BooksOfTheMoon

The Player of Games

By Iain M. Banks

Rating: 5 stars

Jernau Gurgeh is one of the best game players in the Culture, but he’s getting bored – until he finds out about the great game of Azad, a game so complex that the empire that created it (also called Azad) has based its entire culture around it. Gurgeh goes to join the game but finds himself a political pawn in a power struggle that will define the fate of worlds.

I love this book; the game of Azad is never explained (probably for the best) but Banks’ love of games shines through. The Culture is already mostly fully formed at this point, despite this only being the second novel set in that universe and that society still thrills me, with its almost limitless power, incredible tech and amazing inhabitants. Even if you’re not a fan of large-scale space opera, there’s a lot here to enjoy, especially in the Azadian empire itself, which is a fascinating place.

Book details

ISBN: 9781841490953
Publisher: Orbit
Year of publication: 1988

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