She gains a certain, not entirely deserved, reputation for ferocity, and a nickname, the Executioness. Eventually she joins a trading caravan, meets up with a group of resisters to Paikan domination, helps form an army, and finally encounters the Paikans. Along the way she learns something of the Paikans' reasons for their slaving ways, which are both religious and somewhat practical; and she also becomes a more important figure than she had ever expected, or wanted. It's an interesting story in an interesting world, but it doesn't really fully work. Tana's path to becoming leader of an army comes off as rather too easy.
Her character is well-portrayed, and her choices and tragedies feel mostly real, but the events in which she is caught up feel a bit forced. The central problem facing her world -- the apparent near hopelessness of the bramble infestation -- will presumably be addressed further in future stories, but is only introduced here. So, a story I'm happy to have read, in a world I'll be glad to visit again, but not a brilliant piece.
He's been reading SF since before the Golden Age that is, since before he was The Cold Commands. Alastair Reynolds. The Abyss Beyond Dreams. Emma Newman. The Long Utopia. Terry Pratchett. The Vital Abyss. James S.
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Book Review: The Executioness by Tobias Buckell
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