A review of The Traitor by Seth Dickinson (but more of a collection of quotes from it)

“This is the truth. You will know it because it hurts”

I finished this book almost a week ago and I still don’t know how to review it. I will start to say that this is probably my favourite book of the year (I actually reread it just after the last sentence because it was just that good).

This book follows one of the most complex and almost unloveable character in the history, Baru Cormorant. She grew up in Taranoke, a small country slowly devoured by the Empire of Masks also known as the Masquerade which slowly exported its goods and currency to Taranoke to finally build schools and install its cultural policies. Watching this new type of invasion growing up, Baru decides that she wants to integrate the system and destroy it from the inside before it is too late for her family and country.

I know it is a short synopsis but I really think that you shouldn’t know too much while going into this story. Be warned though, as may have suggest the quote a the beginning of the book (and also this review), this is not an easy and funny read, but it is still an important one.

“Have you forgetten what you are ? You are a traitor. No home will ever love you. No one will ever call you good or just again without thinking of what you did to those who raised you up. You cannot avoid this price”

I would recommend this book to you if you liked 1984 by George Orwell and A Song of Ice and Fire by George R.R. Martin because for me, this book is the perfect balance of the two while still remaining unique.

“In Falcrest, in the Metademe, they condition prisoner just so : permit escape. Offer a rescuer, a collaborator. Slip a key in with the food. Let them come close to freedom, let them feel real triumph – they would not let me this far ! This the crux : give them the taste of victory, the certainty that this cannot be part of the game. And then snatch it away. The collaborator betrays them. The key will not open the outermost door, a whisper to run. Led out onto the street, they will wait to be returned to their cells. After a time, they begin to teach new prisoners the same.”

I know this review is much more a collection of quotes than a review but you know, at this point, I may as well add another one ! 😛

“I believe that if you swore an oath to a lord in a porcelain mask, and if that lord told you that the sun was black, you would walk blind in summer light.”

So, have you read the Traitor by Seth Dickinson ? Do you sometimes books that are so good that you just want to quote the entire thing over and over ? I would love to know !

(I actually found out that I forgot to say my rating. It is obviously a 5/5 (more of a 10/5) ! 😉 )

Thank you Netgalley and Pan Macmillan/Tor UK for this galley. Here above are my honest thoughts.

4 thoughts on “A review of The Traitor by Seth Dickinson (but more of a collection of quotes from it)

  1. I really enjoyed this. I loved the beginning and finding out about the life on Taranoke, The middle dragged a little bit for me but on reflection I think it’s because I was torn away from Taranoke and then the last third was just a bit mind blowing. It’s such an unusual story and such an unusual protagonist. I can’t wait for the next one.
    Lynn 😀


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