indulgent misery. i love baru so much, and tyrant was so, so good for my heart. and as you can see from my one hundred highlights it was also just very good writing ...more
Sep 11, 2020 rated it it was ok
I loved the first book in this series, liked the second, but this one taxed my poor little brain. There were too many characters that I recalled imperfectly, too much political jockeying, too much philosophical/religious friction between factions, frequent shifting of alliances and enemies, and too much whining from our heroine, Baru. The backstory about young Tau, Abdumasi, Kindalana and their ideals of "trim" (a philosophy of putting others first, being honorable, turning the other cheek, etc. ...more
"she had to know how to end falcrest without simply murdering it, how to butcher an empire, how to do it cleanly, and end up with useful and nutritious parts. to do that, you would need a revolution."

"'you cannot destroy the masters by mastering them. you destroy them by destroying.'"

oh, my friends. there are so many thoughts that I have in this little skull of mine (which, just btw, as of like thirty minutes ago I think I have an osteoma, aka a benign bone tumor??? which feels like an apt t
Sep 06, 2020 rated it liked it
I'm tired now.
What bogs this book down are the endless discussions between various people about how their loyalties are not the ones they think they are, how their motives are not those they think they are, why their goals, hopes, and dreams, are not what they think their are, the endless turn after turn after turn of the truth behind the lies behind the truth behind the lies, that removes so much solid ground for the characters and indeed the entire story.
There's some mad brilliance in here. Bu
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please god tell me someone else has read this book 16 30 Oct 16, 2020 12:58AM  

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Since his 2012 debut, Seth's fiction has appeared in Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, Analog, and nearly every other major science fiction and fantasy market.

He's a lapsed student of social neuroscience, where he studied the role of racial bias in police shootings, and the writer of much of the lore and fictional flavor for Bungie Studios' smash hit Destiny. In his spare time he works on the collaborati

Other books in the series

The Masquerade (4 books)
  • The Traitor Baru Cormorant (The Masquerade, #1)
  • The Monster Baru Cormorant (The Masquerade, #2)
  • Untitled (The Masquerade, #4)

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