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Thursday, May 18, 2023

Review: The Language of Power

 The Language of Power is the most recent novel in Rosemary Kirstein's series about a medieval society set in a science fiction world. If there's anything I can complain about the story it's that Kirstein seems to be parceling out her reveals in tiny steps. This part of the series starts unraveling the mysteries of who the wizards are, and what they represent --- we see references to a separation between the common people and the "krue" (an obvious language transition of "crew"). We see the existence of a technological society where the technologically enabled use the technology to hold positions of power in society.

Nevertheless, the holes in the story start to come apart. An obviously technological society relies on precision manufacturing, refinement of ore, and clean rooms to make computer chips. Without scale, those technologies are prohibitively expensive and resource intensive and impossible to hide without massive amounts of automation, which is hard to hide in even a medieval society.

Nonetheless, the writing is good, and maybe Kirstein will produce in the final two volumes of the work and a compelling narrative that makes her world believable to a skeptical me.

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