mordicai caeli (mordicai) wrote,
mordicai caeli

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a death of kings by m.a.r. barker.

i'm in a foul mood this morning, & the ending of this book didn't help. i decided to pick right up after finishing prince of skulls & read this one, which is the last tékumel book in existence, since i, you know, always have a pleasant brain-euphoria afterwards. nice neurolinguistic programing, dude. this book kept the roller coaster ride going, at least for the first half. the second half was marked with some rather poor decisions. first & most foremost was hársan's seduction: come on, again? eyil's seduction of him in the first book was fine, & you write it well, muhammad, but we've been down this road. i would have been much more satisfied if dzé's attempts we as transparent to hársan as they ought to be to the husband of a disciple of dlamélish. call me crazy. the other thing that bothered me was the open intrusion of the high fantasy/high science-fiction elements. i much preferred the books in which whole priesthoods devoted themselves to maintaining & operating a single air car, & in which the tubeways were a half-heard rumor. i didn't mind it once, in lords of tsámra, with the space-station-at-then-end-of-the-world, but to do it again lessens even that initial bit of craziness. in the end, i just found this ending unsatisfying, & in a different way that other endings of similar stripe. maybe it is again, a matter of once being okay, twice being hokey. when hársan didn't even realize that he was operating the man of gold, that was fine; the invisible consequences worked. but you can't put him in situation after situation & then return to the status quo. though i guess in this ending, he lost, didn't he? unless you accept the "boy's club" as a win, which i don't. i've heard rumors that m.a.r. barker has been writing a prequel, or at least story that addresses some of the core cosmological questions of tékumel, & i'd like to hope so, though he's very old.
Tags: barker, books, tekumel

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