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Blood Ties (1986)

Blood Ties (1986)

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3.79 of 5 Votes: 2
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0441805981 (ISBN13: 9780441805983)

About book Blood Ties (1986)

Introduction (Asprin). Hakim’s back. The intro is (as always) light but helps you get back into the setting [6/10].Lady of Fire (Paxson). A nice return to form after the awfulness that was book #8. It’s particularly good in this story to see Lalo and Illyra working together, as they’re two of the series more likable characters, and their coming together here is very believable. Beyond that, this is a nice setup for Sanctuary’s newest problem [7/10].Sanctuary is for Lovers (Morrisi). Do we have to see the fake-peace-to-fool-the-Rankans plot yet again!? This is one of Thieves’ World’s problems: it’s insistent on repeating the factions-fighting and witches-fighting plots again and again, ad boredom. With that said, the Morrisi do a good job of characterizing a multitude of characters and moving them through their lives … but it all feels so inconclusive, like we don't have a full story even when it's done [6/10].Lovers Who Slay Together (Bailey). I’ll admit that I generally like Bailey’s writing and I like the character of Chenaya — who’s like a female Tempus that actually has fun. However, this is a good story too, both for how it puts Chenaya in direct contention with Tempus (in multiple ways) and for how it gives her the opportunity to make big changes in Sanctuary’s story [7/10].In the Still of the Night (Cherryh). Like the Morrisi, Cherryh just doesn’t seem able to tell a complete story any more, and so instead we get a little chunk of a mosaic novel amidst more cohesive shorts — which doesn’t really work as a whole. There are interesting bits in here about interesting characters which raises the story up, but then it ends with Thieves World at its worst, as Cherryh says to Bailey: “You did something mean to my character, so I’ll do something mean to your character.” Too often it feels like the TW writers were playing a game of oneupmanship rather than telling a story [5/10].No Glad in Gladiator (Asprin). This is why Asprin was a good writer: he could focus a 14-page story on a single scene between Jubal and Chenaya and make it riveting as he revealed their depths of characters and gave them them real reasons to change [7/10].The Ties that Bind (Duane). Duane's writing of Harran, Siveni, Mregi, and their trinity are always fun to read, and this is no exception. It's interesting to see how the latest changes in Sanctuary have changed them [7/10] … but, OH, the ending seems to come out of nowhere and feels like a bit screw-you to fans [1/10].Sanctuary Nocturne (Abbey). Like so many of the others, Abbey does a good job of getting into her characters' head. I really loved the relations between Kama and Walegrin here. However this story really felt like it wasn't going anywhere … until the last two pages hit me straight between the eyes! [7/10]Spellmaster (Offuti). An interesting new character is introduced to Sanctuary, and he’s got enough mystery and good nature to keep you reading — making him a great end to the volume [7+/10].Overall, the range of stories in Blood Ties went from average to good — and there are more good stories than average ones. Unfortunately, they fail to cohere as a whole; there’s no feel of a larger plot, just a bunch of authors writing in the same setting, and that ultimately keeps this book as a whole from rising up to the level of its better stories.

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