Gary's Reviews > The Traitor Baru Cormorant

The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson
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it was amazing

The Traitor Baru Cormorant is a very original and beautifully executed fantasy novel. Seth Dickinson is a gifted wordsmith and an intelligent and compassionate storyteller; I am certain I will be an eager and loyal reader of his from this point forward, so long as he continues to produce magnificent novels like this one.

The premise is deceptively simple: The Masquerade, an empire that conquers and rules though deceit as much as fear, overtakes Baru's homeland and purges its culture (and its population) of "sin", instilling a new moral and legal code that suits the empire's designs. Baru matures as a star pupil in the Masquerade's school system, but secretly she has vowed to avenge her homeland and her murdered father by infiltrating the empire, learning the secret of its power, and unraveling it from the inside. As a bona fide imperial savant she moves quickly into an important position, but the road to victory is more complicated, and costly than she could have imagined.

Baru Cormorant is a clever and charismatic heroine, and Dickinson is wise to populate his novel with characters who are every bit her match - some of whom could easily be the protagonists of their own novels. It is a very busy novel, full of court intrigue, military and political strategy, social philosophy, romance, physical and emotional violence. Despite this, the story is never overburdened by its ambitions and is carried along assuredly by Dickinson's exquisite and well-tuned prose. The final act is a gut-twisting page turner and possesses one of those endings that is both shocking and inevitable, the kind only the best storytellers know how to produce.

This is a genuinely great book that begs for a wider audience.
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Reading Progress

November 17, 2015 – Started Reading
November 17, 2015 – Shelved
November 17, 2015 – Finished Reading

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