In memory of Janet Kagan, I quickly re-read Hellspark recently. I liked it better than the first time I read it, perhaps because I’ve been very much in the mood for books about the joys of figuring things out. I wouldn’t say that this was as good as the Steerswoman series, but it scratches a lot of the same itch.
The book is juggling more threads than I remembered, and as a result the pacing is occasionally odd. But the characters (and, I admit, being in quick-read mode) pulled me through. And I was delighted to serendipitously discover the existence of Earth languages in which the evidentiary basis of a statement is an intrinsic part of the grammar—instead of reducing my admiration at Kagan’s invention, it just increases my overall sense-of-wonder. Language is so cool.