A book by Martha Wells, one I read for the first time for in... 2001 or 2002, I think. I couldn't really remember anything of it, except that it was "good", and during christmas I had already finished on a bustrip what was gonna be my christmas read, so I started reading this one again. When getting back home other books stole my attention though, but thanks to someone else deciding for me I ended up finishing it afteral..
The book is about a group of relic dealers in a postapocalyptic world, a world more based on middle eastern myths and legends more than western myths and legends; the world is mostly a desert, and the past shrouded in mystery. The protagonists are all some kind of foreigners living in class society - but of course they get dragged into a plot by the rulers of the city they live in based on what they know about relics, languages and bits of the past.
The writing is pretty good, though there are never really any phrases or anything that really caught my eye or mind, it's fluid and good for an entertaining novel. The story is fairly good, though it's hardly any groundbreaking stuff (but what fantasy is anyway) and sadly some bits of it reminded me of The Day The Earth Stood Still, although luckily it was just a small piece of it. The characters and how they interact is perhaps the best bit - although none of the characters are really someone I will remember for long (I had forgotten all about them since last time afterall), it works, and for a female author the "love" bits in it is something I can live with and not roll my eyes all the time, which is a big big plus.
And most of all - it's a single novel, that isn't very long, but it still has loads of depth, lets you get to know the characters and the foes well enough - several authors cant even get that into a trilogy or a lengthy series, that alone speaks for quality.
Now I want to reread her other books too, sigh..