Saturday, October 15, 2011
Review: The Neon Court:Or, The Betrayal of Matthew Swift by Kate Griffin
Midnight Mayor Matthew swift is summoned bodily by magic to a burning tower. There he finds Oda, warrior of the order, who has what should be a fatal chest wound and has a strange habit of now saying "we" when she means "I." In the confusion of escaping the tower Oda kills a Daimyo of the Neon Court who attacks Swift and Oda. The Neon Court believes their ancient enemy the tribe is responsible and Lady Neon comes to London demanding Swift's help in the coming war.
The story starts out at a breakneck pace but Griffin is able to manage the pacing very well interspersing the action scenes with a decent amount of downtime in which the characters really develop. I particularly enjoyed the exploration of of Swift's relationship with his apprentice Penny and his employee Dees. An employer-employee relationship is not exactly typical fare for fantasy but that's what makes it interesting.
Griffin once again does all the things she has done so right in previous installments. The Urban magic concept is still fresh and innovative. The banter of Swift (particularly with Penny in this one) is entertaining without being distracting.
My main concern before reading this one was the similarity of the structure of the first two installments. Griffin makes enough of a break from this to keep me satisfied.
Overall the Neon court once again demonstrates that Griffin is urban fantasy's best kept secret. 8.5/10.