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How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse

How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse

Scritto da K. Eason

Narrato da Nicole Poole


How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse

Scritto da K. Eason

Narrato da Nicole Poole

valutazioni:
4.5/5 (19 valutazioni)
Lunghezza:
11 ore
Editore:
Pubblicato:
Oct 8, 2019
ISBN:
9781977377128
Formato:
Audiolibro

Descrizione

Rory Thorne is a princess with thirteen fairy blessings, the most important of which is to see through flattery and platitudes. As the eldest daughter, she always imagined she'd inherit her father's throne and govern the interplanetary Thorne Consortium.

Then her father is assassinated, her mother gives birth to a son, and Rory is betrothed to the prince of a distant world.

When Rory arrives in her new home, she uncovers a treacherous plot to unseat her newly betrothed and usurp his throne. An unscrupulous minister has conspired to name himself Regent to the minor (and somewhat foolish) prince. With only her wits and a small team of allies, Rory must outmaneuver the Regent and rescue the prince.

How Rory Thorne Destroyed the Multiverse is a feminist reimagining of familiar fairytale tropes and a story of resistance and self-determination—how small acts of rebellion can lead a princess to not just save herself, but change the course of history.

Editore:
Pubblicato:
Oct 8, 2019
ISBN:
9781977377128
Formato:
Audiolibro

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  • (5/5)
    Oh my god I love this book so much!! Strong female characters are the best you guys, the best
  • (4/5)
    The first word that comes to mind when thinking about this book is ‘surprising’: any kind of expectation I might have harbored from reading its synopsis and the reviews published by some of my fellow bloggers was subverted by what I found in the story itself. And those surprises were quite delightful.Rory Thorne starts as a fairy-tale retelling: the first girl child born after generations of male heirs to the Thorne dynasty, Rory becomes the center of a christening ceremony involving the blessing of fairies, which is sort of unheard-of because no one believes in the existence of fairies any more and because the story is set in the distant future and the Thorne Consortium is an alliance of planets “in a galaxy far, far away”. The fairies do come to the ceremony however, present the child with many gifts and even cause some intriguing ripples when the uninvited thirteenth fairy crashes the party and lays her own gift on Rory: not a proper curse, no, but the ability to see through lies - which turns out to be a mixed but useful blessing. After that, the fairies disappear and are never seen again, having fulfilled their role in the economy of the story, that becomes some kind of space opera intrigue, finely balanced between drama and tongue-in-cheek humor.As Rory grows, and a male heir is born to the Thorne dynasty, all that is expected of her is a politically advantageous marriage and conformity to the rules, but events and Rory’s own determination defy those assumptions in more ways than one: a terrorist attack changes the balance of power, so that the young princess finds herself a pawn to a power-hungry villain’s plots and to political expediency, but things will not exactly go as planned… I don’t want to share more of the story since I believe it’s best enjoyed if approached with no preconceived notions, especially because you will discover that nothing follows expected parameters here - which is one of the novel’s best strengths.Rory Thorne’s world-building is quite interesting, being a mix between science fiction and fairy tale material: we have galaxy-spanning coalitions of planets, inhabited both by humans and aliens, and interstellar travel and space stations on one side; we also get fairies, and the intriguing concepts of arithmancy and hexes. In this universe, science and magic combine in the form of arithmancy, which allows its practitioners to influence the laws of nature, or the functioning of technological items, through the application of specific hexes, whose complexity varies according to the wielder’s abilities and training. Not much is explained (thankfully, from my point of view) and the concept is filtered and elaborated through the reader’s imagination and (at least for me) with the assistance of the famous Arthur Clarke’s sentence about sufficiently advanced science being indistinguishable from magic. Rory is of course quite apt in arithmancy, which proves very useful in her experiences.Where the world is engaging, the characters are what make it work: Rory herself is young, barely sixteen when she’s sent to Urse station in preparation for the political marriage she’s being groomed for, but she’s very far from the usual YA characters we often encounter, another important point in favor of this story. She is clever, but never annoyingly so; she’s determined and sometimes stubborn, and yet she balances that with a thoughtfulness that belies her years; more important, she knows when to follow her own instincts, when to listen to her advisors and when to walk the fine line between these two directions. It was easy for me to feel sympathy for Rory, because despite being a prisoner of her role she never complains about it, never falls prey to the usual angst that seems the prerogative of YA characters, but rather accepts it as fact of life and moves on, doing her best to carve her path with what she has:… [a princess] did not take casual strolls with her friends, because a princess did not have friends. She had body-maids, guards, teachers, viziers. She had never thought of herself as alone, until now. It was a revelation.And yet, if not exactly friends, the people closest to her become allies and co-conspirators through the sheer force of her conviction, her self-confidence and her hard-earned wisdom. Speaking of Rory’s closest associates, they are very enjoyable creations: Vizier Rupert and Deme Grytt could not be more different persons - the former is Rory’s steadfast advisor, a man of controlled emotions and careful thoughts, the latter a former soldier sporting cyborg implants and a “shoot first and ask questions later” attitude, but they are united in their affection for their young charge and offer many entertaining interludes when debating from opposing points of view about how to best take care of her. Similarly different are the two female bodyguards assigned to Rory, Thorsdottir and Zhang: one composed and reserved, the other more exuberant, but both equally dedicated to the mission of protecting the princess and - though unexpressed - of being the friends she needs.The main villain, Regent Moss, might look stereotyped - all he lacks is a mustache to be twirled - but he feels perfect for the role and the right foil for Rory’s cat-and-mouse games where she does her best to outwit an opponent who seems to hold all the winning cards. One of the best parts of the overall story is the subversion of the traditional tale of the princess in danger who needs to be rescued by the handsome prince, because here Rory is the one doing the saving, and the prince she is slated to marry the one who needs to be saved. Please allow me to spend a few words on Prince Ivar, because - apart from the role reversal - he offers one of the amusing angles of the story, at least for me: you might be aware that “Ivar” is the name of an IKEA line of furniture, and the prince’s constantly wooden disposition always made me think that there was a tongue-in-cheek joke from the author’s part. If the young man is depicted as ineffective and weak, all his mentions never failed to elicit a smile from me when I thought his name could not be a coincidence, an impression strengthened by the way the tale is relayed though an omniscient narrator who enjoys offering humorous asides and somehow making a joke of its own reliability.How Rory Thorne destroyed the Multiverse turned out to be a swift, compelling read in a weird, but intriguing, mashup of genres: it is my understanding this is the first half of a duology, so that I’m quite looking forward to the second book and the discovery of the rest of Rory’s adventures.
  • (5/5)
    {First of 1?: [The Thorne Chronicles]. Space opera/ fantasy, YA}What happens when a fairytale comes up against planetary politics? Sleeping Beauty and her prince lived happily ever after and their descendants ruled the kingdom and then migrated to the stars. This story is told as a history of a time where Earth is not merely ‘the old homeworld’ but ‘the ancient homeworld’ and when only two alien species were known rather than the four of the ‘present day’. For the past two hundred years, as the story opens, the Thorne family has been blessed with boys as the first born in every generation. When a girl is born instead of the expected boy, the royal family is unsure of what protocol to follow. To be safe, they hold a Naming ceremony and invite the fairies - and are rather nonplussed when the fairies, including the thirteenth, actually turn up and bestow blessings and a curse on the baby princess. The thirteenth fairy said this: “I curse you, Rory Thorne: to find no comfort in illusion or platitude, and to know truth when you hear it, no matter how well concealed by flattery, custom, or mendacity.”Then she straightened. She looked at the twelfth fairy, and her eyes were hard and hopeful. “Your turn, sister.” (After some conversation with baby Rory:)The littlest fairy smiled. “All right, then. Here is my gift, little princess: that you will always see a path through difficulties, and you will always find the courage to take it.”And so we watch Rory as she grows up, adapting as politics changes her life. I do appreciate the fact that this time it is the prince who is asleep and it is the princess who rescues - well, everyone. (There are lots of small - and not so small - feminist asides along the way.)A couple of things to note; the thirteenth fairy’s curse manifests as Rory being able to ‘hear’ when people aren’t telling the truth so on the written page it appears as italicised font interrupting the flow of speech. It took me a couple of instances to realise that but it works well (once you’ve got the hang of it).And rather than our computers and internet, they have turing networks which, I assume, are named after Alan Turing. (Turing was a British cryptanalyst who worked on breaking German codes during WWII and is considered the father of theoretical computer science and artificial intelligence.)I like the concept of alchemy and arithmancy being the science of this universe though it isn’t - quite - magic. Oh - and look out for the colour-changing sensitive Kreshti ferns, especially when the poor things try to blend in with the furniture because of the emotional overload.I think Samur, Rory’s mother, gets somewhat short shrift; despite her duties she tries to spend as much time as she can with her daughter until events dictate otherwise and she always puts royal duty ahead of personal comfort which make her seem distant. Rory has her body-maid, Deme Grytt, who is a no-nonsense soldier and the Vizier, who is her tutor in politics and arithmancy, so as well as raising her to be a good Crown Princess they are almost substitute parents. Cleverly done. There is a suggestion of ‘they went off and had more adventures’ at the end which hints at a sequel which I will happily read if it eventualises. 4.5*****
  • (5/5)
    Rory is the first firstborn princess in 200 years of Thorne rule. Following tradition, twelve fairies are invited to her christening -- but nobody suspects that they will actually come. And then the uninvited thirteenth fairy arrives...From that description, you might think that this was a fairly normal Sleeping Beauty retelling, but the story quickly takes a turn towards space opera, as Rory is betrothed to a foreign prince and sent to live on a distant space station. Conflict! Intrigue! Romance! It's all very cleverly done, and very enjoyable. Highly recommended.
  • (5/5)
    Rory Thorne is a princess with thirteen fairy blessings, the most important of which is to see through flattery and platitudes. As the eldest daughter, she always imagined she’d inherit her father’s throne and govern the interplanetary Thorne Consortium. Then her father is assassinated, her mother gives birth to a son, and Rory is betrothed to the prince of a distant world. When Rory arrives in her new home, she uncovers a treacherous plot to unseat her newly betrothed and usurp his throne. An unscrupulous minister has conspired to name himself Regent to the minor (and somewhat foolish) prince. With only her wits and a small team of allies, Rory must outmaneuver the Regent and rescue the prince.This is handled cleverly by an omniscient narrator (a putative historian) whose asides are NOT irritating. I was drawn into the world(s) immediately and loved the details about the different settings and the science (magic--this is space fantasy--with scientific labels) and the characters are delightful in their distinct depictions and their personalities. Totally an enjoyable space opera with a dusting of fantasy!
  • (5/5)
    Wow. This was a lot of fun. It's rather wordy, and the author's descriptions of facial expressions (especially Grytt's, but others as well) are just plain weird, but I love Rory and Grytt and the Vizier and everybody! Except the ones you're supposed to hate - who are nicely developed too. Moss is acting perfectly reasonably by his lights - just, his lights are nasty. The ferns, and auras, and various other means of seeing deeper than someone wants you to, are...well, sometimes a tad plot-convenient. The magic system is amazing, unlike anything I've ever seen before - and integrating it into a science-fiction universe has produced some great concepts. I usually dislike stories with manipulators - but here, possibly because Rory can see what's behind an attempt at manipulation (at least, when it's direct and present), it didn't bother me. Fascinating story, and I want more - yay for it being Book One! And despite it being Book One, and one clear hook in the last few paragraphs, this story is done, the arc is complete. It's ready for a whole new story - which may be triggered by these events, or related to them, or neither. We're not left hanging anywhere, though. Very enjoyable, next please.
  • (5/5)
    Rory Thorne was born a princess, the first in two hundred years for the monarchs of the Thorne Consortium. The Vizier, keeper of history and custom, invited the fairies to her christening, where she was given the gift of playing the harp (among other princessly gifts that are ridiculously unnecessary in a future with space travel and arithmancy), the curse of knowing what people actually mean when their speaking, and the gift of courage. When her father and the king of the Free Worlds of Tadesh are assassinated, plunging them into war, Rory grows up knowing that her marriage may one day win them peace - but she'll need all her wits about her to stay alive.This is a really fun ride, blending fantasy and science fiction elements, all wrapped up in a humorous narrative voice that kept me smiling throughout the read. I enjoyed the play on fairy tales and Rory's ingenuity. It's a satisfying story on its own, but also the first in a planned series, and I can't wait to read the rest.
  • (5/5)
    From the moment of Rory Thorne's Naming Day ceremony when thirteen fairies arrived to bestow their blessings (and one curse) her life never quite followed the path of a typical princess. Her father's assassination and the outbreak of war between the Thorne Consortium and another interplanetary alliance are the causes for some of the major changes in her life plans. As part of the peace treaty to end the war she is engaged to the prince of the opposing side. However, when she arrives on the station that is destined to be her new home she finds things are far from what they should be and her efforts to right them will destroy the multiverse as everyone knows it.I have big heart eyes for this book. It combines so many things I love including a clever riff on a fairy tale trope, a well-developed sci fi universe, a narrative that has several feminist touches, and characters who leap off the page they feel so real. It did take me a bit to sink into the writing style of this one as the way Rory's fairy curse works involves her perceiving a speaker's true meaning when they dissemble and how that's depicted on the page takes a bit of getting used to. The author also throws the reader into the deep end with how the science (which feels like magic more often than not despite the narrator repeatedly reminding us it is a science) works in this multiverse, which makes a fun learning curve for the reader. However, it doesn't take long to be sucked into Rory's life and the political intrigue she must deal with for most of her life. The cast of supporting characters are just as compelling and I finished the book pleased with how the plot arc of this book was tied up while also eager to read the next book. Highly recommended.
  • (2/5)
    If you like the tone of the book from the start you may well enjoy this book. I did not. I finished it by the brute force method of reading one word after another, never at any point absorbed or convinced by the storytelling, never finding any value in the depiction of the characters and while I could detect that the author intended humor, it did not hit my funny bone. The ferns were cool. Other F&SF authors have managed hilarious and heartbreaking in a single work - Poul Anderson, Terry Pratchett, Lois McMaster Bujold, Jodi Taylor. Others have used a distancing narrator like Catherynne M. Valente, but still left me caring about the characters. What K. Easton has left me with is a lot of nope!