“You earn loyalty by giving it.’
Engaging characters in an intriguing world and storyline. Connecticut Yankee-like situation with modern (2002) American dropped into a quasi-Medieval society. (It’s the “quasi” that makes the story work.) The stakes keep ratcheting higher.
“They don’t have an equal rights amendment.” “These guys don’t have a constitution.”
Published in 2013 but set in 2002. Appropriate tech and culture references. Unlike many modern novels, Stross’ protagonist felt romantic–even sexual–attraction without it short-circuiting her brain.
“There’s a better life awaiting me as a humble illegal immigrant in this world than there as a lady-in-waiting to nobility in my own.”
Ruminations about economics will put some readers to sleep. Stross has a better grasp for how economics works than some Nobel laureates. In a nutshell: Smith and Marx were wrong, or at least incomplete. Growth doesn’t depend on exploiting resources, women, poor, labor, minorities (those happened but they actually impaired system performance). It’s innovation. (Some day I may blog more, but this enough for now.)
“Taking ideas where they’re needed.”
Good climax, plenty of hook to follow-on volumes.
“Carefully not thinking too hard about the likely consequences of her actions …”