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Jane Emerson
CITY OF DIAMOND
book cover

Book 1


Who recommends: Preeti, Lynn, Suzanne, Tanya
Who discommends: JW, Lori

aka Doris Egan

BTW, I read this book, and I'm still not sure what to think. For me, it missed being really good, but it kept teetering on the edge. It felt as if it should have been very good (which is not often the case for me). But somehow it didn't quite work.--Lori

The reason I "discommend" is because while it interested me a lot, it didn't satisfy that interest. Can't remember details now, but as I recall there were too many characters and plots and too little time spent on each one. Plus no resolution.

Aren't those of you who liked it a tad annoyed that there has been no sequel?-JW

I've hit one of those books that stops you reading anything else because whatever's next on the to-be-read pile can't possibly be as good ... 'City of Diamond', Jane Emerson (which I'm sure is Old News to the rest of you, and I can't imagine why I didn't read it before now - possibly the blurb on the back, which leaves out all of the interesting bits). I'm definitely hooked

...Still trying to work out why I liked this novel so very much. Convoluted plot - good. Wonderful space-opera setting - good. Adrian, despite his brilliant smile, doesn't appeal much - I simply don't have much feeling for his character. But Keylinn, and Tal, are tremendously appealing characters with odd - but functional - moral codes which it's a pleasure to work out.

The whole 'Three Cities' setting, with its mixture of archaic practice (the Royal Hunt sounds positively prehistoric) and alien, incomprehensible technology, is neatly described - just enough detail to get a sense of the place, without any real descriptive passages that I noticed (but have only read the book twice - had to start all over again as soon as I reached the curiously anticlimactic ending ...) In fact, Emerson / Egan doesn't seem to go for description nearly as much as in the Ivory novels - which I enjoyed, but not one-half as much as I enjoyed 'City of Diamond'.

I can see why this was described as 'the bastard offspring of Heinlein and Heyer' - though I didn't find the Regency overtones as obvious as some reviewers seem to have done. It's a very mannered society (which is precisely why Tal is such an interesting character, viewed against its backdrop) - and there's a real sense of a somewhat claustrophobic space-dwelling society with a culture which in some ways is more Renaissance than Regency.

Nothing I read for the next month is going to impress me half as much. On the other hand, 'A Civil Campaign' should be available here too, soon ...--Tanya (27 Aug 99)

This is one of my all time favorite books. I just found and read the Ivory books, and while very enjoyable, I think City of Diamond is far superior.--Suzanne (27 Aug 99)


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