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The Artless Bones of a Review

For Chill, by Elizabeth Bear

I really wanted to like Chill.

Honestly I did. I loved Dust, I think, although I’ll have to check my notes. I for sure love it in my memory.

I recognize that it’s the middle book of a three-book sequence, and that it’s setting up and leading up.

I loved getting to know Tristen and Benedik and their various failures, and their problems.

I loved revisiting the world.

But they have no agency.

We spend the entire book on a journey that is basically wasted.

If they’d been a day or two later, Cynric would have been reborn all the same, from how I read it.

In an ideal world, Tristen goes off after Arianrhod and returns with Cynric a chapter or two later, and this is done offscreen. We spend that time watching Ben and Caitlin patch things up, or try to, and then something else happens. Percival doesn’t spend the entire novel being wounded.

I can’t seem to find anything that I’ve written about Dust. Hopefully when Cleave/Grail is released I’ll have the time to read through them all at once and write something more substantive.

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