Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

Diane Duane is a consistently inventive writer who has managed to put an original spin to existing franchises, as well as producing her own well crafted worlds. Her latest novel, Stealing The Elf-King's Roses, is something of a new departure, mixing SF, high fantasy and a CSI-style police procedural into a coherent whole.

Lee Enfield (an amusing choice of names!) is a prosecuting lanthomancer in a Los Angeles that isn't quite our own. Part of a sheaf of universes that includes ours, hers is a world that mixes high technology with deep magic. Specialist investigators like Lee and her intelligent, talking hound partner Gelert are able to "see" into crimes, effectively re-enacting them, by bringing the all too real spirit of Justice into the world. But her world isn't the only one accessible. Already 6 universes are linked by physical gates that allow someone to walk from one Earth to another. Some worlds are the embodiments of other worlds' myths, while others, like the elf-home Alfheim, have significantly different physical laws.

Called in to help the LAPD investigate the murder of an elven scientist, Lee finds herself caught up in plots that span universes - plots that could lock the worlds into a potentially dangerous configuration. Alternately manipulated and informed, Lee must enter the closed universe of Alfheim as a part of a UN inspection team. It's there that she'll learn the secrets the elves have kept from the rest of the universes, and will find herself in a position to make one of the biggest changes possible.

Duane's light style and deft touch make this a quick and easy read. And yet, there is a deeper story under the light detective story - a tale that explores the questions of whether there is a purpose to the universe, and how our lives reach out and affect those around us, wherever we are, whatever we do. My only real reservation is that at times her elves feel like her revision of Star Trek's Romulans, the Rihannsu.

Well worth reading. And it's fun, too. Somehow I get the feeling we may well see more of Lee Enfield.


( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
Feb. 22nd, 2003 09:21 am (UTC)
Did the ending not bother you? I mean, I felt like she hadn't properly thought through what she just had Lee and the elf king do.


There's no reason for them not to be together when either of them can be anyplace pretty much at will. And for Lee to give him up and go call that git who treated her so badly infuriated me.
Feb. 22nd, 2003 11:02 am (UTC)
I've noticed a problem with endings in many books of late.

What is it, do the authors look up at the calendar, realize the ms. has to go in the mail today, and just skip 100 pages of plot, to get to the point where they can type, "The End"?? No, really!

And as for the boyfriend - I agree, that was not a good call. Poor heroine needs her head examined.
Feb. 23rd, 2003 08:03 am (UTC)
I have to admit that I really didn't see any romantic connection between the two of them - for one thing he is far too wedded to his world, and she has a far closer realtionship with Gelert.

But yes, she was a jerk for calling him.
Jun. 19th, 2003 12:13 am (UTC)
That's odd; you had a completely different reaction to this book than I did. I love the concept of the Elves only a little bit in the future, and the Fairy Gold being a material with special properties, and the PI working with the elves. However, the delivery of it fell flat for me. Although there were lots of great moments, like the description of the forbidden fruit, or the descriptions of the elves, overall I found it quite slow to read, which is disappointing considering how terrific some of her other books have been. I gave up halfway through it.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )