Kathleen Beck, reviewer
On the planet Ivory, one of four inhabited worlds in its sector of the universe, magic and sorcery are taken seriously indeed. The foremost family of sorcerers is the House of Cormallon. That Ran, First of Cormallon, should fall in love with and marry barbarian and former outlaw Theodora was magic of a different sort. After a year of marriage, the only cloud on Theodora’s horizon is pressure from the family council to produce an heir. Until, that is, Ran and Theodora attend a party at which the First Son of the House of Porath, one of the six ruling families, is murdered. The cause is plainly sorcery, and who is a more logical suspect than Ran? The young couple must act quickly to clear the family name, but the strands of intrigue prove tangled indeed and time is rapidly growing short.
What more could a reader ask? This well-written volume offers fantasy, mystery, humor, and interesting characters. The minor actors, such as the nominally-reformed outlaw leader Stereth Tar’krim, are especially well-drawn. The author juggles a complex plot with aplomb and it will take a clever reader to guess the suspenseful solution to the puzzle. Guilt-Edged Ivory is the third in the Novels of Ivory. The book stands alone quite well but readers will definitely want to go back and read the others (Gate of Ivory and Two-Bit Heroes). So buy the series and enjoy!
Carolyn Cushman, reviewer
Doris Egan’s “Ivory” series is somewhat unusual in the genre, so far offering a complete adventure in each book. Already marked by its delightful and distinctive combination of sf and fantasy, the third novel, Guilt-Edged Ivory, adds mystery. When the heir to one of the planet Ivory’s highest houses is murdered by magic, the sorcerer-assassion Ran Cormallon and his offworlder wife Theodora are called in to find the killer. The summation could have been snappier, but otherwise the detective mystery works quite well, something hard to achieve when magic’s involved. A parallel plot, centered on Ran and Theodora’s attempts to have children, is less successful, but has some interesting developments. There’s plenty of action, and not a little humor. Newcomers might miss some of the in-jokes, but overall enough explanations are made in progress for even the uninitiated to enjoy the oddities of Ivory.