I enjoy the Man-Kzin wars series, but they aren’t on my list of favorites–good, but not exceptional. Thus Destiny’s Forge was an wonderful surprise. Expecting something merely interesting and entertaining, I was presented with something fascinating and challenging yet certainly no less entertaining. To put is simply, this is a great book.
The characters are strong and portrayed in depth. You might think some character is getting stereotyped at some points, but simply continue reading and you’ll find that there are greater depths. The cultural backgrounds remain largely logical and comprehensible, but are not so simple that you constantly predict what everyone will do. Mysteries can remain mysteries, yet when their solution arrives, you can agree that the solution fits.
The details of space battles are much more limited than in the Honor Harrington books, though I think they are just right to carry this story forward. The politics are interesting. In keeping with its setting on Kzinhome, we hear much more about Kzinti politics than human, but that only makes it more fun.
Paul Chafe goes immediately onto my short list of authors whose books get an automatic pass to the top of my reading list as quickly as they appear.