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Lois McMaster Bujold - Ethan of Athos - 8

PostPosted: Sat Aug 05, 2006 8:41 am
by clong
Ethan of Athos

Given its subject matter, I was a bit skeptical about this book coming in, but I'd have to say that Bujold did a very nice job with a potentially very tricky subject. Planet Athos is a planet inhabited only by men, but Ethan of Athos is not really about a homosexual world. It's more a funny and fun adventure story about a man who comes from a homosexual world.

It was interesting to read this book about a month after having read A Bertram Chandler's Spartan Planet, which is similarly about what happens when a traditional heterosexual society collides with a male only society. While the Chandler is teen male escapist fantasy, Bujold treats the subject in a much more mature, intelligent, and honest way.

The protagonist Urquhuart and his foil Quinn (a female mercenary on a mission for Miles Vorkosigan's Admiral Naismith persona) are likable characters, while Cee and the Cetagandan bad guys are drawn in sufficiently fluctuating shades of gray that you are left wondering about their motivations. The plot is fairly thin and driven by lots of coincidences, but the denouement was surprising, intriguing, and even a little bit challenging.

I'd recommend this book to all but the most fervent homophobes.

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