Harbinger of the Storm by Aliette de Bodard

Some days I feel like an Angry Robot fanboi. Who am I kidding? I am a huge fan. This book continues the great run of books they have released.

This is the second book in a series and I highly recommend reading Servant of the Underworld first.

I found the beginning of the first book a little too slow and hard to get into for my liking, but I was right there in the story from the first page of Harbinger. The main protagonist Acatl is the reluctant high priest of the dead and is part of a triumvirate  of religious leader that advise the leaders of the Mexica empire. I thought about writing down more place names and character names in this review, but even though they have been shortened to enable easier reading they are still difficult to get your head around out of context. The politics and intrigue at court are anathema to Acatl and the one part of his job that he dislikes. The plot starts with the death of the Revered Speaker the ruler of the Triple Alliance. Add to that a supernatural plot that threatens to destroy the world and you start to get an idea of how difficult the job of finding the killers and saving the empire will be.

I am a simple man and usually like things quite simple, and lots of dialogue in my fiction. I shouldn’t really like this book as there are a lot of big sections with little or no dialogue. It works though. The descriptions are simple and never seem too long, the dialogue always adds value, and the plot flows nicely. I didn’t work out what was going on until I was told and this added to my enjoyment. I particularly love the way the capricious nature of the gods is portrayed.

If you want to read crime fiction in an interesting and vibrant historic setting this book will be right up your street. I am eager to reading the third book in this series, and will be downloading it as soon as I can.

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