This is the 30-years-in-coming sequel to Walter M. Miller's seminal work, A Canticle for Leibowitz
. It chronicles the odyssey of Brother Blacktooth St. George, a fallen monk of the Leibowitz order who becomes secretary to the politically ambitious Cardinal Brownpony. Brownpony is involved in a complex scheme to break the rule of the Hannegan Empire, which dominates the 35th-century's post-apocalypse world. Even though Brownpony's plans will ultimately restore both the world and the declining Papacy to some form of order, he is not a religious man, although he is drawn to those who are. He sees something profoundly religious in Blacktooth, who on the surface seems to be a disgraced monk foundering in confusion because of his love for a woman, his semi-pagan visions of the Virgin Mary, and his nomadic heritage. Ultimately it seems that Brownpony's--and indeed humanity's--salvation may lie with Blacktooth, who will never quite realize how great is the gift he's been given.
From Library Journal
The long-awaited sequel to the classic A Canticle for Leibowitz (1959) was completed by Terry Bisson (Pirates of the Universe, LJ 3/15/96) from instructions left by Miller before his death in 1996. After World War III, America is divided into territories (Plains, Texark, Oregon, and others) struggling to reindustrialize. In this fragmented society, the papacy plays an important role in uniting the factions. In Texark, Nimmy Blacktooth regrets the vows he took to be a monk. While trying to get out of monastery life, he becomes embroiled in the search for a new pope. Unfortunately, despite its humor and social commentary, this book is a bit of a disappointment; the plot drags and seems pointless, and there is very little of the visionary sf that made the original so compelling. For larger sf collections and where the original book is popular.
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