Merchants and Maji

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William C. Tracy’s website

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Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book. This is an honest review of the book.

Synopsis:

Last Delivery:

Prot and crew try to peddle their wares on the Sureriaj homeworld when things go sideways due to some protesters. They’re forced to close up shop and flee the area which turns riotous. Without being able to sell their wares, they can’t pay for a portal to the next of the ten homeworlds.

That is until Prot is offered the deal of a lifetime by a Sureri grand-dame. All she wants is for them to deliver medicine to his own homeworld. The pay would be good and they would be going to a much more hospitable place. The catch? Something feels off. She’s not telling him everything, but if she’s to be believed, it’s medicine. Even if it’s smuggling, how bad could it be?

The First Majus in Space:

Kashidur City is unveiling a monument to their ingenuity and Majus Origon has a front row seat to it. Methiemum is reaching to the stars, beginning with launching a manned spacecraft at one of the moons, Ksupara. The crowd is ready to witness to the greatest form of travel since the maji portals between the ten worlds.

Origon watches Majus Teju, the one to serve the craft’s guide, climb to the ship’s entrance. Gunshots ring out and Teju slumps over. Origon tries to track the shooter, but the countdown has already begun and can’t be stopped. If the mission is to continue it now needs Origon to step in. Amidst tragedy, he has to become their guide there and land them safely.

Review:

Merchants and Maji: two tales of intrigue featuring devious plots, shady characters, and those that might expose them. I was definitely interested in the idea of following this “Dissolutionverse” and what adventure William had waiting. I was not disappointed in reading these stories. Each one kept me fully invested in the plot all the way up to the end.

There were many things I liked about this book, but I think one of the more interesting is that each story stands alone. You don’t have to have read one to get the other, but there are points that actually tie both stories together indirectly. William also used the ten homeworlds well, not just populating them with “human-type” characters, but a wide range of races.

Prot and his crew were about as varied and colorful as they come, each one providing just a component to their trading operations. Though we follow Prot, through his eyes, I did feel connections to the other characters and was rooting for each of them in different ways. They had personality and weren’t just a band of Yes Men and Yes Women. Most notably was Prot’s love interest Amra. She isn’t afraid to vocalize her dissatisfaction for situations, and stands up to Prot when he tries placating her.

Origon on the other hand is a bird-like being; a Kirian. He’s a bit arrogant, overly confident in himself, and to top it off irritated and jealous of the much younger majus, Teju. What set Origon aside as a memorable character was his constant attitude. While those are not usually traits we like to see in people, had Origon been passive, or less confident, the story wouldn’t have been compelling.

I only had one gripe with the entire book. There was a single character that just hit all the TV/movie villain stereotypes. That’s not to say the character made the book bad or ruined the story, I was just hoping for a little more depth on that one character to match the depth on the rest of the book.

I’m giving this a 5 star rating because minus that one thing, this is a well edited, well formed book.