Just when I think "I couldn't get a better review than this one" - I do just that. Get another review that knocks my socks off and leaves me humbled.
Writers love all good reviews, naturally - however, ones that not only dole out the praise, but which show that the reviewer has understood the subtleties of all the sub-story, well, they are rare indeed.
A nameless Canadian Lj blogger from Toronto, Bibliogramma, has left me humbled. Thank you, whoever you are. You just made my weekend...
I'd love to quote the whole review, but I shall be good and just put up bits and pieces...
The review begins like this:
"I’m really not certain how to begin praising Australian writer Glenda Larke’s Isles of Glory trilogy. Do I begin with her detailed and intricate world-building? Her skill in characterisation? Her original take on the whole business of magic? Her seamless incorporation of highly intellectual explorations of the psychology of perception, the social and personal functions of religion and the dynamics and consequences of colonialism into a damned jolly action thriller with a truly kick-ass, take-no-prisoners swordswoman? The structure of the trilogy that permits not only multiple perspectives on the action, each from characters with their own culture and personal philosophy, but also a metanarrative from another culture altogether? Larke’s novels are deceptively easy to read and enjoy, but so difficult to talk about. And they’re brilliant."
And ends like this:
"And I haven’t even mentioned the considerations of changes in gender roles, the horrors of religious intolerance, the nature of corruption, the necessary values of living an sustainable life in a fragile ecology, the challenges faced by stateless persons, or any of the other issues that Larke weaves into her narrative. Oh, and did I mention a great action adventure story, and a damned fine love story to boot, with realistic characters who aren’t always right, and aren’t always heroic, and don’t always save the day, or if they do, it’s not what they hoped it would turn out to be? Oh, just read the books. You won’t be sorry."