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I first read this in 1990 and most recently on the 20th October 2004.
Patience is the superbly talented and very young diplomat, also trained as an assassin -
such are the murky waters of diplomacy on alien worlds - who may inherit an empire if
she can kill the loathsome, 7000 years old monster, the Unwyrm.
The "Ender" series, in particular of course "Ender's Game" were brilliant novels.
This however is one of the books in Card's drift to fantasy quests. Of course, it
is a lovely story, but frankly I'm bored with quests. I've done a few in my life.
I've searched for stuff. I've hunted high and low, day after day, week after week,
for the elusive edition of a favourite book, for the ideal electronic
gadget, for the perfect hotel bar (survey results available on request) and of
course an almost never-ending quest for the toppest totty. I've read enough quest
novels, I've learned everything to know about quests. I know what take and with whom to
take it. I know who is trustworthy, who will betray and who can be safely abandoned in
the cave, castle, alien city and asteroid belt. I know which treasures are false, which
can be brought home, and which must be left behind. I know how to come back older and
wiser, or to go forward to the next quest, head held high, whistling and with a jaunty
swagger. I simply don't want to read another questing novel every time I pick up an
Orson Scott Card novel. OK, not all of his novels are quests, but I've no time
for such petty nit-picking right now, I'm was on a roll.
On the other hand, there is alien sex. Well, inter-species sex and it's hotly
anticipated throughout the novel, which is probably why I kept reading it, of course.
There probably are redeeming features lodged deep within the story, but
if they are hidden that deep how am I meant to pick up on them?
Loaded on the 14th August 2005.