Mon, 07 Mar 2005
A lot of critics seem to like Archform: Beauty, and I can't really disagree with them. It tells its story from five points of view, switching among them as it progresses. Despite the title and the presence of five narrators, I didn't really see much evidence of Bartók's arch form in the structure of the book. Beauty is, however, on the minds of the characters, though each has different ideas about what is beautiful.
Mostly, though, it's a detective story. Illegality has transpired, and the characters, variously, have committed it, are chasing it, or are affected by it. The different threads of the story tie together marvelously as events work their way forward.
Modesitt also gets points for a very well-developed world. Language usage has changed a bit in three hundred years, and the book is littered with new turns of phrase. It's not too hard to figure out meaning, though, and a short ways into the book I found the terms nonintrusive.