IN THE LION'S MOUTH
Space opera is not usually rife with mythological references or Celtic-flavored fantasy elements, but this third installment in a trilogy that began with The January Dancer uses both to interesting effect. Flynn’s unusual approach adds a layer of interest to a rather standard plot of civil war and betrayal, but readers who like their science fiction straight up might grow impatient with his use of multiple dialects, poetic devices and ballads, and a narrative technique that relies on numerous points of view throughout.
In the long struggle between the Confederation of Central Worlds and the United League of the Periphery, the Hounds and the Shadows are the secret agent arms of each power. Long enemies, when Ravn Olafsdottr, a Shadow, arrives at the stronghold of Bridget ban, a Hound, with the story of Donovan buigh, Bridget’s missing former lover, a truce is called. As Ravn relates the story of her capture of Donovan, Bridget learns of Donovan’s unwilling involvement in a civil war between rebels and loyalists in the Lion’s Mouth, the Shadow’s organization bureau. (TOR, Jan., 304 pp., $25.99)