Tuesday, 22 April 2008

Review: Spashdance Silver by Tansy Rayner Roberts

There's no getting over the fact that 'Splashdance Silver' is very reminiscent of the work of Terry Pratchett. Not that this is necessarily a bad thing, Pratchett writes very entertaining work and 'Splashdance Silver' is also very entertaining. There's a lot going on, however - possibly one story line too many (thought I wouldn't like to be the one that decided which storyline 'walked the plank'[1]). Kassa Daggersharp has to decide whether she becomes a pirate like her recently deceased father or a witch like her (less recently deceased) mother. She goes in search of her parent's treasure accompanied by her cousin Daggar (who needs the money) and tracked by various foes (who also need the money), accidentally sets off a major magic crisis, and then still finds time to take on the new Lady Emperor and two potential love interests.

There's a lot of detail in the book, which is great for world building, and character development. But I actually found that many of the character's motivation muddied by a complicated back story (although it did makes Reed Cooper more interesting, particularly towards the end). I also felt the storyline lost momentum after Kassa (mostly) dealt with the 'glimmer'. This felt like the climax of the novel, when instead it continues on for some time afterwards. There's a lot of good jokes in the book, but there's also some pretty bad ones too...

There is a sequel to 'Splashdance Silver', 'Liquid Gold' and I'm interested to see where the characters end up in that tale. 'Splashdance Silver' is well written and very easy to keep engaged with. However, I think Pratchett does do it better...

[1] This is pirate humor, as appropriate for the book!!

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