Book Review: Tales of a Dying Star- Siege of Praetar by David Kristoph

I originally had a draft of this review written that was about 200 words in before I realized that I was an idiot. It was much more negative than this new and improved less idiotic version. However, this will probably end up being a fairly short review in and of itself. My first impression with the book was disappointment, as I had been expecting a contiguous narrative set in the universe built by the author.

Some of you are probably looking at the title of the book and shaking your head at this incorrect assumption of what the book was going to be. Whereas I had expected one story, Siege of Praetar is actually comprised of three interrelated vignettes featuring different characters. Two of them are sentinels enforcing the titular siege on the planet Praetar with diametrically opposed values. Another of the characters a mother, trying to escape from a dying world. The final character is a slumlord scrounging for power.

Each of the characters makes decisions that end up affecting the other characters in the stories, even if they don’t realize it. Throughout each of the three tales, there are hints at an overarching story as well. The end result is three separate character studies with some effective, if subtle, world building that hint at the possibilities in the universe.

For me, personally, I’m more of a fan of continuous narratives, but in the future I may read some more Tales of a Dying Star. The prose itself is snappy and well paced, making for a quick read, and each of the individual tales leave you with just enough questions that leave you hoping they may end up as a point of view character in a future installment. Consider Siege of Praetar as an amuse-bouche or palate cleanser between heftier tomes. You might find that you enjoy it.

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