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The Executioness by Tobias S. Buckell

The Executioness

by Tobias S. Buckell

Series: Khaim (2)

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This book feels like an introduction to something. The ending leaves many open points. Also, the whole concept of the bramble is dealt with in a way similar to how it was in the alchemist.

This book managed to capture similar my interest in the first half and gave me a chance to try out my skimming techniques in the second half. The story goes on a complete tangent in the second half when suddenly we are introduced to more characters. She's one on whom greatness is thrust.

The whole story feels complete in some ways so it's not that bad either. It's just not from a fantasy genre, it's more fiction than fantasy. ( )
  MugenHere | Jul 12, 2015 |
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 |
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 |
I stumbled across an online article about this an its companion book, The Alchemist. Both novellas are set in the same fantasy world where magic is forbidden because of its life-threatening side-effects. It is clearly a challenge for an author to develop a world, characters, and completely story arc in 100 pages... minuscule by Fantasy standards. However, Buckell manages to tell a relatively satisfying tale by choosing key scenes of the tale of the Executioness to detail. Even though the cover seems to mislead the reader about the age of the main character, there are some beautiful monochromatic illustrations disbursed through the book.

I'm looking forward to starting The Alchemist soon, however, I think I made the right choice to get these paired novellas from the library. $20 seems a bit steep for each of these tiny volumes.
  BubbaCoop | Sep 5, 2011 |
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Let me tell you about the first time I killed a man.
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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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