A star-studded Thieves' World volume., June 27, 2005
Reviewer: C. Gilbert "frumiousb" (Amsterdam, the Netherlands)
As a reader, it is that very quality of evolving chaos and unpredictability that makes the series so much fun to read. At its best, there is a measure of barely controlled chaos that keeps the twists and turns interesting. At its worst, the different voices can mix badly and turn characters into a kind of confused mush.
This edition contains both the best and the worst of what the volumes can be. Blood Ties has a number of really impressive writers associated with the stories: Cherryh, Diana L. Paxson, Janet & Chris Morris, the two editors, Diane Duane, Robert Wayne Bailey, and Andrew & Jodie Offutt. The combined talents are less effective when they deal with the complicated alliances and tensions in Sanctuary ("Sanctuary is for Lovers", "Lovers who Slay Together") but there are also some truly inspired and even very moving sections-- the fate of Siveni Grey-Eyes in "The Tie that Binds" and the brilliant introduction of Strick in "Spellmaster."
As always, you cannot pick up volume 9 of Thieves' World without having read 1-8. Begin at the beginning, if you have not had any introduction to the characters before. If you are a veteran of Sanctuary and were wondering whether this is worth the effort (Volume 8 was a little bit disappointing, IMO) then you should rest assured that it is moving in the right direction. Blood Ties is worth the time to read, and reopens a number of interesting new directions for the poor beleaguered city.
This series is still a lot of fun