Nothing complicates life like Death.
Lanie Stones, the daughter of the Royal Assassin and Chief Executioner of Liriat, has never led a normal life. Born with a gift for necromancy and a literal allergy to violence, she was raised in isolation in the family’s crumbling mansion by her oldest friend, the ancient revenant Goody Graves.
When her parents are murdered, it falls on Lanie and her cheerfully psychotic sister Nita to settle their extensive debts or lose their ancestral home—and Goody with it. Appeals to Liriat's ruler to protect them fall on indifferent ears… until she, too, is murdered, throwing the nation's future into doubt.
Hunted by Liriat’s enemies, hounded by her family’s creditors and terrorised by the ghost of her great-grandfather, Lanie will need more than luck to get through the next few months—but when the goddess of Death is on your side, anything is possible.
Available on NetGalley
Average rating from 74 members
Thank you to Netgalley, the author and the publisher for allowing me to read this book I downloaded this yesterday and I was captivated. I read it all in one night. I may be lacking some sleep but I fell in love with this book and it is on my favourites list now. This C.S.E.Cooney is now an auto-buy author for me now I feel in love with the weighting style the characters plot and the progression it just hits right with me and what I enjoy in a book. i will be looking into her previous book now and probably loosing more sleep.
Thank you so much publisher for providing an arc! I just devoured this book. It was so nerve-wrecking so I can not express enough about the plot. The plot is so interesting that you will find yourself gasping everytime you find something new. I really like the worldbuilding, and how the author can create a world that has the capability of making us vicariously live through it. I feel like the introduction was a bit too slow-paced for me. The characters are fairly interesting. Henceforth, it was quite a good read.
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review! Saint Death's Daughter by C.S.E. Cooney is an adult fantasy that will appeal to fans of Jay Kristoff's Nevernight trilogy or Sarah J. Maas's Crescent City. The story revolves around two sisters: Lanie and Nita. Estranged when they were children, Nita storms back to Stones Manor, the family estate, when Lanie is 15 years old. And Nita is not alone. Nita returns with Mak, a man who she can force to change into a falcon at will. Nita has the power of Fascination. Whoever looks into her eyes has to obey her will. But Lanie has her own powers. She can raise the dead back to life. What adventures will these two sisters get into? Here is an emotional flashback from Chapter 1, which introduces us to the two sisters: ""Stoneses die young,” her big sister explained patiently. “We have to grow up fast if we’re to grow up at all.” Hoppy Bunny’s sundered halves plonked to the ground. Lanie stared but did not dare cry. At best, Nita would laugh; at worst, Lanie would end up just like Hoppy Bunny. ... “I won’t be here anymore to toughen you up, Miscellaneous,” said Nita, and for the first time that Lanie could remember, her sister sounded afraid. “Put your toys away. Work hard. Write me often. Don’t forget me.” Last, a terrible cold kiss on Lanie’s brow. Lanie was eleven when Nita left for school. And though she would regularly have nightmares about that day for years to come, what she always remembered when she woke up was this: The real nightmare—Nita—was gone." Overall, Saint Death's Daughter is an adult fantasy with plenty of world-building. Although Part 1 (the first 25%) takes place when Lanie is 15, there is a time jump in Part 2 to when Lanie is 22 years old. Just like Nevernight, there are plenty of footnotes, because the author's creativity could not be contained to the pages of the story. There is also plenty of humor. In fact, I was surprised by how light-hearted and "slice of life" this adult fantasy was. I had been expecting bloodshed or at least some action, but up until the 50% mark, there is little to no action. That is also the point when my interest began to wane, which is why I took off 1 star. This book seems to be more about daily living in the fantasy world. If you're intrigued by the excerpt above, or if you're a fan of adult fantasy fiction, I highly recommend that you check out this book when it comes out in April!
The blurb totally entranced me, and I couldn’t wait to jump in and experience this world. The plot was interesting and well thought out, and the world building was stunning! I really enjoyed the characters, which was great since lately main characters are just coming off as whiny and entitled into most of the books I read!
To be born into a family of royal assassins pretty much guarantees that your life is going to be... rather unusual. Especially if, like Miscellaneous "Lanie" Stones, you also have a vicious allergy to all forms of violence and bloodshed, and an uncanny affinity for bringing the dead back to life. To make matters worse, family debt looms – a debt that will have to be paid sooner rather than later if Lanie and her sister are to retain ownership of the ancestral seat, Stones Manor. Lanie finds herself courted and threatened by powerful parties who would love to use her worryingly intimate relationship with the goddess of death for their own nefarious ends. But the goddess has other plans... This is an intriguing world with an unique storyline. I like the magic described in the book and the world building is amazing. I love the heroine Lanie too. Love how independent and resourceful she is. The whole story is rather 'magical' for lack of a better word. Thanks to the publisher for providing an arc.
Fun, whimsical, and macabre, Saint Death's Daughter reads like a glorious mashup of Gideon the Ninth and the Addam's Family. Miscellaneous "Lanie" Stones is a necromancer born into a storied household of wizards with a passion for death, nearly all of whom have died dramatically before their time (Cooney details the erstwhile family tree in hilarious little footnotes that read like tombstones in Disney World's Haunted Mansion). Lanie and her odd mixture of family, both blood and found, must contend with the ominous threat of the Blackbird Queen Bran Fiakhna and her polycule of shapeshifting wizard spouses to save each other and preserve their nation. The world-building, while brilliant, can get a bit elaborate and hard to follow at times. Similarly, the prose is rich with adjectives and adverbs that give add plenty of quirky embellishment but sometimes lead to discursiveness that distracts from the plot. The magic system was fascinating, but I wish we'd been able to explore the other godly magic in more detail. I feel well-versed on necromancy, fire-magic and fascination (a type of magical compulsion), but when I'm being tantalized by wizard's who can slow time, create illusions, and turn invisible, it is hard not to crave more information. Which gods do their magic stem from? How is it similar or different from Lanie or Mak's magic? Generally, my main issue was this misplacement of detail: for example: contrary to the above, Cooney spends basically a whole chapter elaborating on Lanie's love for a couple of resurrected mouse skeletons,. The true heart of this story, however, is the relationships between Lanie and her family. Whether it is the tense tutorship of Grandpa Rad, the solemn devotion of Goody Graves, or the childish fire of Sacred Datura Stones, this story shines when it is imparting meaning into Lanie's relationships, both living and dead. These moments of connection keep what can sometimes become a fairly grim story grounded in tenderness and humor.
"It was always the same nightmare. Lanie must have had it a hundred times. A thousand" "Stoneses, he said, have been favoured of Saint Death since the days of the Founding Queen" "Necromancers are rare and fragile, and the world is full of death. Especially for a Stones" Fans of "Ninth House" watch out because you're going to love this book! I didn't expect to like it as much s I actually did! I probably thought that this would have been a good ya fantasy story with a little bit of mystery in it and maybe a romance ... I couldn't be more wrong. I deeply appreciated the glossary at the very beginning of the book that gave the reader an idea of the timeline of the story and created an entire new universe I could experience. The world-building, the magic system, the different characters and their own different genders ... all this details worked together to make this book more than amazing and pretty much surprising. I'm not going to lie , I needed a bit to get into it but mainly because it was a complex structure of plot and characters' description that you have to analyse with attention and dedication to admire it completely. I loved the main character and I loved how the author worked with different gender's pronouns in order to make the story even more intriguing! A young, female protagonist with an allergy for death who has the ability to master necromancy and can speak with the ghosts , who's hunted , wanted by so many important families who dream of using her powers for themselves ... amazing ! "Your weakness isn't your allergy" "Bless my should or what's left of it. I must say, Miscellaneous Stones, for once in your life you've impressed me" I absolutely adored how the writing style involved passing from a simple narrative (that was never really simple) to poetry and verses. How everything involved some riddles and lullabies to give it an even gentler tone. And I loved it even more when it dealt with people morphing into falcons or being possessed because of a spirit's rebirth! So many amazing characters are part of this story just to make this world more enthralling! I look forward to read more about it! "I will learn from you ... And when I have learned bough, I will end you" "Magic - like poetry - is what will suffice" "We need no wings between us, thou and I."
Thanks to #NetGalley and #Rebellion for providing me with an eARC in exchange for a fair review. The suitably spookily titled Saint Death's Daughter by C S E Cooney. Miscellaneous Stones, known as Lanie, is a Necromancer coming into her power. She is the first in her family in generations to have this particular esteemed & feared ability. But it has come too late, and the family debts have left her and her older sister in danger of losing the ancestral seat Stones Manor. The novel has treachery, intrigue, love - both romantic and familial. Thoroughly enjoyed this! #Fantasy #Necromancy #Magic #SaintDeathsDaughter
It's really long but a good read but it is wonderfully-written. It's fun and whimsical and the world-building is great. I was immediately drawn in by the cover.
This was an immensely original and creative story with excellent world building. It’s a story of found family and magic, necromancy and ghosts. The author has quite a way with names for her characters. My only complaint would be the length of the story- I’m pretty sure it could have been shorter! Many thanks to Netgalley for an arc of this book.
This gives off major classic Disney Halloween vibes! A whimsical fantasy that is utterly charming, complex, and unique Saint Death's Daughter is an elaborate story - which did get confusing at times. At the beginning I had no idea what was going on, but slowly began to catch on. It's light compared to most adult fantasy book which I found to be refreshing. The Stone's family tree is whimsical, detailed, and interesting. The characters are fun and charming, just as colourful and quirky as their names suggest. I am obsessed with all of their names! The world and its history is so detailed and thought out, and the family tree is so fascinating and comprehensive. it is clear that the author has put her heart into the narrative and characters with considerable thought and meticulous execution. However, it is so damn long!! Over 1000+ 'pages' on my Kindle, and also making it drag at times. That being said I am still very much interested in finding out what happens next in this delightfully eccentric story. Thank you to Netgalley and Rebellion, Solaris for this eARC in exchange for an honest review
The main character reminded me a lot of Feyre and Aelin from the Maas world and loved how this story kept me gripped all the way through. It’s a new concept I’m starting to read and assassins are always a fun time!
This book was beautiful, lyrical and fantastical in all the best ways. It’s the kind of book you want to read and reread to comprehend all of the magic and stupendous world building. The characters are mesmerising and your antagonists just as fun to read about. It is surprisingly not gory while also being very gory and has a sense of humour and fun which can often be lacking in high fantasy. I can’t wait to read more of Cooney’s work
Saint Death’s Daughter is not for the faint of heart! This is not a light, fluffy, read-it-in-a-weekend novel. This is a high fantasy saga with a fully developed magic system that is deep, complex, and brimming with intrigue. Perfect for fans of Naomi Novik, Leigh Bardugo, or V.E. Schwab, this book has a dark side, so if you’re drawn to worlds filled with necromancers, reapers, and death magic, this one’s for you. It’s a massively ambitious book, at nearly 500 pages, and with dozens of characters to keep track of (plus an incredibly complicated magic system), it’s an intimidating read, for sure. I’ll admit that it was challenging for me to keep the details straight as I read; I usually like to be reading more than one book at a time, but I couldn’t hold anything extra in my head with this one! But the world-building is second to none, and the fascinating combination of royal assassins, looming family debt to settle, and the influence of the goddess of Death made this book worth the effort. A solid 4-star read! —— Thanks to C.S.E. Cooney, Rebellion/Solaris, and NetGalley for an ARC in exchange for an honest review!
A very interesting story of new magic, necromancy, poor relationships between power hungry people and the effect people have on each other. The names are super unique and I love that they all mean something and are plays off words that associate with their surnames!
Aw I’m so conflicted by this one. This book had the potential to be absolutely incredible, like maybe one of the best fantasy books ever, dare I say it!? But it wasn’t. Okay. A book with a load of different gods, magic, necromancers, an mc who has an allergy to death but can communicate with the dead in a way, fucking people that are also birds, magical royal executioners?! Honestly all of these, and just the blurb makes it sound insane, and it was in many moments. But oh boy was I confused a lot. Right at the start there’s a guide explaining some characters, who the gods are and also what the days of the week and months are. At first I though ooh how helpful. But I was reading this on my super old tablet and it’s just impossible to flick back. And what is the necessity in changing what the days of the week and the months are?? There’s still the same number, it just makes it confusing, and often thinking when it told you the date, how long has this been since the last bit??? And I don’t even know how many names were mentioned throughout, a lot. More than there’s ever been in any book. And it switches between there actually name and nickname without any kind of help that they’re the same person (their names are really weird so it’s not obvious nicknames like Tom from Thomas eg. The mc is Lanie from Miscellaneous). Not just the names, but weird words for things with no context or explanation. However, when I did sort of know what was going on, it was really good! And I loved the characters of Lanie, Mak and Datu. And I thought the ending was great and not what I’d expected at all! It has been left as it could end with that or there could be another book. I would definitely read the next one but won’t be expecting as much.
Many thanks to Netgalley for an arc of this book; it was brilliant. I loved the complex world building, the intricate plotting and the wonderful prose which sometimes morphed into verse. It's possibly a tad long but overall is absorbing throughout.
3.5 stars rounded up Firstly this is a massive arc, sitting at 1259 pages! Don't let that put you off. Magic, necromancy, gods, betrayal, family blood and found, this book has it all. The action doesn't take place until over half way, it does give a good insight into the daily life of Lanie, Mak and Datu, as well as their new found family and the many threats that comes with being a necromancer. I would have liked to dive deeper into the magic especially with Haaken. Though I don't think I can ever look at a bird the same, especially a blackbird. The world building while brilliant, sometimes took the focus away from the plot and was a little over done in places. Though I Really struggled with part 1, especially with the character drop/overloaded, I couldn't quite grasp onto anything but I'm so glad I pushed through. Saint death's daughter does give off stand alone vibes but is also left open enough for a sequel, which I wouldn't hesitate to pick it up. Special thanks to NetGalley, the publisher and the author for a free, electronic ARC of this novel received in exchange for an honest review
If you like detailed, action-packed fantasy with a macabre vibe, this book might be for you. I couldn't put it down. I liked the academic style of writing, with footnotes and information about magic and the different beliefs and cultures, as they suited the main character. Lainie is a necromancer who is very young at the start of the book, but she grows into her power as the story unfolds. This stood apart from other fantasy plots for me because it wasn't just about romantic relationships. It was about a girl who had been raised in an environment where she couldn't trust her family, and didn't get any love for them. The story shows her developing friendships and forging a family of choice, as well as pulling off some impressive magical acts. The characters from different cultures and faith backgrounds reminded me a bit of Raybearer. The aesthetic is part Addams family, part Shadow and Bone. It's definitely worth checking out.
My first impression (and a lasting one) is that the naming of characters, places and things is completely charming - like our protagonist, Miscellaneous aka Lanie aka Mizka. Saint Death’s Daughter features excellent worldbuilding, both in the current timeline and meandering into its history. The descriptions are detailed and very engaging, to the point that I lost the main story thread quite a few times, but if this world takes your fancy you’re going to have fun getting lost. There is a large cast of characters involved, and I definitely found myself looking forward to the next scene that might involve my favourites who I LOVED. Conversely, any sections with my least-favourites seemed to drag. This book is on the longer side, so if you prefer a shorter tightly-paced book this definitely isn’t for you. Thanks to NetGalley and Rebellion for the ARC.
Saint Deaths Daughter Review 3.5/5 stars Release day: April 12, 2022 Before Beginning this review, I would like to thank Netgalley and Rebellion publishing for approving me for this e-arc in exchange for an honest review. Story: This book was very long, 1259 pages on the netgalley app so, VERY LONG. The story was super whimsical and interesting though. It was born with unique and homey ideas that left me chuckling and smiling. The fluffy adventure that arose in this novel was very entertaining. Writing: The writing was classy and defined. The language itself was pretty and beautifully written. Sometimes the language bored me a bit, but nonetheless, it is easy to appreciate. Characters: All of the Stones family were super peculiar and quirky, they all had distinct gimmicks and personalities. I think C.S.E Cooney did a wonderful job on character building, leaving them all complex and comforting. World Building: The world building of Saint Deaths Daughter was very complex and at sometimes, very confusing. I wish that C.S.E Cooney have a better explanation as to the events and world happening. Overall this book was super interesting but could've been done better. It was also very long, so it was a monster to get through. But I did really enjoy reading it despite my confusion occasionally. I would recommend picking up this book (it will probably be shorter as a print copy)
This one took me a while due to having to deal with replacing a tub that took upwards of a damn month (and because it’s a bit of a brick of a book), but every time I opened this to get through another bit, it was a luscious treat. The Locked Tomb series is going to be the first thing that people will draw comparisons to, because queer necromancers, but this is honestly an amazing world unto itself. It’s got very deep and intricate worldbuilding, but also the humor of Discworld, and doesn’t hesitate to make fun of itself both in the text and in the extensive footnotes. That humor and the inherent queerness in it brings some levity to what can be a really fucking dark text at times. It seems like Cooney is throwing a lot at the reader at first, but it all lands, while still setting up a few threads for future books. Laney, Granny, and her family and friends are all amazingly developed and fun to follow, and I can’t want to see what comes next here. Pick it up, it’s more than worth your time.
Amazing and gripping read. Thanks to Netgalley and the publishers for letting me access an advance copy of this book in exchange for my feedback.
OH MY GOSH THIS BOOK!!! Iwas gripped completely by this book and read it in one sitting missing a meal to finish it. it was so well written with well developed characters and a chilling feel that left me with goosebumps. It was so interesting and completely enaging. I really enjoyed it.
"Stoneses die young," her big sister explained patiently. "We have to grow up fast if we're to grow up at all." And indeed, the Stones family has a complicated history of untimely deaths, mostly told through the footnotes at the end of each chapter. But that is not the only thing that makes them special: they have historically served as assasins to the royal family of Liriat and, most importantly, they all have rather extravagant names. Miscellaneous "Lanie" Stones is the youngest member of this family, and after her parents' deaths she and her sister must find a way to pay all their debt and avoid losing the family home, getting tangled up in some dangerous schemes along the way. This story was incredibly ambitious, there was a lot of worldbuilding to do and a lot of ground to cover plot-wise, and yet the book didn't feel incomplete. There were some points I was left wondering about, like the exact workings of the magic system or other types of wizards, but all that was shown made sense. As for the plot, it was a bit dense for me, especially because it didn't move that fast until about halfway through the book, and so the characters (except for the protagonist) didn't seem to have that much room for development and connection with the reader. It also left a few loose ends, so I'm hoping for a sequel that will round everything up, but the book also works as a standalone. Finally, I would like to mention the writing style, which was flowy but still made for a great narration. I think it was perfect for this story, with its aristocratic setting and eccentric characters. It felt humorous at just the right moments (the footnotes were a really fun aspect and their "serious" tone was perfect), but it somehow also made me feel worse for Lanie at her lowest moments. The weird family names were also a great touch, if a bit confusing at first, but they made complete sense after knowing a bit more of the family history throughout the book. All in all, this was a great read. It's definitely not for reading in one afternoon, but if you like fantasy you might want to give this book a try. Thank you to NetGalley and the publishers for the opportunity to read and review this book.
How do you review a book sensibly when all you really want to do is scream ILOVEITILOVEITILOVEITILOVEITILOVEIT!? I mean, I fucking loved it. But it did come from Netgalley so I feel obliged to make some sort of attempt. Reasons I loved Saint Death’s Daughter: 1. Lanie, the main character. She’s sensible and strong and whimsical and passionate and vulnerable. She puts mouse skeletons back together to resurrect them and then cries when she has to let them die again! SHE IS SO PRECIOUS I CANNOT. Also, imagine being born into a family of assassins while having a violent allergy to death. Yikes. It’s tempting to list fifty things Lanie does that make me adore her, but that would be kind of spoilery, so believe me when I say the mice are just the beginning. 2. Datu. I would die for Datu. That is all. 3. Canon Lir. I would also die for Canon Lir. They are the best. 4. There are in fact a lot of people in this book whom I would die for. 5. Whimsical gothic is one of my favourite aesthetics and this book hits it squarely. There are assassins, necromancers, lots and lots of dead people, mind control, a whole bunch of underground stuff, murder up the wazoo… and all of it is treated with a lightness of hand that makes it simply delightful. It’s serious too, at times. But also whimsical. I mean the main character is named Miscellaneous Stones. MISCELLANEOUS STONES. Was there ever so perfect and beautiful a name? No, never. 6. Found family. Another of my favourite aesthetics. There is nothing warmer and yummier than a sad lonely character whose family are a bit shit finding people who welcome and accept and adore them, particularly when they totally don’t expect it and all of a sudden realise that their life is FILLED WITH LOVE. The best. 7. The worldbuilding. ALL the worldbuildinggggggg. I mean, for simple plot purposes you could take out half the worldbuilding in the first few chapters and it wouldn’t change a thing, but books aren’t just about plot, are they? The little details and stories we hear in those first few chapters are just so fun and a great way of introducing us to Lanie and the world she’s grown up in, because really, Stones Manor is her world, at first, and it feels like a big complex one. We only get reminded of how small and narrow it actually is when Lanie finally ventures out into the wider world, which makes that revelation all the more effective. 8. The plot. It’s fun and engaging and I always find myself caring about whatever Lanie is trying to do. There are a couple of nice twists, and I’m super super eager to find out what’s going to happen in the next book, too. This list feels entirely inadequate for a book that delighted me so much, but I’ve done my best. I really hope there’s going to be an audiobook, because I’d absolutely love to listen to this story, too. I already have my physical copy on pre-order. Anyway. Read this!
This was an absolute gem of a book! I don't make comparisons to Gideon the Ninth (or its sequel) lightly- but this absolutely has the same strange, beautiful, disgusting, messy love of life and death in all its forms permeating through every word. Lanie Stones is a wonderfully realised character (how fantastic to have a necromancer who is in love with life as well as death!) and her world is as detailed and well thought out as she is. That last thing is what worried me going into this book- I loved the ideas and imagery in Cooney's Desdemona and the Deep but found the plot and characters a bit undercooked. This is something that Saint Death's Daughter absolutely corrects. There were several developments that I didn't seecoming at all but made absolute sense in the context of the characters and their world, and by the end I felt like I knew Lanie, Lir, Mak and Datu like old friends. It's a beautiful book, honestly. I'm going to buy a hard copy when it comes out, and it's going to sit alongside The Goblin Emperor as one of my all time comfort reads. Thank you!
With many thanks to #NetGalley for an advance copy of #SaintDeathsDaughter, which enabled me to read the book ahead it’s publication date and let you know that you should a b s o l u t e l y check it out, if you enjoy the Locked Tomb stories, Addams Family circus (with more heartwarmth than the opening chapters might suggest), and a healthy mixture of humorous and macabre in your SFF. A queer-by-default world, family values clashing with found families, a really colorful, lush and humane take on necromancy, an unflinching portrayal of the price of violence and privilege and at the same time, a really over-the-top trashy sexy evil villainess, complete with her harem of wizards — so many things tossed into the mix, and the end result is a very gripping read. I swear, I was making noises along the lines of “I’ve no idea where this book is going” at 10, 20, 50 and 80% of the book and was so pleased to be stunned by plot twists up until the very last chapter. I admit I very rarely feel blindsided by the trajectory of the ride when I open the book, so I enjoyed very much when that happens. It’s not as breakneck as Nona the Ninth, but it’s also a much warmer narrative, with compassion and craving for community that infuses its pages via the narrator. I enjoyed the snarky footnotes, found the glimpses of magic other than that of Lanie’s intriguing (and hope for more info on them on them in later books), and generally found the book an enjoyable ride.
~Thank you Netgalley and Rebellion Publishing for allowing me to receive an ARC of this book! 4⭐𝐒𝐭𝐚𝐫 •The concept of this book had me enthralled right away and the lore and magic imbued in this world were stunning! 𝐏𝐥𝐨𝐭 •The plot is the reason this book got docked. I felt it was slow or there wasn't much of a plot. I love fluffy parts of books and filler in some senses but I feel that this book just dragged on with no real stakes set very high. If this book was shortened, I feel it would've been a lot better in plot and pacing, and it would definitely help the idea of there not being much of a plot. Besides this, the book was still good, just dragged. 𝐂𝐡𝐚𝐫𝐚𝐜𝐭𝐞𝐫𝐬 • The author clearly spent a lot of time on developing characters and they did an amazing job at it. I got attached to most of the cast, and the unique races were very interesting to learn about. Development and actual human emotion were written so well in this story, and it was a key component in this story. 𝐖𝐨𝐫𝐥𝐝𝐛𝐮𝐢𝐥𝐝𝐢𝐧𝐠 •This worldbuilding was DEEP and so so good. The different types of magic, rulers, courts, states, festivals, days of the week, etc, were all so fleshed out and are what really grabbed my interest. If the worldbuilding and characters were not this good I would have rated this lower due to the plot but they saved it and far exceeded my expectations for it. 𝐎𝐯𝐞𝐫𝐚𝐥𝐥 •This book was good. Long and slow, but still good. Improvements on pacing and plot could have been made but this is still a solid and interesting book.