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by Kameron Hurley

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Bel Dame Apocrypha (2)

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275969,139 (4)16
Nyx is a bodyguard in Mustallah, the capital city of Nasheen. The centuries-long holy war between Nasheen and Chenja is taking its toll, with shortages and rationing causing the Queen to lose power and popularity. While protecting the daughter of a Ras Tiegan Diplomat, Nyx is attacked by a group of assassins. Nyx survives, but begins to suffer from a strange, debilitating condition that nobody can identify. Caught up in a whirl-wind of intrigue involving Bel Dam Assassins plotting against the Queen, Nyx must learn who the rouge Bel Dam is, and find a cure for her illness, while avoiding the wrath of the queen she is trying to protect. The danger that swirls around her may have finally become to much, and Nyx's colleagues and friends began to die. Will Nyx be next?… (more)
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» See also 16 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
I come away from this novel with the same feeling I had from the first.


Of course, that's the point. War, religious or otherwise, is hell. Being good at it does nothing to improve your relations with others, and Nyx is a shining example of the honor-bound disgraced warrior working to regain her good name and status as a Bel Dame elite.

And yet, for all the fighting, the tight plotting, the hopes, the fears, and the twists of everything, what I really feel is the oppression of deep heartache. It's wonderful to read a novel that sets out to tear us up and does a grand job of it.

It's even more wonderful to throw in some of the most dense worldbuilding for a SF novel out there, whether as a continuation of the first in the series or not. It's all very close to the cuff. The devil is in the details, and great god in heaven, we're dumped in it. Most of it is political and cultural, but the most striking aspects are of course the bugs. It might as well be magic, and of course the class of people who use the tech are called magicians, and of course there's also the shapeshifters, but don't be fooled into thinking this is some sort of UF.

It's hard SF, through and through.

The same warning I gave for the first novel, I continue for this one. It's rich, it's dense, and it requires patience. Things aren't easy for anyone in the book, especially Nyx, but then, it's not easy on ANYONE. Since I as a reader am getting into the story pretty deep, it is also not easy on me.

Don't read this if you want a light and easy read.

Definitely read it if you want deep immersion and a truly fascinating and well-fleshed world and characters. (Even if they lose their heads now and again.) ( )
  bradleyhorner | Jun 1, 2020 |
Review to come this weekend. ( )
  allison_s | May 25, 2020 |
Everything I hoped for in a sequel...

I felt this was every bit as good as 'God's War,' and I loved being transported back to Hurley's poisonous, bug-infested world.

However - I'd definitely recommend starting with the first book - this is one where you won't be lost, plot-wise, but it's going to be a richer experience if you've already 'gotten to know' the characters.

Mercenary assassin Nyx is down on her luck, taking 'babysitting' jobs as a bodyguard. But when she stumbles into a revolutionary plot involving warring governments, supposed third parties, and, of course, the organization of female assassins called bel dames who kicked Nyx out years ago... she jumps at the chance to get involved, and drags her team in behind her.

It's a violent, gritty, action-oriented book - but it also explores complex motivations and emotions, the interplay of cultures, and conflicting loyalties. Plus, it's chock-full of nasty, fascinating details...

Now... time to find the third in the series! ( )
  AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
I found the plot confusing and the regular bouts of violence seemed perfunctory - like a game where you have to have an action scene every x number of minutes. A lot less satisfying than the first one. ( )
  SChant | Jun 28, 2015 |
Way better than the first book, both because it knows where it's going from page one and because the story does a great job of making all the characters' choices harder and more biting. I can't wait to see what happens to Nyx in the third book. ( )
  jen.e.moore | May 8, 2015 |
Showing 1-5 of 9 (next | show all)
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» Add other authors (3 possible)

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Kameron Hurleyprimary authorall editionscalculated
Palumbo, DavidCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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The smog of Mushtallah tasted of tar and ashes; it tasted like the war.
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The only thing worse than war is revolution. Especially when you're already losing the war...

Nyx used to be a bel dame, a government-funded assassin with a talent for cutting off heads for cash. Now she's babysitting diplomats to make ends meet and longing for the days when killing was a lot more honorable.

When Nyx's former bel dame "sisters" lead a coup against the government that threatens to plunge the country into civil war, Nyx is tasked with bringing them in. The hunt takes Nyx and her inglorious team of mercenaries to one of the richest, most peaceful, and most contaminated places on the planet - a country wholly unprepared to host a battle waged by the world's deadliest assassins.

In a rotten nation of sweet-tongued politicians, giant bugs, and renegade shape shifters, Nyx will forge unlikely allies and rekindle old acquaintances. And the bodies she leaves scattered across the continent this time... may include her own.

Because no matter where you go or how far you run in this world, one thing is certain: the bloody bel dames will find you.
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