Curse of Honor
The first of the new Legend of the Five Rings novels is pretty fun.
I’m kind of a sucker for shared world fiction, so long as the world is great. Two years ago, I read or listened to nearly fifty Warhammer 40,000 novels in a twelve month period, which was both awesome and maybe not something to be proud of. This week, I dipped my toes in a different world, with the new in a new series of Legend of the Five Rings novels from Aconyte.
I’m a big fan of the new edition of the card game. It’s maybe the best card game I’ve ever played, dethroning Netrunner and the old Dune CCG. But I’d never gotten super into L5R lore. The novels seemed like a good way to do that. And Curse of Honor, by David Annandale, which is the first, and so far only, released book in the series turned out to be a lot of fun.
The story didn’t end up where I expected it’d go. Or rather, it did in a sense, but took an unexpected route getting there. The only real knocks against it, and they’re minor, are that the pacing is a bit off at times (some events drag, other important stuff wraps up in a paragraph or two) and I would’ve liked to spend more time discovering the lore of the main antagonist and location. But overall, I breezed through it, appreciated the strong Rokugan feel, and really liked the well-developed tone and vibe of the story and prose. It starts with a storm in the mountains, and maintains a cold, quiet feel, even as the action hits. I look forward to more L5R novels.