"Vinge provides readers with a strong galaxy tale"
The Winter clan's century and a half reign over Tiamat is
ended and now its Summer's time to rule with Moon as the
leader. Moon, vowing a different economic path through
technology, has ended the harvesting of the Mers whose
blood was the cash crop sellable commodity, providing off
world longevity to clients. The Hegemony also has left the
Moon's former lover, Gundhalinu, attempts to save the
Hegemony by trying to gain control over stardrive plasma
spilled from a wrecked Old Empire ship. If he succeeds,
faster-than-light travel will become available as it once
was and Tiamat will no longer suffer periods of isolation.
However, the Brotherhood seeks the immortality elixir
allegedly found only on Tiamat while Moon clashes with
opponents over the fate of the Mers, as these intelligent
beings are the source of the elixir. She also must keep
safe the ancient computer hidden under the planet's prime
city that links the galaxy's clairvoyants. If the Hegemony
obtain either the people of Tiamat will face endless
winter, but if the Hegemony gain both the people of the
galaxy will face eternal winter.
Surprisingly the sequel to THE SNOW QUEEN is a tighter,
albeit still very complicated, planetary thriller. The
story line is loaded with many concepts though some get
shortchanged because of the abundance. The key charcaters
are fully developed (critical in this novel) so that the
audience appreciates Moon's troubles and her former lover's
endeavor. Joan D. Vinge provides readers with a strong
galaxy tale that shows why she was nominated for a Hugo for
this work (and won with the first story).
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted May 13, 2003