Gloaming Gates

I was in the mood to read Paula Volsky's excellent Gates of Twilight recently. I'd read it before (twice, I think), but it had been quite a few years. I remembered liking the main characters quite a bit, but very little else. It took place in the same world as her also excellent Illusion, but had only the most tenuous of connections (to the point that I don't remember noticing the connection before). Whereas that one was a fictionalised (and tamed down) recreation of the french revolution, this one is a similar retelling of the British occupation of India. The main character is a mid-level functionary at the "british" embassy in ZuLaysa. He comes from a rich, and aristocratic family, whose largest embarassment was marrying, several generations ago, an "indian" princess. We quickly find out that, thanks to that heritage, combined with extensive curiosity and xenophilia, he can also blend in quite well with the natives. And the natives, thanks to several factors coming together, are getting restless and restive. One of those factors has to do with a local "God", and his main priest, causing problems. And that God, we find out in the prologue, is not a native of that earth. So there is certainly reason to think of him as a god. The other main character is a local princess (strictly speaking, I suppose, THE local princess). She's actually quite poor, thanks to Renille's compatriots, thouh she was educated in his country. That, combined with her mother's hatred of Renille's countrymen, makes for quite a few of the dynamics going on in the book. The tendency of the rest of the embassy workers to look down on Renille, comprises much of the rest. Can Renille keep the Avesquians from full-fledged revolt? And stay alive at the same time? And deal with the god problems? That's most of the plot. And as I mentioned, I liked the main characters quite a bit. I wouldn't call it a deep book, but I enjoyed it quite a bit.

No comments:

Post a Comment