On a backwards world with six moons, an alert spy reports on the doings of one Dr. Vosill, who has mysteriously become the personal physician to the king, despite being a foreigner and, even more unthinkably, a woman. Vosill hasmore enemies than she first realizes. But then she also has more remedies to hand than those who wish her ill can ever guess.
Elsewhere, in another palace across the mountains, a man named DeWar serves as chief bodyguard to the Protector General of Tassasen, a profession he describes as the business of "assassinating assassins." DeWar, too, hashis enemies, but his foes strike more swiftly, and his means of combatting them are more direct.
None trust the doctor, while the bodyguard trusts no one, but what is the hidden commonality linking their disparate histories? Spiraling around a central core of mystery, deceit, love, and betrayal, Inversions is a dazzling work of science fiction from a versatile and imaginative author writing at the height of his remarkable powers.
About the Author:
Iain M. Banks, one of the United Kingdom's bestselling authors of science fiction, has written such highly-regarded novels as Excession, Feersum Endjinn, Use of Weapons, The State of the Art, and Against a Dark Background. As "Iain Banks," he also writes mainstream novels, including The Wasp Factory and A Song of Stone. He lives in Scotland
About The Author:
Iain M. Banks, one of the United Kingdom's bestselling authors of science fiction, has written such highly regarded novels as Excession, Feersum Endjinn, Use of Weapons, The State of the Art, and Against a Dark Background. As "Iain Banks" he also writes mainstream novels, including The Wasp Factory and A Song of Stone. He lives in Scotland.
Inversions is extremely clever, yet not cynical. Perhaps the most audacious thing about Inversions is its optimism, its sense of hope and burgeoning possibility.
First published in the U.K. in 1998, Banks's latest novel steps back from the usual grand scale and ultra high-tech of his well-known "Culture" SF series (Excession, etc.) to the intrigue-ridden courts of a politically fragmented world. In Haspidus, a woman named Vosill, a foreigner from the distant archipelago nation of Drezen, serves as personal physician to King Quience, in spite of social mores that treat women as little more than property. Vosill's servant--actually a spy reporting to one of Quience's trusted right-hand men--finds himself doubting his master's claims that Vosill is a danger to the king, even as he uncovers evidence that suggests that Vosill is much more than she seems. Meanwhile, across the mountains, the stern warrior DeWar serves as chief bodyguard to General UrLeyn, the Prime Protector of the Tassasen Protectorate. His close contact with UrLeyn earns him the distrust of UrLeyn's fellow generals; those loyal to UrLeyn fear DeWar himself could be the perfect spy and assassin, while others worry he will discover their own secret plots. As conspiracies unfold and loyalties shift dangerously in both lands, the story of Vosill and DeWar and their unspoken connection unfolds with masterful subtlety. Banks's new novel should further expand his reputation for creating challenging, intelligent stories full of notable characters trapped in complex situations that have no easy solutions. (Feb.) Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
The fantasy world of Tassasen is under attack by insidious nobles who want power. Woman doctor Vosill and bodyguard DeWar are each trying to protect the king and the protector general with integrity, but they must fight those same evil plotters. Neither Vosill nor DeWar are appreciated by the powerful, for they are mysterious and independent-minded. Chapters alternate between the two settings, and show how the protectors approache their dangerous taskand discover their own pasts. A sophisticated fantasy adventure of intrigue, this tale does a satisfactory job of character development. The setting itself is murkier, probably because the plot overrides other considerations. Readers will enjoy the suspense, and the final resolution of good overcoming evil. Recommended for older readers. KLIATT Codes: SARecommended for senior high school students, advanced students, and adults. 1998, Pocket Books, 376p., $7.99. Ages 16 to adult. Reviewer: Dr. Lesley S.J. Farmer; Lib. Media/Teacher Svcs., Cal. State Univ., Long B , September 2001 (Vol. 35 No. 5)
A doctor's devotion to her king and to her profession embroil her in a web of court intrigue and murder as she strives to preserve the health and well-being of the king she has come to love. On the other side of the world, a general's bodyguard risks his life to protect his master. Interweaving a pair of separate but linked tales of devotion and treachery set on a technologically backward world, Banks (The Player of Games) demonstrates his considerable talent for subtle storytelling. Recommended for most sf collections. Copyright 2000 Cahners Business Information.
|Author:||Iain M. Banks|
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