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The Executioness by Tobias S. Buckell
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The Executioness

by Tobias S. Buckell

Series: Khaim (2)

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The Alchemist and The Executioness caught my eye as soon as it went up at Audible.com. (Both novellas are now available in print from Subterranean Press.) Paolo Bacigalupi and Tobias Buckell offering linked fantasy novellas that take place in a shared world? Bacigalupi's story read by Jonathan Davis? What could be more promising? (It turns out that had I been familiar with Katherine Kellgren, who read Buckell's story, I would have been even more excited about this one!)

In this shared world, the use of magic causes the growth of bramble, a fast-growing, pervasive, and deadly plant that has taken over cities, making them ... Read More: http://www.fantasyliterature.com/reviews/the-alchemist-and-the-executioness/ ( )
  Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
The Executioness is a fun novella set in a shared world fantasy. I haven't read the other book, by Paolo Bacigalupi, yet; I'm not sure if this is the best order to read them in. I guess I'll report on that later, because I do have the other one too!

Anyway, apparently the seed of the idea was in having a middle-aged female protagonist, and all the different motivations and problems that would give her. I can only think of one other like this, and that's Boneshaker, but both of them do have the women's lives revolving around their children... Can someone write something with a middle-aged female protagonist who doesn't have children and doesn't adopt children or base her identity on being a mother? I mean, it's great to see characters like this at all, but I'm fairly confident I'm not going to base my life solely around my children at that age, if I have children at all...

Still, Tana was a believable character in her actions and her motivations, and I especially liked her decision at the end. The story never loses sight of the real Tana, as opposed to the Tana who people create by word of mouth.

I hope The Alchemist goes more into the world and why things are the way they are. I'm intrigued by the magic system (such as it is; we don't see much of it) and by the shades of grey it puts on everyone's actions. ( )
  shanaqui | Apr 9, 2013 |
  BlueTysonSS | Jun 4, 2012 |
Imagine Conan as a pissed-off, middle-aged mom who's on a mission for revenge because her children were taken from her. This was brilliant all around! Not only does the story unfold with an older female as the major character but you get a glimpse into the beginnings of great myth and a glimpse into the complexities of war. Amazing speculative fiction! ( )
  revslick | May 3, 2012 |
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Let me tell you about the first time I killed a man.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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"In paired novellas, award-winning authors Tobias S. Buckell and Paolo Bacigalupi explore a shared world where magic is forbidden"--Jkt. "Magic has a price. But someone else will pay. Every time a spell is cast, a bit of bramble sprouts, sending up tangling vines, bloody thorns, and threatening a poisonous sleep. It sprouts in tilled fields and in neighbors' roof beams, thrusts up from between street cobbles, and bursts forth from sacks of powdered spice. A bit of magic, and bramble follows. A little at first, and then more--until whole cities are dragged down under tangling vines and empires lie dead, ruins choked by bramble forest. Monuments to people who loved magic too much."--From publisher's description on jacket flap.… (more)

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