Nice review of Ashes of Candesce
The Globe and Mail, Canada's premiere newspaper, weighs in
Over at the Globe and Mail, Tom Sandborn talks about my fifth and final Virga book, Ashes of Candesce--and he likes it despite not having read the previous four. Now, I did all I could to make each book in the series stand on its own, but there was always going to have to be one that tied up everything that was left dangling in the others--and that one couldn't be engineered to be a complete stand-alone work. Hence, the cliff-hanger ending to The Sunless Countries, and the dive-in-with-both-feet approach to Ashes.
One tactic I've used throughout the series, though, was to use a different point-of-view character for each book. I do the same with Ashes, and I think it paid off because Sandborn was able to enjoy the book because it remains Keir Chen's story, though of course he's fully aware that there's a massive history to all the other characters and the setup to this particular story. To which I say, yay! That's what I had in mind.
The action scenes are brisk and exciting, and all the space-opera elements are linked to remarkably sophisticated reflections on themes of embodiment, attachment and artificial intelligence. Think Buck Rogers meets Buckminster Fuller meets the Buddha. ...This is, in the end, a thought-provoking and oddly beautiful story, with enough charm to send me back to read the earlier books in the Virga series.
If you've been following me on twitter or here lately, you'll know I've been fretting about this book, waiting for the reviews. So this is a big relief and a reason to cheer about all the hard work that went into Ashes--the book I undertook while recovering from heart surgery.
I'm happy now.