Title: The Ruins of Isis
Author: Marion Zimmer Bradley
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Pocket Books, 1978
Synopsis: Of all the worlds of the Galaxy, only the matriarchy of Isis/Cinderella has returned to an ancient social order. It is on Isis that women rule, their control total and unbending, on Isis men are regarded as dangerous animals or, at best, as sexual playthings, and on Isis exists the great enigma of the known universe, the Builder Ruins - last remnant of an unknown, ancient culture, within those strange Ruins, something survives - something which speaks...
Review: This was a whole new genre for me: Science Fiction Fluff. The story line wouldn't seem to lend itself to romance and love, since Isis is a society where men are considered less than human, but somehow, in the end, the moral of the story was to love one another. Not a bad idea, really.
The main characters, Cendri and Dal, were sent from the advanced planet University to study the ruins on Isis which were supposedly created by The Builders, the legendary race that seeded the universe. They were both flawed in their own ways, but they meant well and really both did try to help the people of Isis.
The really interesting (and unexplained) characters were The Intelligences that now resided in the ruins. Disembodied pure energy and emotion, they were godlike in their knowledge. The book ends with Cendri sending a report back to University saying that it will be years and years before the ruins and The Intelligences would even begin to be understood.
But, the book gave so many other stories of the women and men of Isis that I am not unhappy with the lack of closure. Plus, already many advances had been made in equality on Isis. Some of the dialogue and interactions are a bit dated. You can definitely tell this book was written a while ago. It didn't take away from the story, just sometimes raised my hackles a little.
Rating: 7 / 10