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May 2016
 

The Bellinghman
Date: 2007-06-29 00:29
Subject: #151 Mary Gentle: Golden Witchbreed
Security: Public
Tags:books, reviews
Mary Gentle: Golden Witchbreed

Paperback: 480 pages
Publisher: Orion (25 Jul 1996)
ISBN-10: 0575600330
ISBN-13: 978-0575600331
Category(ies): SF

Also available in the omnibus Chronicles of Carrick V: Orthe, this is the first of two books set on the planet Carrick V. Envoy Lynne de Lisle Christie has been sent to assess the inhabitants of this world, to determine whether they should be accorded agreements with Earth. But the locals aren't as primitive as their low technology preferences indicate, and the planet is littered with the remnants of the past, when the now-feared Golden (or Witchbreed) owned the world, and when trans-marine bridges and the like were built.

Christie lives among the inhabitants, and in the process, gets sucked into the local politics. The natives are like humans, but also different in some important ways. Those differences lead to different setups, and part of what Christie has to do (apart from merely surviving) is to try to make sense of it all. The complexity is, on occasion, overwhelming, and it can be easy to get lost in the details, trying to remember which set of over-apostrophed names is which. However, at its best, the story manages to rise above it, and is most reminiscent of Cherryh when it does.

Not easy, but I found it worth persisting with.
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Kimberley Verburg: Celtic Dog S
User: sierra_le_oli
Date: 2007-06-29 10:59 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:Celtic Dog S
I really enjoyed it - thought it was one of her easier books to read, but that isn't saying much. :-) The sequel I liked a lot less.
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Angelic Eye for the Gendered-Species Individual: currying favour
User: rysmiel
Date: 2007-06-29 14:26 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Keyword:currying favour
I liked Golden Witchbreed quite a bit, but papersky is vehemently negative enough about Ancient Light that i have not actually read it yet, fwiw.
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Jules Jones
User: julesjones
Date: 2007-06-29 15:22 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I thought Ancient Light was very good, but was also so traumatised by it the first time through that I didn't read it again for ten years.
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Martin Wisse
User: martin_wisse
Date: 2007-06-29 16:04 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
It is sort of a giant F-you to the first book, isn't it?
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Jules Jones
User: julesjones
Date: 2007-06-29 16:10 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
Though when I did re-read them ten years later, I could see that the seeds of the second book were there in the first.

We were talking about the books on rasfc a few years back, and Mary said that she gets people asking if she's going to write a third book, which seriously baffles her.
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User: vatine
Date: 2007-06-29 17:46 (UTC)
Subject: (no subject)
I can vouch for Ancient Ligt being close to ununderstandable without having read Golden Witchbreed first. I like them both, though. Or, at least so my memory says.
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