Inversions by Iain M. Banks
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Rather than focus on a grand scale space-opera, I think Banks wanted to dump us into a backwater gravity-well and let us have a sense of what it would be like to tour as a doctor, perhaps Culture trained, among the crude creatures of a Medieval period.
Mind you, I didn't quite pick up any definitive proof of actual Culture interference, mind you, because our PoV is actually from the apprentice to the good doctor who hailed from foreign parts, but I think the guess is a very good one, anyway. :)
So what of the story?
Actually, this one shares in the great reversals of our understanding, just like the other Culture novels. We go along with interesting tales only to have a reveal that shatters our understanding of what we read. That stuff is fantastic, by the way. :)
In this case, meet a doctor who befriends the King and practically ALL of the court and the nobles mistrust and plot against her. If feels like one hell of a romance, honestly. I got into all the characters and loved the banter, rooted for the good guys and hoped all the others would get their just deserts.
It's a simple tale on the surface, yet there's always past horrors to work through and there happens to be a certain Captain of the Guard from where the good doctor came from who is out to bring her back or to justice, traveling all the way across the country. What exactly is going on?
Well that is a great deal of this book's charm, from the opening scene with a torturer to the end where everything gets inverted.
Do you fancy a bit of standing on your head?
I'm very impressed by the tale even if there isn't that much SF or Fantasy to hang your hat on. It reads mostly like a Medieval tale. With some rather interesting outcomes, I might add. :)
It's well worth the read. :)
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