The Initiate Brother is a hefty novel written in 1990 or so. It has plenty of interesting Eastern mysticism, but what caught my literary attention was the careful building up of each separate person's house of cards.
The plot is... ordinary. A powerful, intelligent man is set up by an animous emperor to go "save" the northern lands while everyone around him plots self-aggrandizement or others' ruin. What makes this book fascinating is the pagentry of the characters. We are almost all-knowing in our external observation of the action, as Sean Russell's story slides from from monologue to aside to sotto voce
to subtle confrontation and back again. Violence is explosive and apologetic at the same time. Manners and mannerisms are constantly on stage, and verbal manipulation is a requirement. To me, my enjoyment was in each exchange, with motivation entirely secondary to the presentation.
While I definitely enjoyed reading The Initiate Brother, I may or may not bother with the next book. This book was entertainment in the present tense, and I have no drive to find out what happens next
.-- New-to-me books read in 2011 (as opposed to re-reads) --January
Little Dee vol 2
Little Dee vol 3Unusual Suspects Harvest Moon
The Black Stallion (yes, I know, I should have read it with Black Beauty) Ravens in the Library: Magic in the Bard's Name
, with a pre-finished commentary hereThe Hundred Thousand KingdomsFang Bangers: An Erotic Anthology of Fangs, Claws, Sex and LoveMust Love HellhoundsTruthseekerFebruaryDark and Stormy KnightsTortall and Other LandsRiver Marked
(2/28 - it arrived a day early)March
Questionable Content, vol 1How to Flirt with a Naked Werewolf
Magic BitesSkinwalker, A Jane Yellowrock Novel
Running with the PackMagic Burns
"Skyblaze" Adventures in the Liaden Universe #17Kings of the North
Do Not Sniff the Bees, Two Lumps book 6Magic Strikes
Magic BleedsMercy BladeThe Initiate Brother
... Wise Man's Fear-- Books abandoned rather than completed in 2011 --February
Sing the Four Quarters, by Tanya Huff-- Books Still in Progress --These are books that I haven't totally given up on, I've just... put them aside... for now. And gee, look at how many of them are non-fiction!
The Brand Within
If You Don't Have Big Breasts, Put Ribbons on Your Pigtails
Swords and Dark Magic
Wise Man's Fear