I previewed The Monster Baru Cormorant by reading the first four chapters. I realize I’m about five months late previewing a book published in October, but here were are. It’s a powerful book, but it’s not for a newbie who doesn’t know anything about the main character or the backstory. I missed out entirely by not reading the first book.
The Monster Baru Cormorant is a deeply political story of intrigue, betrayal and deceit that doesn’t leave the horrors of war to the imagination. The author uses grotesque descriptions expertly, filling the scenes with every detail to paint a hyper-realistic picture. It’s a method I haven’t seen in recent memory, making it a unique addition to this year’s publications.
I found the politics most intriguing, though they were quite detailed and complicated. This is not a book that should be read without first reading its predecessor. There’s a lot of history of this world and previous events that were briefly explained. Having not read the first novel, I had trouble fully understanding the allusions to past betrayals of the eponymous character. It’s my own fault for coming into this novel blind.
It’s brilliantly written from multiple perspectives, each showing a different aspect of this horrifying empire and its use of violence and terror to rule with an iron fist. Check it out if you’re looking for political intrigue, hyper-realism and two-faced characters who are much deeper than their surfaces would betray. I strongly recommend starting with the first book, The Traitor Baru Cormorant. The series deserves to be read from the beginning.
NOTE: I was provided a free copy of this book via NetGalley in exchange for my honest, unbiased review. I only publish reviews of books I enjoy, and this novel meets that criterion.