Knaves Over Queens (Wild Cards, #26) by George R.R. MartinI discovered this series about the same time I began reading A Song of Ice and Fire, and found this different world just as inviting. The mixture of past events in a world of aces and jokers was too much to resist.
“Knaves Over Queens,” originally released in 2018, is the story of England and their experiences with the virus that can produce good and bad results in people. I might have been hoping for more with this book and like the virus, I found a mixture of positives and negatives.
First off, the actual writing by the various authors is very good, although some of the characters are a bit hollow. Perhaps it is due to the many previously published books and the idea that aces will do good things and be heroes which caused this dissatisfaction. Little wonder, then, that the quirkier characters were my favorites.
The book is a collection of stories that take place over seven decades, which causes the British storyline to lose some cohesion. While there is some minimal interaction between characters, the only time definite continuation occurs is when a few of the authors contribute more than one story, and they pick up the trail of their characters years later. Some of these characters were not my favorites, especially one series which features a female who identifies as a Celtic goddess.
There are also many imaginative stories, such as Emma Newman’s “How to Turn a Girl to Stone” and “Night Orders by Paul Cornell. There are a few stories with references to famous musicians, and Mr. Cornell’s David Bowie appearance is fun as well as creative (without spoiling, Bowie takes some advice and performs an about-face with his musical direction, a positive step though different from our reality). My favorite story: “The Visitor,” by Mark Lawrence, who creates a most unlikely hero in perhaps what is the most creative story in the book.
Bottom line: While this may not be the best book in the Wild Card universe, it has appeal and contains a few gems. Four stars.
?Knaves Over Queens, Wild Cards(George R. R. Martin)
Martin and Melinda M. It is the first Wild Cards novel to be set entirely in the United Kingdom. Knaves Over Queens covers the arrival of the wild card virus to the UK and the events that followed. Notable deviations from our reality include the death of Princess Elizabeth due to her drawing the Black Queen , the subsequent coronation of her sister, Queen Margaret, the founding of the Order of the Silver Helix , as well as significantly extended lives and political power for both Winston Churchill and Alan Turing. So I could create an order for wild cards, but since wild card sounds too American, I'll make it British.
The return of the famous shared-world superhero books created and edited by George R. Martin, author of A Song of Ice and Fire. For decades, George R. Martin — bestselling author of A Song of Ice and Fire — has collaborated with an ever-shifting ensemble of science fiction and fantasy icons to create the amazing Wild Cards universe. Those who survived were changed for ever. Some, known as Jokers, were cursed with bizarre mental and physical deformities; others, granted superhuman abilities, are known as Aces. Now the virus has reached Britain….
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Knaves Over Queens , George R. Snodgrass, eds. This 27th book in the laudable but often underestimated Wild Cards series is the first to focus solely on the British Isles. There are so many major characters, not even the fan wiki or official website has been able to keep track of all them and Knaves Over Queens introduces even more at least a dozen by my count. Knaves Over Queens offers a lot for both, but may not please all. Ninety percent of those who contract it die; the DNA of the ten percent who survive it is altered.