Summary and book reviews of Inversions by Iain Banks

Inversions

by Iain M. Banks

Inversions
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    Readers' Opinion:

     Not Yet Rated
  • First Published:
    Jan 2000, 352 pages
    Paperback:
    May 2001, 384 pages

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Book Summary

An engrossing portrait of an alien world, and of two very different people bound by a startling and mysterious secret.

Iain M. Banks, the international bestselling author of The Player of Games and Consider Phlebas, is a true original, a literary visionary whose brilliant speculative fiction has transported us into worlds of unbounded imagination. Now, in his acclaimed new novel, Banks presents an engrossing portrait of an alien world, and of two very different people bound by a startling and mysterious secret.

On a backward world with six moons, an alert spy reports on the doings of one Dr. Vosill, who has mysteriously become the personal physician to the king despite being a foreigner and, even more unthinkably, a woman. Vosill has more enemies than she first realizes. But then she also has more remedies in hand than those who wish her ill can ever guess.

Elsewhere, in another palace across the mountains, a man named DeWar serves as chief bodyguard to the Protector General of Tassasen, a profession he describes as the business of "assassinating assassins." DeWar, too, has his enemies, but his foes strike more swiftly, and his means of combating them are more direct.

No one trusts the doctor, and the bodyguard trusts no one, but is there a hidden commonality linking their disparate histories? Spiraling around a central core of mystery, deceit, love, and betrayal. Inversions is a dazzling work of science fiction from a versatile and imaginative author writing at the height of his remarkable powers.

Chapter One: The Doctor

Master, it was in the evening of the third day of the southern planting season that the questioner's assistant came for the Doctor to take her to the hidden chamber, where the chief torturer awaited.

I was sitting in the living room of the Doctor's apartments using a pestle and mortar to grind some ingredients for one of the Doctor's potions. Concentrating on this, it took me a moment or two fully to collect my wits when I heard the loud and aggressive knocking at the door, and I upset a small censer on my way to the door. This was the cause both of the delay in opening the door and any curses which Unoure, the questioner's assistant, may have heard. These swear-words were not directed at him, neither was I asleep or even remotely groggy, as I trust my good Master will believe, no matter what the fellow Unoure -- a shifty and unreliable person, by all accounts -- may say.

The Doctor was in her study, as was usual at that time in the ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews

Locus

A talent to be reckoned with.

SFX

Iain Banks is a tricky fellow. Watch carefully as he assures you there's nothing up his sleeve.

Locus

A talent to be reckoned with.

Los Angeles Times

Banks never does the same thing twice. But he always does it sublimely.

SFX

Iain Banks is a tricky fellow. Watch carefully as he assures you there's nothing up his sleeve.

Los Angeles Times

Banks never does the same thing twice. But he always does it sublimely.

The Detroit News

A genuine and original talent.

Author Blurb William Gibson, author of Neuromancer
Banks is a phenomenon. Wildly successful, fearlessly creative!

Author Blurb Vernor Vinge, author of A Fire Upon the Deep
Inversions is a magical interplay of viewpoint and simplicity. At different levels we find the romance of medieval royalty, the horrors that lie below it, and the prospect of a civilization transforming itself into something marvelously better.

Author Blurb Vernor Vinge, author of A Fire Upon the Deep
Inversions is a magical interplay of viewpoint and simplicity. At different levels we find the romance of medieval royalty, the horrors that lie below it, and the prospect of a civilization transforming itself into something marvelously better.

Author Blurb David Brin, author of the Uplift series
Iain M. Banks has a deep grasp of story, character, and the irony of this strange life that humans are born into. He is a master at portraying the terror and poignant joy that swirl whenever people open their horizons and start to see their dreams come true.

Author Blurb Vernor Vinge
Iain M. Banks' novels are subtle and spectacular.

Author Blurb David Brin, author of the Uplift series
Iain M. Banks has a deep grasp of story, character, and the irony of this strange life that humans are born into. He is a master at portraying the terror and poignant joy that swirl whenever people open their horizons and start to see their dreams come true.

Author Blurb William Gibson, author of Neuromancer
Banks is a phenomenon. Wildly successful, fearlessly creative!

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