-Review on Fantasy Literature.
(…) Servant of the Underworld is a highly original debut novel. Thanks to a solid mystery plot and Aliette de Bodard’s extensive research into pre-Conquest Meso-America, this novel should strike a chord with more than just fantasy readers.
While I greatly enjoyed the richness of the setting, the perfect balance between fantasy, mystery and historical fiction, the solid suspenseful plot, for me, it’s Acatl and the many ways through which I could relate to him that really got me. It’s a new aspect of Aliette de Bodard’s fiction I was pleased to discover as in short stories, it’s often difficult to demonstrate the extent of one’s talent at characterization.
Highly recommended whether you enjoy mystery novels, fantasy, historical fiction, Aztec culture and solid characterization. Surely one of those describes you. I’m eagerly waiting for the next installment and hope this gets translated in French and many other languages.
-My very first French review, at Blackwatch’s blog. (very loose translation, done in about 3 minutes. It’s the spirit of it, but I don’t claim it’s 100% accurate…)
(…) This kind of plot can seem over-familiar, especially if you’re a dedicated reader of fantasy. But the strength of Servant of the Underworld resides in the character of Acatl, implicated in events against his wishes. In spite of his authority as high priest, many gates remain closed to him. The obstacles keep growing in number, and the author doesn’t leave us time to breathe, spinning a frantically-paced story.
Personally, I’d recommend this book to any lovers of fantasy or thrillers who want to read something a little different.
(the funny thing is that the first one and the last two disagree quite spectacularly on whether Acatl is an interesting character to follow around. Fascinating).
In non-review links, I’ve put up a specific Obsidian and Blood webpage, which includes a list of characters, and a blurb for Harbinger of the Storm (subject to rewriting and publisher’s approval, of course, so it’s very indicative at this stage). But in case you were wondering what the next book looks like…
And I also have Servant of the Underworld bookmarks, courtesy of the awesome Janice Hardy, which I should be handing out at Eastercon.