May 11, 2012

Ancient Light by Mary Gentle

Title:  Ancient Light
Author: Mary Gentle
Format: PB
Pages:  555

Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Signet, 1990
ISBN-13:    978-0451450135     
Series: Golden Witchbreed, Book 2

Favorite Quotes: "...And because you were here before you went back to Tathcaer, and found out what I'd done, I saw myself through your eyes, as you saw me, a friend."

"I won't wait any longer," he said.  "You've delayed and delayed, arykei, and I have thought the cause Ruric, alive or dead, or one of your Company men; and now I've done with waiting, and will have an answer."

"You can leave worlds behind you," he said.  "Where can we go, who can't leave this earth and live?"  His face twisted with disgust.

Synopsis (PBS):  This gracefully written sequel to Golden Witchbreed powerfully depicts the impact of a high-technology civilization on a decaying planet. Ten years after having served as Earth's first envoy to Orthe, which is struggling to survive after a planetwide holocaust millennia ago, Lynne de Lisle Christie returns there as an advisor to PanOceania, one of Earth's giant multinational companies, which is seeking to discover the technological secrets of the Goldens, the ruling race that had destroyed itself while almost obliterating Orthe. Christie seeks to help the native people, some of whom have been her friends, some her enemies, but all closely bound in her memories and loyalties. Instigated by the last of the Golden, a madwoman seeking domination, war between the poor and starving hiyeks of the Desert Coast and the land-loving telestres of the north is aggravated by smuggled high-tech weapons.

Review:  Argh!  I loved this world and Ms. Gentle wrote the ending so that we humans have destroyed it.  It isn't dead yet, but well on its way and the people will all die with it.  I can't even begin to tell you how disappointed I am.  I tire of Sci Fi sometimes for this very reason.  We humans *always* ruin everything in most of these stories.  While it may be true in some cases that we are careless and thoughtless, couldn't we just this one time not ruin everything we touch? 

Still, grudgingly, I admit I loved all of the book except the very end, although I didn't like it quite as much as the first.

Rating:  9 / 10

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