Even when finding oneself engaged in interstellar war, good form must be observed. Our story is set thousands of years after the Terran Exodus, where two powerful, planet-dominating families - the elegant House Jakabitus and the less refined Hahn Empire - have reached a critical point in their generations-long war. Master Hennik, the Hahn ruler's only son, has been captured, and the disposition of his internment may represent a last and welcome chance for peace.
Enter Wollard, the impeccably distinguished and impossibly correct Master of Formalities for House Jakabitus. When he suggests that Master Hennik be taken in as a ward of the House, certain complications arise. Wollard believes utterly and devotedly in adhering to rules and good etiquette. But how does one inform the ruler of a planet that you are claiming his son as your own - and still create enough goodwill to deescalate an intergalactic war?
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Meyer and Daniels do it again.
- Joshua Kring
Tale of an absurd political system, set in space
Scott Meyer is a talented story crafter. I think his Magic 2.0 series is brilliant, and I've gone back and listened to those a 2nd time. This book is clever, and on the whole it is enjoyable, but it does start slow and has moments where I feel no sentient creature would do such things, formalities or no. (There's really not a lot of action in this book--it's more of a story of dysfunctional politics.) I did make it through the entire book and was relieved to find I felt satisfied--there were moments when I thought that might not happen. So, yeah, it's good.
Luke Daniels is a brilliant audiobook performer. I've loved every minute of the Magic 2.0 series and Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid series. (That's off the top of my head..I'm sure there are others.) I think his performance on this book brings the experience up a whole star.
I would eagerly try more from Scott Meyer, though Master of Formalities isn't my favorite book by him.
Is it too much of a spoiler to say "the twist near the end"? I mean, shouldn't most stories these days have some twist?
- Jim Whitfield