In a world renowned, even within a galaxy full of wonders, a crime occurs within a war. For one man it means a desperate flight and a search for the one, maybe two, people who could clear his name. For his brother it means a life lived under constant threat of treachery and murder. And for their sister, even without knowing the full truth, it means returning to a place she'd thought abandoned forever.
Only the sister is not what she once was. Djan Seriy Anaplian has changed almost beyond recognition to become an agent of the Culture's Special Circumstances section, charged with high-level interference in civilisations throughout the greater galaxy. Concealing her new identity, and her particular set of abilities, might be a dangerous strategy, however. In the world to which Anaplian returns, nothing is quite as it seems; and determining the appropriate level of interference in someone else's war is never a simple matter.
Sublime novel beautifully read.
What an incredible feat of the imagination. & this reading, by Toby Longworth, is an aural feast: an indulgence of the highest order, to peak the senses & exercise the intellect. You may say this; you may say that; but this work of wonder will be studied for Eons..
It doesnt Matter!
This is the second ttime I have listened to this audio book in 4 years. This time around I hoped to like it more, alas, I liked it LESS! It is so long winded. chapters after chapters of very boring conversations and situations that, in the end, have utterly nothing to do with the outcome. Sometimes, the discriptions of alien tech, shell-world layers, and complicated situations are either over complicated, or not complex enough. There is very little action in this over boiled story.
This was the first Iain M. Banks book I've ever read, after being forced to read it by a rather 'geeky' friend I have been absolutely converted. This book has some of the best characterisation I've ever read which is expertly told through the narration by Toby Longworth.
I warn you, once you've read this book you'll want to read the whole back catalogue. The big difference with Banks's books, and most other Sci-Fi authors is that he is actually an excellent writer who happens to have a passion for Sci-Fi with a boundless imagination to match, whilst having his head firmly screwed on. Banks crafts his books with engrossing detail and makes them absolute page turners full of detail and a satisfying ending. Matter exemplifies this.