Review: Seven of Infinites by Aliette de Bodard

Review: Seven of Infinites by Aliette de BodardSeven of Infinities by Aliette de Bodard

Published by Subterranean Press on October 2020
Also by this author: In the Vanishers’ Palace, The Tea Master and the Detective (The Universe of Xuya), Of Dragons, Feasts and Murders, The Citadel of Weeping Pearls, Fireheart Tiger, Of Charms, Ghosts and Grievances, The Red Scholar's Wake
Genres: Science Fiction
Pages: 176
Format: ebook

Vân is a scholar from a poor background, eking out a living in the orbitals of the Scattered Pearls Belt as a tutor to a rich family, while hiding the illegal artificial mem-implant she manufactured as a student.

Sunless Woods is a mindship—and not just any mindship, but a notorious thief and a master of disguise. She’s come to the Belt to retire, but is drawn to Vân’s resolute integrity.

When a mysterious corpse is found in the quarters of Vân’s student, Vân and Sunless Woods find themselves following a trail of greed and murder that will lead them from teahouses and ascetic havens to the wreck of a mindship--and to the devastating secrets they’ve kept from each other.

I’m continuing my quest to read all books released by Aliette de Bodard and when my friend got a copy of Seven of Infinities, I asked if she wanted to read it together. It was actually my first buddy read ever, and really enjoyed it as we explored the mystery as we went.

Seven of Infinities is a novella in the Xuya universe created by Aliette de Bodard. The concept has interested me since I first picked up The Tea Master and the Detective but the world is always secondary to the stories, no matter how beautiful the world is. Now too, the mystery in Seven of Infinities is multi-layered and we both didn’t see the conclusion coming.

It always amazes me how the author weaves together the world-building and plot. Not a word is wasted and she always leaves me wanting more. The architectural lore she included was one of the things that piqued my interest but I doubt I’ll ever get the satisfaction of learning more. The same goes for her characters. I haven’t seen a cameo of one of the Xuya characters in other books which is a bit sad since all of them are interesting and I want to know what happens to them after this story ends. We get little bits and pieces of their backstory, but nothing about their future. I guess there’s a beauty in there too. But I’m keeping my fingers crossed for a longer book or even a series set in the Xuya universe.

In short, I give Seven of Infinities 4,5 stars. I highly recommend it to anyone who loves a good mystery. It’s one of the more accessible Xuya universe stories I’ve read so far. Don’t forget to check out my reviews for The Tea Master and the Detective and The Citadel of Weeping Pearls.

About Aliette de Bodard

Aliette de Bodard

Aliette de Bodard lives and works in Paris. She is the author of the critically acclaimed Obsidian and Blood trilogy of Aztec noir fantasies, as well as numerous short stories which have garnered her two Nebula Awards, a Locus Award and two British Science Fiction Association Awards. Her space opera books include The Tea Master and the Detective, a murder mystery set on a space station in a Vietnamese Galactic empire, inspired by the characters of Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Watson. Recent works include the Dominion of the Fallen series, set in a turn-of-the-century Paris devastated by a magical war, which comprises The House of Shattered Wings (Roc/Gollancz, 2015 British Science Fiction Association Award, Locus Award finalist), and its standalone sequel The House of Binding Thorns (Ace/Gollancz, 2017 European Science Fiction Society Achievement Award, Locus award finalist). (Photo taken by Lou Abercrombie)

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