The Traitor Baru Cormorant

The Traitor Baru Cormorant by Seth Dickinson


author Seth Dickinson published 2015 date start Jan 10, 2022 date read May 25, 2022 edition ebook, physical - library

fantasy lgbt science fiction

content warnings: homophobia

the masquerade series

  1. The Traitor Baru Cormorant (you are here)
  2. The Monster Baru Cormorant
  3. The Tyrant Baru Cormorant


Update: 4/5

I've been thinking about this book lately and I feel like the downer ending actually fits the character. I don't necessarily like it and I would enjoy a happy ending more, but if it did happen, it would not make sense for the character and her motivations. And with this first installment of a trilogy, it just means that her character arc isn't done yet (and maybe she would get her happy ending in the end, but I don't know that yet). (<- delusional???)

I still really like it though, because it's rare to find a book that has Game of Thrones-esque political drama with a lesbian protagonist (I don't enjoy GoT but that is the closest comparison I can give). I love the protagonist, I love that she is so ambitious with her one-track mind; it ends up hurting people that she loves but she is so laser-focused and committed to her goal in the long run that she would do it again if she had to. And so I really appreciate that about her character.

It still is a slog at some parts, I will admit. This book took me the longest to read in 2022--not that I've read a lot of books that year for that statistic to be significant, but I digress. It is a *long* book. Nevertheless, I changed my mind and I'm willing to continue on to the trilogy and see if it gets any better for Baru Cormorant (it probably doesn't).


good prose, okay story, love the "romance" and the machiavellian protag, but the ending... the final battle was a slog, and the twist was somehow unsatisfying. like a twist for the sake of a twist. i know baru is playing the longest con here but i don't have the patience to see it through, sorry.