The Phoenix Exultant is the second book in the Golden Age trilogy. The beginning of the book finds our hero, Phaethon, about as low in his utopian society as he can get. There is appears to be little hope but for a single phrase whispered to him before his fall into exile.
The book spends less time examining society and more time on action with Phaethon trying to figure out exactly who his enemy is and what it wants. The author, John C. Wright, takes page from Heinlein and we see Phaethon pull himself by him bootstraps by his skill and cunning.
The characters of Atkins and Daphne are more fully rounded out and you begin to see that the Utopia is not so idyllic as it seemed at first glance. Without giving much away, the time spent on Atkins and the role of warfare in the future will be crucial to the final book in the trilogy.
My only disappointment in the book was realizing that I have to wait until the third book is released next year. The book is fantastic and right within the classic space opera genre.
I was surprised to see a comment in my previous review of The Golden Age by the author himself. John C. Wright somehow stumbled across my brief comment and took the time to taunt me with word of the galley proofs of the third novel. I was quite suprised to read John's comments.
I would pay good money for a copy of the third book, even in galley proof form. The final novel is due out in March 2004, eight long months away.
I look forward to more novels by John in the future and hope these efforts are recognized by the various Sci-Fi awards groups.Posted by michael at July 21, 2003 11:29 PM