The initial reason I started reading Elizabeth Moon’s Marque and Reprisal, number 2 of 5 in the Vatta’s War series, was I was stuck in Umberto Eco’s Baudolino; after almost three weeks I had managed to get to page 98, thanks to an overly ornamental language and introverted snooty jokes, and I was in dire need of something light and fast paced.
(I will probably finish Baudolino. Some time.)
Reviewing Marque and Reprisal is not easy. It is so definitely not a stand alone novel, and it ends in the middle of the story (continued in Engaging the Enemy); neither of which would define good literature. On the other hand I got sucked into the pages, eager to know what would happen next – and that was exactly the kind of book that I had looked for.
So, a good book nonetheless :D
Yet again we follow Kylara Vatta, and we get to understand that recent happenings (as of Trading in Danger) were not isolated incidents. As they say – mayhem ensues, leaving Ky with huge responsibilities… if she can handle them.
Moon manages to build a vivid universe, with living people inhabiting it. Ky is almost over the top heroine, she’s so able and daring, always succeeding with the most far fetched plan, but it’s balanced by the darkness she carries within her.
It’s interesting how someone harbouring such a delight in killing can seem so likeable, and I think much of the dynamic that drives this story comes from that apparent contradiction, especially when it’s set against what she tries to accomplish – to restore her family and their (peaceful) shipping business, in a time of violence and war.
A series perhaps not for the snooty, but worth reading for the rest of us :D