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Children of the Star Paperback – January 10, 2000


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 726 pages
  • Publisher: Meisha Merlin Publishing; 1 edition (January 10, 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1892065142
  • ISBN-13: 978-1892065148
  • Product Dimensions: 8.6 x 5.4 x 1.6 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (27 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,914,350 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

"The story is noteworthy for its dramatization of the crucial meeting of man, science, and the universe." --Horn Book (This Star Shall Abide)

"An excellent plot and remarkable character development make this tale of the future highly satisfying and thought-provoking." --Top of the News, American Library Association (This Star Shall Abide)

"Imaginative, carefully created science fiction." --Dallas Times Herald (This Star Shall Abide)

"In another superior and thoughtful science fiction novel, the author has created a believable civilization ... on a far-off planet in a far-distant time." --Chicago Daily News (This Star Shall Abide)

"Superior future fiction concerning the fate of an dealistic misfit, Noren, who rebels against his highly repressive society ... the attention of mature sci fi readers will be held by the skillful writing and excellent plot and character development." --School Library Journal (This Star Shall Abide)

"Tension-filled, beautiful and haunting." --Commonweal (This Star Shall Abide)

"Engdahl has carefully worked out the social structure and ecology of a scientific society that has been transferred to a planet without metals. What's more, she wrestles with deeply adult problems of an apparently meaningless universe and of a people s right to know facts that may destroy everything they hold dear." --Psychology Today (Beyond the Tomorrow Mountains)

"This Star Shall Abide and Beyond the Tomorrow Mountains ... serve as solid foundation for this powerful culminating volume that treats in far greater depth the philosophical/ ethical/ religious issues raised in the earlier books.... Almost as much a character study (albeit of a very special individual) as science fiction, Engdahl's latest story is certain to appeal to the thoughtful ... reader." --Booklist (The Doors of the Universe)

"There is nothing juvenile about [this trilogy].... Engdahl tells an important and pertinent story, a parable about the ethical uses of mythology." --San Jose Mercury News

On Beyond the Tomorrow Mountains: Engdahl has carefully worked out the social structure and ecology of a scientific society that has been transferred to a planet without metals. What's more, she wrestles with deeply adult problems of an apparently meaningless universe and of a people s right to know facts that may destroy everything they hold dear. --Psychology Today

On The Doors of the Universe: This Star Shall Abide and Beyond the Tomorrow Mountains ... serve as solid foundation for this powerful culminating volume that treats in far greater depth the philosophical/ ethical/ religious issues raised in the earlier books.... Almost as much a character study (albeit of a very special individual) as science fiction, Engdahl's latest story is certain to appeal to the thoughtful ... reader. --Booklist

From the Author

Children of the Star is an omnibus containing my science fiction trilogy This Star Shall Abide (aka Heritage of the Star), Beyond the Tomorrow Mountains and The Doors of the Universe. This edition, which I owe to the enthusiasm of readers who've contacted me on the Internet, was issued as adult rather than YA SF; it's of greatest interest to adults and mature teenagers. It is not for as young an audience as my Newbery Honor Book, Enchantress from the Stars.

More About the Author

Sylvia Engdahl is the author of ten science fiction novels, six of which are Young Adult novels that are also enjoyed by adults. The one for which she is best known, "Enchantress from the Stars," was a Newbery Honor book, winner of the 1990 Phoenix Award of the Children's Literature Association, and a finalist for the 2002 Book Sense Book of the Year in the Rediscovery category. Her four latest novels, "Stewards of the Flame," "Promise of the Flame," "Defender of the Flame," and "Herald of the Flame," are for adults. Recently, she has published an updated and expanded edition of her nonfiction book "The Planet-Girded Suns," now subtitled "The History of Human Thought About Extrasolar Worlds." She is a strong advocate of space colonization and in addition to a widely-read space section of her website she created the site www.spacequotes.com, which contains quotations about why humankind must expand into space. From her home in Eugene, Oregon she now works as a freelance editor of nonfiction anthologies for high schools. She welcomes visitors to her website at www.sylviaengdahl.com.

Customer Reviews

4.9 out of 5 stars
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I look forward to reading it.
orna
Ms. Engdahl paints a wonderful picture of a futuristic and simultaneously primitive world whose advances and way pique the imagination.
E. Olmon
It is science fiction at its best.
P. Ota

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

22 of 22 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on January 15, 2000
Format: Paperback
I first read "This Star Shall Abide" while in high school, and was stirred by the powerful and profound questions posed by this book, its psychological and moral depth, and its ability to create a consistent world that's very different from our own. I found out a few years ago that there were more books in the series, but wasn't able to track them down, as they were out of print. But finally I've been able to read Ms. Engdahl's full series, and the wait was worth it. The second and third books in this volume surpass the first -- they raise issues of faith and perseverance, self-sacrifice, vision and hope. This new omnibus edition is essential reading not only for science-fiction fans, but for anyone who's thought seriously about ecological issues, the future of humanity, hope, faith or courage. Most highly recommended!
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15 of 15 people found the following review helpful By E. A Solinas HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on May 30, 2001
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As evidenced by masters such as Patricia McKillip, often worthy and original fantasies slip out of print under the wave of Tolkien ripoffs. Sylvia Engdahl's books are in that class, and thank God Meisha Merlin is reprinting them! May they keep on doing so.
The main character is Noren, a guy who knows that the world is unjust. The Scholars and Technicians are the only people allowed to use machinery and metals, and enter the City (which, of course, he also craves to enter). They also control the knowledge meted out to the lower caste systems, into which you are born and can never hope to rise from.
The High Law is why these rules are there, but a prophecy promises that knowledge and machinery will be accessible to everyone, not just the Scholars. Noren, however, doesn't care about High Law or the Prophecy, believing that High Law is simply oppression and the Prophecy untrue. But freeing his people to equality will be a strange and hard task...
Once again, Engdahl creates a believable and thought-provoking piece of SF/fantasy that doesn't fall to the usual ray-guns-or-dragons cliches. The questions raised about freedom in this book kept making me pause in the middle of a page, thinking deeply about what was being shown in the story. For fans of action: There isn't much. For fans of originality/intelligence: There's plenty.
Noren, the idealistic rebel, is a particularly endearing character. Like the characters in "Enchantress from the Stars" he is complex and multifaceted, and grows as characters should through his trials. His relentless search for truth is fascinating to the reader, and there are entire pages where you may forget you are reading a story.
Faith, truth, and knowledge are the cornerstones of this book, in my eyes.
Read more ›
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on April 24, 2000
Format: Paperback
I first read "This Star Shall Abide" when I was 11 or 12, but it wasn't until I was 26 that I managed to locate and read "Beyond the Tomorrow Mountains" and "The Doors of the Universe." The rerelease of all three books in a single omnibus edition is fantastic news for anyone interested in intelligent science fiction. The narrative follows one enormously sympathetic character who is notable for his overriding, unflinching honesty. As a young man, he gradually comes to resist the limitations of the caste system into which he has been born-- but this is just the beginning of a long and tortuous road to maturity. The other characters whom he encounters along the way, while rather modest in number, are also memorably and movingly drawn. Ms. Engdahl's work does not rely on flashy technology, kooky aliens, or gory battles to keep her reader's interest. Instead, she has conceived a world where abstract issues of faith, truth, knowledge, love, loyalty, and obligation have uniformly concrete consequences for its people's continued existence. To have such high stakes riding on individuals' morality and resourcefulness is what makes this such a gripping read.
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9 of 9 people found the following review helpful By P. Ota on September 1, 2005
Format: Paperback
Noren is a young man who is frustrated about the class stratified society that he lives in. When he decides to challenge the system, he finds himself on a perilous journey . . . facing truth as he has never imagined. When I read this story many years ago in junior high, I realized for the first time that it was possible to have a perspective on life that did not encompass a large enough view of the truth. This story challenged my views on the limitations of my own perspectives. It is science fiction at its best. This book is a compilation of the trilogy that begins with "This Star Shall Abide".
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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By orna on February 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
The first book in this trilogy, This Star Shall Abide, literally helped determine the course of my life. It took years before I realized I was following a similar course to that of its main character, a course I first read of when I was in about fifth grade. The main character, Noren, is unflinching in his search for Truth with a capital T, a search that demands that he face the hardest of questions and challenge the heirarchical status quo of the world he was born into.
You don't have to like or even be interested in science fiction to love this story. It's about the highest strivings of the best of humans. It's a terrific model in many ways for the right way of approaching the world. It's smart, it's cleverly constructed, and it's challenging.
The second book I find a little thinner in its reverberations in my life, although my personal struggles -- which on the second book's subject also mirror the main character's -- have led me to essentially the same conclusions. The story grows richer each time I reread it.
I only found out today that there WAS a third installment in the saga. I look forward to reading it.
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