Soldiers of Paradise MOBI ò Soldiers of MOBI

Soldiers of Paradise Where the seasons last for generations, winter is a hard time suited to hard religion The theocratic Starbridge caste consider themselves virtuous wardens in a sinners purgatory, reading infant cries and birthmarks to judge the unpunished crimes of previous incarnations On the battlefield, all but nobility are denied medicine and anaesthetic Only the Antinomials have endured winter outside this oppressive social system People without language, eaters of meat, they are being driven from their lands in the north to seek sanctuary against the very belly of their tormentors, in the slums of the great capital city of Charn Here a Starbridge doctor and a drunken prince begin a dangerous experiment in compassion that will soon demand heavy sacrifices, just as the people brace for spring, with its flammable and suffocating sugar rain I remember nothing about this book, apparently. Paul Park is reallyof a literay writer, I think He s a wonderful fellow to talk to, and very literate He uses fantasy and SF as a way to touch on the themes he feels are important If you re looking for space opera or heroic fantasy, for adventure, then Park is probably not for you His stories are complicated and rich They re worth the effort but you won t find them to be quick reads. This book is another of my random secondhand book selections, and I was pleasantly surprised I have made it a goal to readfantasy, and this was one of the few at Bookfest that looked interesting the cover shows men on horned, bird headed horses , but I really did not know what to expect What I did find was a detailed bit of world building, and two very well written cultures set against each other on a planet with strange and long drawn out seasons.The book starts with the first culture, This book is another of my random secondhand book selections, and I was pleasantly surprised I have made it a goal to readfantasy, and this was one of the few at Bookfest that looked interesting the cover shows men on horned, bird headed horses , but I really did not know what to expect What I did find was a detailed bit of world building, and two very well written cultures set against each other on a planet with strange and long drawn out seasons.The book starts with the first culture, a nihilistic society that lives in the present and spurns everything else planning, thinking, memories and even names They dance and sing and play music and live only from moment to moment, preferring to speak with music rather than words They only survive with the help of biters These are the members of their society that fail to live up to their nihilistic standards and who plan ahead and use words instead of music to communicate.This society soon clashes with the other prominent culture on their version of Earth this society has a rigid caste structure ruled by rich families and priests who use strange arcane technologies which involve both magic and science mixed together This society is waging war against many others, including heretics among their own race, and their sprawling city is full of slums and slaves and untouchables, as well as mansions and temples and priests performing convoluted rituals.While the world building is rich and well structured, the story itself seemed to ramble from character to character and I found the various endings partial and unsatisfactory It made me think this must be part of a series as so many threads were left untied I ve yet to check if this is the case because I don t like to read anything else about a story before I review it This left me feeling a little lost and it made it hard to care about the fates of the many and varied characters introduced in the story The book ends with at least one cliffhanger and a lot of death and chaos but the purpose, if any, is unclear and the outcome a complete mystery.But overall the book is worth it if only for the depiction of the cultures and the alien yet familiar planet with it s strange seasons that can last a life time and the peculiar orbit of it s planets and the gentle way the reader is introduced to the strangeness of the world you may assume for instance that the horses referred to are just like ours until the author mentions their beaks, and not until the end do you discover their vestigial wings It s a great way to have a reader discover the world in bits and pieces instead of one long initial exposition Not an easy read for me..but worth the effort..has some great characterization full of anti heros who evolve dramatically as their stories and complex misfortunes unfold pushing the characters to their limits and pulling them into various modes of insanity as they fail to cope with a world of insanity and religiously ordained chaos The plot seems to play off of familiar social disparities in our own contemporary world, successfully making a mockery of various socio religious dogmas most noticab Not an easy read for me..but worth the effort..has some great characterization full of anti heros who evolve dramatically as their stories and complex misfortunes unfold pushing the characters to their limits and pulling them into various modes of insanity as they fail to cope with a world of insanity and religiously ordained chaos The plot seems to play off of familiar social disparities in our own contemporary world, successfully making a mockery of various socio religious dogmas most noticably the Christian ethic of demigoguery and Hindu istic caste devotationalism take to alien level extremes Once I learned to accept that this world has almost no trace of comparison to our own except that maybe I could imagine that these inhabitants could have been a remnant of a humanity whose ancestors migrated from ours, completely lost hope and began to manufacture their own kind of hope, which has by now gone terribly wrong since then..it eventually became easier to accept the extreme characters and their extreme cultural values or anti values as realistic I like how there is an element of occult supernatural ability in some of the characters yet instead of this being so enigmatic as to become a central point of the plot, it is presented quite matter of factly as if it is actually noenigmatic or advantageous to them as an unusual eye color would be

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