Monday, July 16, 2007


New Review

Ken over at Neth Space has just posted a new review of Set the Seas on Fire.
Roberson shows the making of a special kind of person, a leader of men, a lover, an adventurer, a nineteenth-century Odysseus and the first half of his Odyssey. Through flashbacks we periodically visit the childhood and early manhood of Hieronymus, son of a scholar, dreaming of adventure, seeking and receiving the tutelage of an accomplished swordsman, who has lived his own life of adventure. Young Hieronymus contrasts with his older self, Lt. Bonaventure, having experienced some of that adventure in the service of duty for King and Country, yet somehow managing to not live life in the spirit of adventure he craved as a child. His excitement and education at the discovery of an island and its people are tempered as the implications are fully realized. He learns of love, cultural shock, and consequences – he glimpses his future from a shaman and doesn’t have the courage to stop the mistake he knows his captain will make.
The review is overall fairly positive, though with a few reservations.
As I’ve said above, Set the Seas on Fire is a highly enjoyable novel, good story, and great view of an interesting character. But, through it all, I’m left with the sense of missing something important. And that is precisely the case because while it stands well on its own, Set the Seas on Fire is a prequel, and it appears that the meat of the story, the second (and more interesting) half of the Odyssey, occurs in Paragaea, which I haven’t had the opportunity to read. So, while I can recommend Set the Seas on Fire as a fun nineteenth-century adventure, I think that it just might need Paragaea to truly complete it.
Actually, as much as I try to make each of these books as standalone as possible, the complete story of Hieronymus has yet to be told. Paragaea is more properly the middle of Hero's story, and not the end. Lord willing and the creek don't rise I'll get to tell the rest of his story, one of these days. (Just in case anyone's curious, this as yet unwritten and unsold novel is about what happens when Hero comes back to Earth, and who and what comes back with him...)

And anyone's who is interested in finding out the full story behind Hieronymus's fencing instructor Giles Dulac is recommended to check out End of the Century when it's published by Pyr late next year.


How does he know that Paragaea is "more interesting," if he hasn't read it yet?

Anyway, I'm hoping to get to this book soon. Looks great!
I read X-Men: The Return a while back. Will you be doing any more of those?
Oh, I think that Ken just meant that the second half of the Odyssey, to extend the metaphor, was where the meaty bits of the heroic story are found, and extrapolates to apply that to Hieronymus's story, as well. That's how I read it, at least.

And I'm not sure if I'll be doing any more X-Men novels (though I'd be up for it if asked), but I am talking to Pocket about doing some work in one of their other franchise lines, as well as with another publisher about the possibility of playing in another fun sandbox full of toys.
Chris, you interpreted it how I intended it to be - though I admit that it wasn't as clear as it should be.

Thanks for the extra info on Hieronymus - I've been curious about Paragaea for a while, and now it's on the list of books to buy. I'll also keep an eye out for End of the Century since Dulac's character is intriguing.
Thanks. And I hope that Paragaea doesn't disappoint!
I got ya.
Do you recommend reading Set the Seas on Fire before Paragaea?
Not really. I think they can be read in either order.
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