When I discovered The Ruby Dice by Catherine Asaro I was positively entranced. It was another book in a series (the Skolian Empire) I had been enjoying, and that was why I picked it up, but more than that, it introduced a dazzling concept I had never encountered before.
A means of communicating and exploring ideas through a dice based game. Elaborate concepts and structures were laid out, described as being somewhere between tremendous dominoes extravaganzas, and those multi-deck card houses my parents would demand I put away before going to bed because a card house simply was not meant to fill the entire carpeted floor of the living room — or so they thought. But these structures were made up of dice, each of which represented concepts, people, ideas, and the game functioned as a part of the plot and intrigue in the story.
By the time I reached the end of the book I almost understood the dice game, and suddenly I wanted to read the book all over again, wondering if with that new found understanding parts of the plot might play differently.
I have never been one to play the games that require 10 and 20 sided dice, and yet I can not help but wonder if The Ruby Dice is a book that would make even more sense, and hold more meaning to someone who is accustomed to seeing meaning in dice where all I see is painted numbers on an object I roll while praying.