This is another wonderful novel of Iain Banks Culture series which has been previously described on this blog. I don’t normally do Si-Fi, but Banks is very readable and while I wouldn’t normally do a second blog on a series, this one needs attention. The Culture series is not written as a linear series, you should be able to start with any novel, but this one is an exception. Don’t read it first. You need to understand a bit about the Culture first. Our planet is roughly aligned to our 17th Century and involves perhaps a Western and an Islamic state. The chapters alternate between the story of the Bodyguard and the Doctor (no, not that Doctor). If you understand the Culture, it becomes plain, but not stated, that the Doctor is from the Culture. The story of the Doctor is told from the first person perspective of her assistant while the story of the Bodyguard is told from a third party perspective. I guess this is more fantasy than Sci-Fi, but is the usual Iain Banks ripping yarn well told. A lovely diversion with everything tidied up in the final chapters, Enjoy.
Inversions Iain Banks