I am really loving these Culture novels by Banks. His imagery is great, and he manages to give the various AI beings some interesting character! In fact, my only complaint would be that they seem a lot more filled out than some of the people!
This novel follows Gurgeh, the Culture's ultimate 'Player of Games' to a far Empire, where a game is the way of life.As Gurgeh learns the game and the mores of this land, it becomes increasingly clear that he is being guided into this path. But by whom? Is he simply a paragon of game playing? or has he become the naive Kingpin of a takeover?