RogerBW's Blog

Sweep of the Blade, Ilona Andrews 08 January 2020

2019 SF novella in the Innkeeper series. Dina's sister Maud turned down a marriage proposal from the vampire Lord Arland, but she's travelling to his homeworld anyway…

While these books are sold as urban fantasy, and the previous ones have had something of a blend of fantasy and science fiction, this one's definitely on the SF side. If you don't know the setting, just read "vampire" as "Klingon" and you won't be wildly wrong; in this world they're all about being honourable warriors, not cursed blood-drinkers who fear the sun. There's one instance in this book of actual magic, but call it psychic powers and it's less than many explicitly-SF books try to get away with.

This book is, admittedly, a bit of a wallow. The basic structure is that Maud is presented with a problem, either by the vampire community that's not happy to see its favourite son involved with a mere human, or by the other vampires who are getting the major clan to host their diplomatic wedding and are very clearly up to something. (But throwing them out without proof would be dishonourable, of course…) She rises to the challenge, and triumphs. Repeat. For me at least there was never any sense that Maud was at risk, or unlikely to pass a test.

But the changes within that repeated structure are what makes the thing a bit more interesting. Why did Maud turn down the proposal, and how is she planning to remedy the situation? Just what are those other vampire clans up to, in a bit more detail than "no good", and how can it be stopped?

It also helps that, as in the Kate Daniels series, the basic paradigm is of grown-ups who talk to each other. Maud learns something that's not probative but certainly indicative about what the enemy are up to; she passes it on to Arland. Arland doesn't dismiss it, he takes it seriously, and gives her some more information that he's just learned, then they put their information together and talk it over as a team. These are people whom one can believe in as a couple once the initial wave of lust has worn off.

There's also Helen the Killer Moppet, though she doesn't get to do much killing. Ah well. She has the right attitude.

This is in a very different style from the Innkeeper novels and it might even stand on its own, though it's worth having read at least One Fell Sweep before this.

[Buy this at Amazon] and help support the blog.

Previous in series: One Fell Sweep | Series: Innkeeper Chronicles | Next in series: Sweep With Me

Comments on this post are now closed. If you have particular grounds for adding a late comment, comment on a more recent post quoting the URL of this one.

Search
Archive
Tags 1920s 1930s 1940s 1950s 1960s 1970s 1980s 1990s 2000s 2010s 3d printing action aeronautics aikakirja anecdote animation anime army astronomy audio audio tech base commerce battletech beer boardgaming book of the week bookmonth chain of command children chronicle church of no redeeming virtues cold war comedy computing contemporary cornish smuggler cosmic encounter coup covid-19 cycling dead of winter doctor who documentary drama driving drone ecchi economics espionage essen 2015 essen 2016 essen 2017 essen 2018 essen 2019 existential risk falklands war fandom fanfic fantasy feminism film firefly first world war flash point flight simulation food garmin drive gazebo geodata gin gurps gurps 101 harpoon historical history horror hugo 2014 hugo 2015 hugo 2016 hugo 2017 hugo 2018 hugo 2019 hugo 2020 hugo-nebula reread humour in brief avoid instrumented life kickstarter learn to play leaving earth linux lovecraftiana mecha men with beards museum mystery naval non-fiction one for the brow opera perl perl weekly challenge photography podcast politics powers prediction privacy project woolsack pyracantha python quantum rail raku ranting raspberry pi reading reading boardgames social real life restaurant reviews romance rpg a day rpgs science fiction scythe second world war security shipwreck simutrans smartphone south atlantic war squaddies stationery steampunk stuarts suburbia superheroes suspense television the resistance thirsty meeples thriller tin soldier torg toys trailers travel type 26 type 31 type 45 vietnam war war wargaming weather wives and sweethearts writing about writing x-wing young adult
Special All book reviews, All film reviews
Produced by aikakirja v0.1