"Dazzlingly original." -- Daily Mail
"Gripping, touching and funny." -- TLS

The war raged across the galaxy. Billions had died, billions more were doomed. Moons, planets, the very stars themselves, faced destruction, cold-blooded, brutal, and worse, random. The Idirans fought for their Faith; the Culture for its moral right to exist. Principles were at stake. There could be no surrender.

Within the cosmic conflict, an individual crusade. Deep within a fabled labyrinth on a barren world, a Planet of the Dead proscribed to mortals, lay a fugitive Mind. Both the Culture and the Idirans sought it. It was the fate of Horza, the Changer, and his motley crew of unpredictable mercenaries, human and machine, actually to find it, and with it their own destruction.
November 11, 2009  |  544 pages
(Rated on Feb 15, 2016)
Grade: B    (switch to numeric scale)
L/E Ratio: 80% Entertainment, 20% Literature
Tags:
Writing Quality:
Low High
Originality:
Low High

Addictiveness:
Low High
Movie Potential:
Low High

Re-readability:
Low High
Sequel Potential:
Low High
Comment:
A little different than the rest of the Culture series, but more accessible and a fun, action-packed intro to the series. The Idirans are a really cool alien species and the plot moves along quickly enough so you don't notice the sort of flat characters. Overall really enjoyable.  (+2 votes)