"a terrific tale of fantasy adventure"
Merianne flees her home planet of Incolai and the
oppressive Truebloods with her three daughters, after the
death of her husband, Kier. Kier was a member of the
Trueblood, the other—respected and feared and hated by many—
race on the segregated Incolai. Merianne believes that as
lesserbloods, her children don't posses supernatural
On the planet of Vuetha, her daughters meet and introduce
her to Thorne, a scientist who moves from planet to planet
studying new possibilities for plant life. Thorne is
attracted to Merianne, although she likes him and knows her
daughters adore him she is quite skittish, only in part
because he so resembles the Truebloods she fears.
To Merianne's dismay, she finds out her children do
possess "talents"; sensory specialties that help them see
people's emotions or better understand solids or liquids.
She fears that Cyrielle, the Trueblood leader will take
them away from her to train their "talents", and Merianne
knows they need training or their "talents" could destroy
She and Thorne are thrown more closely together after the
children are kidnapped during an outing. Thorne vows to
save her children for her in hopes of showing her his love.
Slight problem: his job requires him to travel from planet
to planet for research, and she craves nothing more than a
stable home for her family.
The results are in: Ainsley Davidson's debut novel, A
GREATER ART, is a terrific tale of fantasy adventure. The
book has a steady, fast pace and plenty of descriptive
world-building details. She does a great job of describing
planets and peoples, and it's clear she's spent much time
on these worlds. Her characters jump off the page: Thorne
with the loneliness he hides under his love of travel and
Merianne with her shy vulnerability and gentleness. The
girls too are alive with personality: the ebullient Beli,
the solemn Eda and the studious Mayu. I liked all of the
main characters and background characters as well. Her
dialogue takes on the form it needs for each situation
whether it's serious or playful.
Davidson has mastered the art of flow; the story moves
quickly and efficiently, giving the reader just enough time
to take in each situation before taking the next turn. And
she withholds enough detail, so you think you know what
will happen, but you're just not completely certain. I look
forward to more books by Davidson.
Reviewed by Katherine Petersen
Posted October 24, 2008