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Sun of Suns (Virga #1): 03/03/10
Sun of Suns by Karl Schroeder starts the Virga series. Had I not read and loved The Sunless Countries (Virga #4) I probably would have passed on the rest of the series. The series has a slow start as it introduces characters and the unusual manmade world of Virga.
In Virga whoever controls the suns has political and economic sway over all the nations dependent on the light. As these are manmade suns the technology and resources to build new ones is heavily guarded. A splinter group from Slipstream, the largest and most established human civilization has decided to build its own sun and declare independence.
Haydon Griffin is the only survivor of the government crackdown. The unfinished sun is destroyed and the scientists hired to complete the project are killed. Haydon is their son and he believes he has the knowledge to complete their work.
Haydon's story though is only one part of Sun of Suns. There is also Venera Fanning, the wife of an Admiral who has a personal vendetta. Sometime ago she was shot by a stray bullet leaving her scarred and plagued by debilitating headaches that come at random. She keeps the bullet to someday return it to its owner in an act of revenge.
The problem I had with Sun of Suns is the balancing of the plots. Clearly Haydon Griffin was set up to be the big hero of the book but his piece of the book is rather dull. He grows as a character by the time he returns in The Sunless Countries but here he's a poorly realized throwback to the old Saturday film serials. Venera Fanning, the hard as nails, scheming and oft-times bitchy foil for him is the far more interesting character but she's presented as a throw away character who is there to lighten the mood in between Griffin's scenes of brooding.
Fortunately for me, Vanera Fanning is the main character for Queen of Cadensce (Virga #2).
The Virga Series: