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Sun of Suns (Virga Series #1)

Average Rating 4.5
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  • Posted September 6, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Swashbuckling goodness set in a balloon in space

    Imagine a balloon circling a distant star.

    Imagine this balloon is thousands of miles in diameter.

    Imagine that within this balloon there are societies clustered around fusion-powered miniature suns, all floating in the atmosphere within this balloon. Societies, polities, nations existing in low gravity who sail the skies on ships and bicycles of a mostly steampunk level of technology. A world of action, adventure, and swashbuckling goodness.

    Welcome to Virga!

    Sun of Suns introduces this audacious and awesome setting created by its author, Karl Schroeder (who I previously enjoyed his Lady of Mazes). Virga is sui generis as a setting, and Schroeder has carefully constructed his world to tell the kind of stories he wants. (There are good reasons why technology, aside from the fusion suns, technology is low, reasons that are revealed in the novel).

    Clearly influenced by Dumas-like fiction, Sun of Suns is the first in a series of novels set in Virga. Sun of Suns tells the story of Hayden Griffin. His family was killed in an attempt to free his nation of Aerie from dominance by the nation of Slipstream, and he has sworn revenge and to continue his parents work to free Aerie. Events cause him, however, to join to an attempt by a small fleet from Slipstream to follow a map that may lead to a treasure beyond price that will give a decisive advantage over its own deadly rivals.Rivals that are no friends of Aerie, either...

    Ships and bicycles that sail the skies. Nations and pirates. Sword duels and pistols. I am reminded of a lower tech milieu of the Disney movie Treasure Planet, except everything is contained within this balloon. We get hints of what the universe is like of this clearly artificial world, and are introduced to a character exiled from that outside world into Virga.

    From Hayden Griffin's desire for revenge, to Admiral Fanning's quest for a decisive edge for Slipstream, to his wife,Venera Fanning, who has an obsession with a bullet wound from years ago, to the mysterious armorer from beyond Virga, Aubri McMallan, not only is the novel a rollicking adventure with flying ships, it also has larger-than-life characters appropriate to the setting.

    My only complaint, perhaps is that Sun of Suns is a bit too short. Still, that only means that I will *definitely* be reading more of the three additional novels Schroeder has written in this amazing world.

    If you are the type of fantasy and SF reader who enjoys Dumas-style action and adventure in addition to your SF fix, hoist sail and get thee a copy of Sun of Suns. You won't regret it.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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    Posted January 2, 2012

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    Posted December 26, 2009

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