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Queen of Candesce: Book Two of Virga Mass Market Paperback – December 30, 2008


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Product Details

  • Series: Virga (Book 2)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Science Fiction; Reprint edition (December 30, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765354543
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765354549
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.2 x 6.7 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,273,033 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Starred Review. Schroeder's ambitious sequel to 2006's Sun of Suns further explores Virga, the vast enclosed realm containing a miniature cosmos of floating worlds, wheellike townships and intriguing mysteries about the construct's origins and creators. Heated and lit by numerous artificial suns, the individual populations have evolved on divergent paths. When the delightfully amoral Venera Fanning finds herself on Spyre, an ancient and decaying cylindrical world that's slowly breaking apart, and realizes the Key of Candesce could not only unlock the secrets of a long-lost technology but also destroy entire worlds, she inadvertently disrupts Spyre's delicate political balance and rigid cultural mores and ignites a revolution. Comparable to classic SF epics like John Varley's Gaean trilogy and Jack L. Chalker's Well of Souls series, Schroeder's saga is an awe-inspiring example of masterful world-building. A myriad of themes, from rogue artificial intelligences to the evolution of human bodies and culture, make this futuristic epic one to reckon with. (Aug.)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

From Bookmarks Magazine

The ingenuity and inventiveness of Karl Schroeder's miniuniverse has ushered the acclaimed author into the ranks of leading world-builders. In this second chapter of the Virga saga, Schroeder takes a different approach, with mixed reactions from the critics. He largely abandons the worlds and characters introduced in Sun of Suns and focuses on one character, the Machiavellian Venera Fanning, and one place, the world of Spyre. Most critics agreed that Venera was one of the most interesting protagonists in the earlier book, and she shines here, but it is Virga itself that steals the show. Frequent flashbacks and explanations allow the novel to stand alone, but the brisk plot and vivid settings will leave readers anxiously awaiting the next installment.

Copyright © 2004 Phillips & Nelson Media, Inc. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.


More About the Author

I was born September 4, 1962 in Brandon Manitoba. My family are Mennonites, part of a community which has lived in southern Manitoba for over one hundred years. I am the second science fiction writer to come out of this small community -- the first was A.E. van Vogt!

I moved to Toronto in 1986 to pursue my writing career. I married Janice Beitel in April 2001 and our daughter Paige was born in May 2003.

I divide my time between writing fiction and consulting--chiefly in the area of Foresight Studies and technology.

Customer Reviews

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A great, fun read.
B. Kondo
So I can confidently recommend both of them, and I look forward to reading the next in the series: Pirate Sun.
Dan Carey
Extraordinarily well thought out and creative.
Keith F. Woeltje

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By I C booklover on February 21, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I still don't think the Virga books are Karl Schroeder's best work. If you're looking for hard, challenging SF, read Ventus, Lady of Maze, and Permanence. But the Virga books are still very entertaining and original, and well-worth your time.

I've read all three of the currently-published Virga books (I understand there is at least one more on the way), and Queen of Candesce is the best. Still, it isn't stand-alone, and must be read in context with the others. If you've read Sun of Suns and aren't quite sure whether you want to continue with the Virga series (which is where I was after reading that book), Queen of Candesce will make you glad you kept going; it is, I believe, the most artistic and thoughtful of the three; more about the characters than about the world of Virga itself.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Rachel Thern on November 17, 2009
Format: Mass Market Paperback
At the end of Sun of Suns, Venera Fanning, an interesting but not completely sympathetic character, has taken a chance in throwing herself into the gravity-free air of Virga. The air currents have brought her to a vast structure called the Spire, where she is rescued by a disgraced gentleman now living on the outskirts of society. The Spire is a huge cylinder consisting of many independent nations. It contains more gravity-laden land than Venera has ever seen before, but due to its state of ill repair, is in danger of splintering to pieces at any time.

Venera, raised in a highly Machiavellian and paranoid society, is not comfortable staying in a powerless position for long. Through her plots she upends the power structure of one nation and then works her way into being one of the most powerful players in the Spire. During this time, she is also reflective and grows to be loyal to more than just herself.

Of the first three Virga books (I haven't yet read the fourth), this is my favorite due of its focus on character and its well-formed and self-contained story arc. I loved Sun of Suns when I first read it when it came out, but re-reading it now (I found I'd forgotten a lot of the plot!) I can see how his writing has improved in this series. His descriptions of people and the sights of Virga have become more natural and effortless. Of course, some of this may be due to the reader - a gravity-free world is hard to wrap my mind around, but I find I can picture it more and more vividly the longer I spend there.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By R. Albin TOP 500 REVIEWER on February 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover
This is a well written descendent of Larry Niven's Ringworld and Bob Shaw's Orbitsville. The essential features are an immense, exotic, and technologically formidable habitat in an extrasolar system combined with some kind of action/adventure plot that reveals the interesting features of the habitat and its occupying human societies. Schroeder does well on both counts with an ingenious space habitat and a decently written story line. The habitat is well articulated and the plotting does of a good job of displaying a variety of human cultures occupying the habitat. The plot incorporates a theme of personal transformation on the part of the protagonist that boosts character development.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is nothing but surprises. You certainly are not expecting who the main character of the book is, not with the circumstances they were left in from the first book in the series. As the story unfolds the author sets you up for what's coming, yet when it arrives it nothing like you are expecting. It's very unlike any other story I have read before. Had me ordering the next book in the series before I had finished this one. A real page turner.
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By Amazon Addict on August 30, 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Loved it! Well written and hated to put it down. I liked it better than book 1 and have just downloaded book 3.
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