|Hardcover, 314 pages|
Acquired June 2013
Read December 2013
by Kate Orman, Jonathan Blum & Philip Purser-Hallard
Each Bernice Summerfield triple-novella seems to improve on the last: this one is three sequential tales that form one large story, but it would never work quite the same as one novel, as each has its own individual story and own point-of-view. The story here picks up right from the audio dramas The Judas Gift and Freedom of Information, with Bernice trying to sort through the aftermath of the Draconian-Mim War and the disposition of a number of Mim "war orphans" who more than one side claim jurisdiction over.
One novella gives us a first-person Mim perspective while Benny is on a Mim planet, another a third-person perspective while Benny visits Draconia, and the last gives us the first-person perspectives of every but Benny during negotiations on the Braxiatel Collection. I don't think the story told here could have worked any other way: each story adds layers of culture, of character, of plot brought by its new perspective and new writer. Finally, the Mim feel like a real civilization and not just an off-stage threat, and new complications are added to the Draconians as well. It's a great political thriller, but also a great personal story, too; this is about political motivations and people's motivations, winning wars and winning yourself.