May 17, 2011

Southshore by Sheri S. Tepper

Title:  Southshore
Author:  Sherri S. Tepper
Format:  PB
Pages:  246
Genre:  Fantasy
Publisher:  Tor, 1988
ISBN-13:  978-0812556193
Series:  Awakeners, Book 2

Favorite Quote:  "So, you have a world inside you, child of my heart, which I can see a little.  And the one you love, this Thrasne, he has a world as well, and it is utterly strange to me, to all the Noor.  You ask me to love him for your sake.  And I have not even a little map drawn with a burned stick to find my way to that."

Synopsis (Amazon):  Pamra Don has learned much on the River and has become the visionary leader of a great pilgrimage, carrying the discontent of Northshore to lay at the feet of the Protector of Man. But the native Thraish have at last taken note of Pamra Don and her crusade--and their vengeance will be swift.

Review:  This novel was better than the first one from this series.  There are still many things about the world of the River that I do not understand, but the overwhelming number of oddities seem more easily comprehended in this story.

There were many things that were not explained thoroughly.  I wonder what happened to the child Lila, whether she is to be the link between the alien race that lives in the river and mankind.  I wonder what will happen to the humans that have been returned to life with the blight by the Strangeys.  I wish there had been an epilogue telling me whether the Noor created a better life on Southshore or if that dream turns to a nightmare, like so many of the other people's dreams did.

The religion of Northshore fell in a few long days.  But it looks as if it will be replaced by another, far worse one.  I get the feeling that this author has no use for organized religion, painting even the best-intentioned beliefs as doomed to failure.  The secondary point being made is that mankind fights, against itself and against any other creature which defies it, often to total destruction.  Only the Noor and their queen seem to be above these petty beliefs and warlike tendencies.

These books were both odd, in many ways.  While SF is expected to be full of imagination and strangeness, it seemed at times almost like a parody.  At other times, it seemed that the author just wrote the most confusing, detailed books imaginable as a platform for her personal views.  While I did like this book better than its companion, I still can't say I loved it.

Rating:  5 / 10

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