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Thursday, May 23, 2013

The Dragon Never Sleeps by Glen Cook

The Dragon Never SleepsThe Dragon Never Sleeps by Glen Cook

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Jacket Blurb:  For four thousand years, the Guardships have ruled Canon Space - immortal ships with an immortal crew, dealing swiftly and harshly with any mercantile houses or alien races that threaten the status quo. But now the House Tregesser has an edge: a force from outside Canon Space offers them the resources to throw off Guardship rule. This precipitates an avalanche of unexpected outcomes, including the emergence of Kez Maefele, one of the few remaining generals of the Ku Warrior race-the only race to ever seriously threaten Guardship hegemony. Kez Maefele and a motley group of aliens, biological constructs, an scheming aristocrats find themselves at the center of the conflict. Maefele must chose which side he will support: the Guardships, who defeated and destroyed his race, or the unknown forces outside Canon Space that promise more death and destruction.

May 2013 bookgroup selection.

This was a difficult plot to get into.  An overly complex ship naming convention, a political hierarchy that was not immediately clear, planetary systems with long names that began with letters and ended with numbers, cities that I couldn't figure out if they were cities or planets,  a cast of characters scattered across a substantial universe, and that same cast of characters who had cloned themselves so more than one copy is running about.  Toss in 'artifacts', lost races, aliens, and Guardships, and it was almost enough to stop reading right there.

IF...if you can get past the first 100 pages, then it starts to make sense, and by about page 150 the plot is rolling along quite nicely.  But I felt that first 150 pages was a flat out slog and if I may infer from the comments my Dad was dropping, he felt the same.  Not the best way to start a book in my opinion.

But, after page 150 the family intrigue, the political intrigue, the humor - starts to pull the reader along and it becomes a grandiose space opera and I found the pages turning more quickly.  The author did tie up all the lose ends to my knowledge, though in the complexity of the subplots, I may have overlooked something.  Now whether those subplots were resolved satisfactorily, will be up to the reader ascertain, but I was satisfied.

Recommended with reservations.

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