Chapter By Chapter features me reading one chapter of the selected book at the time and reviewing it as if I were reviewing an episode of a TV show or an issue of a comic. There will be spoilers if you haven’t read to the point I have, and if you’ve read further I ask that you don’t spoil anything further into the book. Think of it as read-along book club.
I wasn’t expecting political intrigue in a story about giant robot pilots engaged in a truce, but here we go. What seemed to be about old versus young warriors is now about a spy in the Jade Falcon ranks, and it looks like our favorite bitter old warrior is going to take a roll in this story. I don’t know how much longer the setup phase of this story is but so far it’s been handled pretty well. We have a good grasp on our main character and the situation surrounding her. Now it’s a question of who is remaining from the cast through the rest of the story. I would like to see more Diana and Horse in this tale but it depends on how things go. So let’s see how things are going back on Sudeten.
On the story beats it’s more of the same but it serves to drive the point home. Ravill is pushing calisthenics and giving speeches and while the other warriors seems to eat it like cake Joanna is just disgusted by the whole thing, especially when she sees Ravill’s eyes twinkling. It’s fine from a reading angle but not much to discuss on the reviewing side. We do see a further rift between Horse and Joanna as Horse tries to accept the would-be Pryde and Joanna pushes herself despite this being her last week just to spite her would-be rival. And you can see that Ravill is trying to mess with Joanna on purpose with the same joy he gets thinking about the truce with the Inner Sphere falling apart so he can play soldier for realsies. There is a point to this as you read it but not much more to say from a reviewing angle.
What I can talk about review-wise is the further worldbuilding. Horse and Diana have access to Adian’s old library which included Inner Sphere works and stuff brought in from Terra (aka Earth, as these are lost Earth colonies who lost contact with the homeworld a very long time ago). We learn that the Clans at least don’t really practice religion, especially among the warrior caste, but they are aware of it and some lower castes (by their ranking) may practice old Earth religions and possibly some new ones if I follow the text right. Joanna is aware of her friends’ reading habits and she’s worried that the Inner Sphere works are giving them warped perspectives but she’ll still take them over what Ravill’s doing. At least Joanna and Diana maintain a form of friendship and I hope she brings Diana on her new mission. While Ravill obviously won’t be told about the spying angle he won’t be happy to learn she’ll be doing something other than playing nanny to test tubes.
This chapter may not have moved the plot forward but it did give us further character development and tell us a bit more about the Clans, so that certainly works. How long will we have to wait for the plot to move forward again? Hopefully we’ll see some movement next chapter but it could just be more character development, which could also work. We’ll find out next time.