Curgeh is the best, the champion. In the ancient, all-embracing Culture in which there is no disease or disaster, only the endless games, he has beaten them all. But an empire's challenge will teach him what the Game is really all about."Striking for its breadth of vision, its ability to suggest the sprawling facets of an old, far-flung culture." -- "Publishers Weekly" "A genuine and original talent." -- "The Detroit News" No serious science fiction fan can resist this seminal novel in Banks' renowned series about the universe of the Culture.

Well, as evidenced by my slow progress, you can tell this book didn’t catch me immediately (and it also coincided with the latest Binding of Isaac DLC coming out, which promptly trumped any extracurricular activities besides groping for achievements). It’s definitely a slow burner, but once Gurgeh makes his decision and the story really starts moving, it quickly becomes a solid, fast-paced read, with many excellent twists and turns along the way.

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