Saturday, July 07, 2007

Churning of the Land: Oisin McGann, Under Fragile Stone. O'Brien Press: Dublin, 2005.

A sequel to The Harvest Tide Project it stands effortlessly alone. Taya and Lorkrin Archisan are teenage shapechangers and in this book they move from mischevous to mildly resentful and striving for independence. It's a bad time to do this as the local empire has invaded and is threatening to mine the local holy mountain.

The Empire imports a priest to exorcise the mountain (which is resisting the miners) with disatrous effects. Taya and Lorkrin's parents are trapped in a rockfall along with some of the miners. The story then splits in two, with Taya and Lorekrin accompanying their uncle on a searchabove ground for cave entrances while the survirors of the rockfall work their way through the mountain.

Both groups encounter new people and the end comes when Taya and Lorkrin convince their companion, Rug, that he is the god of the mountain, driven out by the exorcism.

This is proper, secondary world science fiction in the tradition of Jack Vance. While the characters are fun, increasingly it is the planet that is the her


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