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Silverglass by J. F. Rivkin
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Silverglass (1986)

by J. F. Rivkin

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991122,024 (3.68)6
1989 (1) 1992 (1) adventure (1) Box 25 (1) Box H (1) fantasy (40) female protagonist (1) fiction (13) FSF (1) G (1) library (1) magic (1) novel (3) own (2) paperback (1) partially read (1) pb (2) print (1) read (3) schlock (1) science fiction (1) series (1) sf (3) sff (2) Silverglass (5) strong women (2) Volume 1 (1) Warrior (1) warrior women (1) wizards (1)
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  1. 10
    Shadow by Anne Logston (sandstone78)
    sandstone78: The Silverglass series and the Shadow series are both short, fast, and light sword and sorcery romps revolving around female characters.
  2. 00
    Sword and Sorceress I by Marion Zimmer Bradley (sandstone78)
    sandstone78: More sword and sorcery with female protagonists.
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» See also 6 mentions

Another book I repeatedly heard about, seen, picked up and put down in the stores. After finding the whole set of four at a book sale, I took the plunge. (As a warning, from reading other reviews around, there are evidently plot threads left unresolved at the end of the series.)

Silverglass is a short book, in the paperback edition I have only 186 pages. This is sword and sorcery, following the travels of Corson, a swordswoman for hire, and Lady Nyctasia, a scholar and sorceress. As the story begins, Corson has been hired by two opposing factions to assassinate Nyctasia- only to be bought out to serve her instead. The pair move from adventure to adventure, but the story progression is done smoothly enough that it doesn't feel like a bad short story fix-up, more of a road trip/buddy story.

When the book starts out, the writing style is annoying, with head-hopping and random point of view shifts all over the place and an abundant amount of infodump monologue ("she remembered, it was just like X years ago when..."). There are few insights into the motivations or reactions of the main characters, which makes them seem unsympathetic and bizarre.

But, it's an easy, fast-moving read, and for some reason strangely compelling. The chapters are short, often a few pages (there are 42 total, a lot for such a slim volume) and the book is probably a good 75% dialogue, much of it banter between the heroines. After the resolution of the first major plot point (a wronged suitor of Nyctasia's trying to take revenge), things started to hang together- the POV settled down, the characters had actual introspection, and I started to care.

One of the things that got me interested in this book was the bisexuality of the main characters, and yes, the setting seems to almost be an everybody-is-bisexual world, with a lot of casual, mostly offscreen liasons in various pairings and everyone okay with it (yes, including the two heroines together a couple of times), but... _all_ the really stable and emotionally meaningful relationships presented seem to be between a man and a woman. I am left with mixed feelings.

Overall, a light, quick read, and, while not brilliant, compelling enough that I want to go on to the next volume. ( )
  sandstone78 | Apr 30, 2011 |
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