|Print List Price:||$14.05|
Save $11.06 (79%)
Your Memberships & Subscriptions
Man Of Two Planets (The "Circe" Series Book 2) Kindle Edition
An Amazon Book with Buzz: "Punch Me Up to the Gods" by Brian Broome
"One of the most electrifying, powerful, simply spectacular memoirs I—or you— have ever read." —Augusten Burroughs Learn more
Enter your mobile number or email address below and we'll send you a link to download the free Kindle App. Then you can start reading Kindle books on your smartphone, tablet, or computer - no Kindle device required.
To get the free app, enter your mobile phone number.
- ASIN : B010I6HB20
- Publisher : Smashwords (August 15, 2015)
- Publication date : August 15, 2015
- Language : English
- File size : 3209 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Not Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 317 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #3,808,066 in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
There was a problem filtering reviews right now. Please try again later.
Despite being a space-faring culture possessing highly sophisticated technology, the people of First Home adhere to strangely regressive and militaristic values. The planet is ruled by a handful of elite families descended from the original colonists who control the vast majority of the planet’s wealth. Formal manners play a major role in many scenes, to the point that chaperones are required when unattached adults of the opposite gender meet.
In fact, it became apparent early on in the story that women on First Home are considered essentially property of their male guardians. Unfortunately this is not just in the abstract or traditional sense; the wealthy families of First Home maintain fortified complexes and sizeable standing armies precisely because they fear the men of other families may attack or try to steal their women.
This cultured, formal society with its standing armies, bodyguards, chaperones, and ever-present fear of woman-stealing leads to a peculiar contradiction: in a society in which everyone is far too much of an honorable gentleman to step outside the bounds of propriety, who exactly goes around attacking women?
Unfortunately this question is answered relatively early on in the book, and that’s where the content warning comes in. Shortly before the 25% mark there is an on-screen sexual assault (one that is described rather than implied,) and it becomes clear as the story progresses that this is a not-uncommon tactic for the leaders of a rival house to ‘stake their claim’ to the assets of another family. Or just for fun, apparently.
Much of the conflict in Man of Two Planets takes place between the Haute Foret or High Forest family, to which Borto and the other Circean envoys are attached in one way or another, and the Courvenier family (to which the aforementioned rapist belongs.) There’s a certain amount of backstory that sets up why the Circeans and their High Forest allies have reason to fear and loathe the Courveniers, and particularly their leader and his right-hand man, Vaire.
The portions of the story I found most interesting, however, were those that explored life on Circe. From clouds of microscopic ‘wild’ machines called parthobots that can take any form, to the way the planet grows new forms of life and waits for her human “locators” to find them and set them free from the earth, the sentient planet seemed like a fascinating place.
Likewise, the story seemed to move more freely on Circe, less encumbered by the stiff and fearful formality of First Home. It was an arena where the protagonists almost had a fighting chance against their enemies, and so it seemed fitting that the book wrapped up this chapter of the heroes’ story and came to a conclusion there.
In all, Man of Two Planets was a difficult book to review. Circe reminded me a bit of Petaybee, Elizabeth Anne Scarborough’s sentient planet. The feuding First Home families with all their romantic and political machinations, combined with the constraints of their stiffly formal society, seemed almost Shakespearean at times.
(There’s a particular scene where the High Forest family’s leader and his friend sneak into a masked ball to dance with their sweethearts, and then find themselves caught between wanting to intervene in Courvenier’s evil machinations and wanting to evade the public censure of discovery at a ball they couldn’t respectably attend. That particular act struck me as so Shakespearean that Shakespeare himself would have been proud of it.)
Then there’s the appalling situation the story’s women find themselves in, one where the only safe place for them is locked in a gilded cage of their male protectors’ making. As the story progresses, it’s shown that inner darkness is not a domain unique to the men of the Courvenier family. Underneath all the fine manners, women are never truly safe around First Home’s men.
Borto’s awareness of his inner darkness– that which makes him an unusually promising warrior for a Circean– makes him perhaps the most human and relatable of all the book’s male protagonists. He recognizes his dark impulses for that they are: not a natural part of being a strong and powerful man, but something repulsive and shameful which his loved ones should never be exposed to. It’s too bad such a sense of conscience isn’t more common.
Man of Two Planets is a very imaginable sci-fi adventure that not only boasts a living planet, but is populated with interesting well-developed characters who stay with you long after the book is finished. Borto and his sister, Tethyn are great characters and even the villainous Vaire, although a disgusting pig, is immensely watchable.
I only have one complaint. Ms. Rook obviously put a lot a care and effort into constructing the intricate planetary hierarchy and courtship rituals of First Home and the living planet of Circe. In my opinion a bit too much. It really bogs down the story until you acclimate yourself. However, I have to say that the imagery she invokes remind me of the old sci-fi masters Heinlein, and Asimov. All in all it is an enjoyable story and well worth reading.
The setting of First Home and Circe and their cultures seem to play a character in themselves with many of its idiosyncrasies being much of the world building and inconveniences of the plot. First Home, with its different houses like that of Dune but in closer proximity to show them play off each other like, however, with the Romeo and Juliet setup comes conflict being in the realm of screwing with the females of rival houses, giving rise to many of the stringent rules. I was given a warning for “some explicit sex” but “a detailed rape scene” probably should have been a part of the caveat.
Although much of my worries coming into this book were unfounded, I still found this book not up my alley. Call me naive, given how this is act on between real cultures, the tribalism of the houses “othering” each other to point that they didn’t see the women as people but pieces in a game is forshadowed by the Courvenier family and Vaire. As for how it ended, it seems the story will continue on for another entry.