Book Review: A Master of Djinn (Dead Djinn Universe #1) by P. Djèlí Clark (four stars)
‘First story of djinn, steampunk, and Cairo’
One ring to rule them all. Sure it’s been done, but not in Cairo a hundred plus years ago with an all-female primary cast. Males appear only to make the females look better
“Boilerplate eunuchs generally don’t have much in the way of thought.” “And how is that different from men?”
A well-done message story, though occasionally overselling the message distracts from the story. Readers who sit back and let it flow over them will be more satisfied than those who think too much. Better development than Ring Shout. Satisfying resolution.
“What would you think my motive?” “I feel a villain rant coming on.”
(2022 Hugo Award novel finalist)
Book Review: Wraiths of Time by Andre Norton (three stars)
“A life that has been bought by the blood of friends must not be thrown away.”
Has the bones of an exciting science fiction/alternate universes tale, but the final product doesn’t deliver. Tallahassee is a timely protagonist, though this was first published in 1976. The mystery and conflict between members of the parallel cultures is good. Post-Egyptian dynastic cultures is a good historical spring board.
“Rumor can cause much trouble, Sela. There is no weapon in the end as difficult to overcome as the tongue of an enemy.”
Though apparently no follow-on story was published, this ends with all the hooks and cliff hangers normally associated with a series opener. Perhaps its public reception discouraged Norton from continuing.
“Because we are each shaped from our birth, not only by the blood and inheritance that lies behind us, but also by those we love and by whom we are loved in turn, by the knowledge given to our thirsty minds, to the learning of ourselves.”