Use of Weapons

{4.5/5} “Everywhere they found themselves, the galaxy bubbled with life and its basic foods kept on speaking back to it… Still, he suspected if the Culture had really wanted to, it could have found far more spectacularly different and exotic places for him to visit. Their excuse was that he was a limited creature, adapted to certain sorts of planets and societies and types of warfare. A martial niche, Sma had called it.”

Zakalwe is occasionally hired by the Culture, specifically the Special Circumstances department, to wage war and manipulate people in power in less advanced civilizations. He’s very good at what he does. He’s paid lots of money, he’s had a treatment that means he doesn’t age, and after every job the SC finds a certain woman so that he can pay her a visit.

Use of Weapons by Iain M. Banks was published in 1990. It’s the third novel in his Culture series, following The Player of Games.

This one takes a bit longer to get into, as it jumps around a bit more — I suggest starting it when you have time to read several chapters. Once it gets going, you’ll be interested in Zakalwe’s adventures.

Zakalwe is a great military commander, and he always tries to minimize the loss of life in any conflict. He’s also very philosophical. There’s a shocking revelation at the end.

I will definitely read more books by Banks.

This entry was posted on Monday, August 5th, 2013 at 8:59 pm and is filed under Reviews of books. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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