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The Will to Battle: Book 3 of Terra Ignota Hardcover – December 19, 2017
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Praise for Book 3 of Terra Ignota, The Will to Battle
"It is increasingly clear that we are in the hands of a new master of the genre....There's a resonance and richness to the Terra Ignota series that is like almost nothing else being written today." ―RT Book Reviews, 5 stars
Praise for Book 2 of Terra Ignota, Seven Surrenders
“A breathless and devious intellectual page-turner, Seven Surrenders veers expertly between love, murder, mayhem, parenthood, theology, and high politics. I haven't had this much fun with a book in a long time.” ―Max Gladstone
"Wonderful 18th-century style narrative voice....a richly and highly sophisticated novel that calls for repeated re-readings." ―SFRevu
"The eloquence of Palmer's reflections on social issues cannot be denied." ―Library Journal, starred review
"Palmer crafts one of the most compelling narrative voices around in describing this impossible, fascinating and plausibly contradictory world." ―RT Book Reviews, 4-1/2 stars
“Devastatingly accomplished…An arch and playful narrative that combines the conscious irreverence of the best of 18th-century philosophy with the high-octane heat of an epic science fiction thriller.” ―Liz Bourke
“Palmer proves that the boundaries of science fiction can be pushed and the history and the future can be married together.” ―Publishers Weekly
Praise for Book 1 of Terra Ignota, Too Like the Lightning
“Bold, furiously inventive, and mesmerizing…It’s the best science fiction novel I've read in a long while.” ―Robert Charles Wilson
“More intricate, more plausible, more significant than any debut I can recall…If you read a debut novel this year, make it Too Like the Lightning.” ―Cory Doctorow
“Astonishingly dense, accomplished and well-realized, with a future that feels real in both its strangeness and its familiarity.”―RT Book Reviews (Top Pick)
"The Terra Ignota books are is the kind of science fiction that makes me excited all over again about what science fiction can do.” ―Jo Walton
“Excellent.” ―Craig Newmark
About the Author
ADA PALMER is a professor in the history department of the University of Chicago, specializing in Renaissance history and the history of ideas. Her first nonfiction book, Reading Lucretius in the Renaissance, was published in 2014 by Harvard University Press. She is also a composer of folk and Renaissance-tinged a cappella music, most of which she performs with the group Sassafrass. Ada is the author of the Terra Ignota series, including Too Like the Lightning, Seven Surrenders, and The Will to Battle.
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I can't wait for the next book.
Furthermore (and this extends the comparison with Hugo I made in my review of Seven Surrenders), her characters, while all in conflict with one another, are mostly of an elevated, well, character. The few base ones stick out, and undoubtedly have a role to play as the true villains of the story (though I wish Perry/Kraye would just GO AWAY ALREADY, he’s no fun to read about). This is made explicit when Mycroft, the narrator (more passive than usual in this book) confronts Thisbe, the woman with whom he raised Bridger. There’s no love lost between them, however, and Mycroft says of her family members, “…Sniper’s a noble creature, and Propero’s a noble creature. They’re all noble creatures, Thisbe, except you, you’re a….You’re a tick…..A tick, and you feed, and you bloat, and you crawl, and you think it makes you something poetic and exciting, like a vampire, and you’re so wrong.”
They’re all murderers, Mycroft, Prospero, Sniper, and Thisbe, so the difference isn’t in their deeds but in their–there’s the word again–character, their position on the scale of nobility to baseness. Their motives, and their acceptance of consequences. It reminds me, as I said, of Victor Hugo’s novels, where one must never confuse a Javert with a Thenardier, however much they’re both antagonists.
Aside from all that, there’s also some great humor in this book. Achilles, or a version of him, features in this book, and one of the characters has an obvious crush on him. Thus the following bon mot: “‘I know my sister broke your heart, and a rebound is natural, but Achilles? Really? There is such a thing as asking for it!’ Death in the guise of MASON blushed.”
I don’t know that this review will convince anyone to read the book–at this point in the series, either you’re thoroughly enjoying yourself or you’re off the hype train. There’s only one book left to go, and I hope it resolves some of the mysteries of this one. Moreover, I can’t wait to read it and immerse myself once more in the world of these fascinating people.
I know there are at least a few of you interested in this book and whether or not the end feels like we've only been given half a book. I'm happy to report that this does not feel like half a book. The wait for Perhaps the Stars will still be long and torturous, but I intend to fill that time with back to back re-reads prior to release.
These books are, in their own special way, an art form. These pages are filled with quirky stylistic choices, narrative breaks taken to address the reader (you) who carries an ongoing dialogue both with the narrator, and ghosts of the narrators past and upbringing (primarily, philosopher Thomas Hobbes). Dual columns of text side by side are meant to tell you that multiple conversations are happening at the same time within the text. While MASON speaks, people around him object and these texts are given to you in tandem. Different sets of parenthetical are meant to indicate different languages. I'm sure this has been obvious to some of my fellow readers, but yes, I can be dense, and yes, it has taken me three books to crack the code.
We continue our philosophical search for meaning through the eyes of the Alien, God of Another Universe, filtered through the eyes of a serial killer and a genius, Mycroft Canner. This was an interesting examination of Mycroft. We see a glimpse of Mycroft before this chronicle started. We spy him for a brief moment in that time between his capture and his judgement. His own story, a mirror image of the larger story at hand.
We move away now from examinations of gender and utopia, to the meaning and purpose of war. Perhaps to the purpose of god and religion and its purpose within society. How does a peaceful society take those first few steps to war? Is war necessary to progress? How does society balance the rights of an individual against the greater good? What right does a government have to defend itself or its people against other governments and people? Is this a right we as citizens consent to? Or do we happily ignore it and pretend that peace and the right to live are god granted things that no government can take away regardless of that governments cause?
This may be the last book I have time to read and review this year and with everything happening within my own government I suppose it couldn't have been more timely. It is highly relevant and highly recommended, and one of the few books I am already looking forward to re-reading because I know just how many things I must have missed.
Most recent customer reviews
And it didn't disappoint!Read more
Ada Palmer's Terra Ignota is better than it has any right to be, and Book 3 continues to deliver.Read more