What a refreshing novella! I have to admit, I didn’t Persepolis Rising very much, in part because our protagonists just kept getting their teeth kicked in. And then Tiamat’s Wrath came out and well, some small wins, but ultimately, I felt like humanity was pretty fucked. I do not like depressing books; I came to read to escape, not to feel bad!
But I really enjoyed this novella, like a lot. I got to learn about some more relatable Laconian characters. I hated Governor Singh, and I feel like Governor Rittenaur’s story in this novella was written to draw sharp contrast to him.
They both draw from the same well of inexperience, and are both trying to become good leaders for their assigned stations. Big difference is that Rittenaur tries to work within the framework of where he is, and knows the limitations of Laconian power; vs Singh just tried to strongarm his way through.
I had forgotten all about Erich! Took me a hot second to recognize that he was the same character from Nemesis Games, Amos’s old buddy.
So he made it all the way here, eh? huh. I loved seeing his interactions, both with Rittenaur and his assistant.
Erich: Does the new sheriff in town take a bribe or a bullet? Hell of a slogan.
Rittenaur: Are you threatening me?
Erich: What? Jesus, no. We’re just a couple guys talking history.”
Hearing him wax poetic, and talk about things indirectly? His probing of Rittenaur here was oh so fun.
“There’s this thing when you get older where you have to make a choice. Everyone does. You have to decide whether you care more about being your best self or your real one. If you’re more loyal to who you ought to be or who you really are.”
Seriously, I could just listen to him talk all day. Talking abstractly and poignantly about a situation staring you in the face is really entertaining.