"Andre Norton remains the Grand Dame of fantasy"
Princess triplets Drucilla, Sabina, and Tamara of the
House of Skorpys share a telepathic connection that has
made the three siblings best friends. Their homeland is
constantly under threat and assault by feral neighbors
wanting to destroy their father the Earl. Especially
troublesome is the constant raids from Gurlyon, which this
time includes the abduction of the trio.
With Skorpys in pursuit to resche his daughter, their
abductors decide to dump the women in order to foster
their escape. However, they don't discard the females
anywhere; they thrust the women inside the Dismals, a
deadly underground world filled with dangerous strange
creatures and oddly, a large forest. Rather then fold,
Drucilla, Sabrina, and Tamara begin their trek out of
these badlands starting by allying with a ferocious feline
creature, the Climber and next with a human hermit Zolan,
who insists there is no way out of the Dismals and that he
communicates with the spirits of the former lost tribes
that once resided in this wasteland. While the ladies
struggle to survive, their home is under siege by a
malevolence that once ran rampant in the Dismals.
Though triplets sharing so much in common, the three
females come across as unique individuals with diverse
tastes due to Andre Norton rotating the narration enabling
the audience to see the same event from differing
perspectives. The story line is action-packed with the
alternate Dismal underground realm an interesting locale
though the connection to Skorpys is not clear until very
late in the tale. Fans of strong female fantasy characters
will gain immense pleasure from THREE HANDS FOR SCORPIO as
Andre Norton remains the Grand Dame of fantasy.
Reviewed by Harriet Klausner
Posted July 4, 2005
Reviewed by PNR Group Member
Posted January 25, 2007
Andre Norton, the celebrated author of Witch World and many other fantasy adventures, offers a new novel unique among her works, set in a realm not dissimilar to northern England in the sixteenth century: also, the Dismals of Northern Alabama are the model for part of the exotic setting.
Drucilla, Sabina, and Tamara, identical sisters born to Desmond, Earl of Skorpys, understand the price of being princesses in a realm bordered by fractious neighbors. For generations their land has been plagued by incursions, raiding parties, and more serious conflicts with Gurlyon, the land to their North. But when these three plucky young ladies are kidnapped as part of a plot to undermine their father's domain, they are taken to a mysterious realm where they experience terrors unlike anything they could imagine.
Their captors, fearing pursuit, thrust the princesses into a deep recess in a bizarre underworld called the Dismals. Once there, they must fend off hideous creatures, and a young man who claims to be lord of this dark, forbidding realm. Not sure whether he is friend or foe, they must depend on their wits, on each other, and on the mind-link that binds them together. Only thus can they escape the bizarre nether-realm they must roam in search of a way home.
Their travails test them in ways they cannot foresee, both physically and magically. Powerful forces work against them, but together they may yet escape, and help right the wrong that brought them to the strange realm in the first place.