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Search for the Star Stones Hardcover – November 4, 2008

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Called “one of the most popular authors of our time” by Publishers Weekly, Andre Norton is a legend in science fiction, and was one of our greatest storytellers. She wrote science fiction novels for five decades, beginning with the now-classic novel Star Man’s Son in 1952. Many of today’s top writers, including David Weber, Eric Flint, C.J. Cherryh and Joan D. Vinge, have cited her as a primary influence on their own work. She was Guest of Honor at the 1989 World Science Fiction Convention, and has received the Grand Master award from the Science Fiction Writers of America and the Lifetime Achievement Award of the World Fantasy Convention. She was astoundingly prolific, with over thirty books in her celebrated Witch World series alone. She introduced three generations of SF readers to SF and fantasy, both through her critically acclaimed YA novels and her adult works, and remains one of the most popular authors in both fields. She died in 2005.



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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Baen; 1st Ed edition (November 4, 2008)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416555994
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416555995
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.3 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,094,439 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Exciting with plenty of mystery.
Amazon Customer
Highly recommended for fans of Andre Norton and science fiction.
the gunner
The ending left you hoping for another book forthcoming.

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

19 of 22 people found the following review helpful By E. A. Lovitt HALL OF FAMETOP 100 REVIEWER on October 25, 2008
Format: Hardcover
The late Andre Norton was best known for her fantasy novels, including the brilliant Witch World series. However, she also published 'hard' science fiction. The adventures of the Free Trader 'Solar Queen' are my favorites as well as "Beast Master"/"Lord of Thunder," and the 'Warlock' books.

"The Zero Stone" and its sequel, "Uncharted Stars" are a little harder to like. The plot hinges on a series of incredible coincidences such as when our hero, Murdoc Jern, an apprentice gem dealer launches himself into space with nothing but a space suit between himself and eternity--and happens upon an ancient Forerunner life boat that lands him on a planet which happens to have two caches of zero stones just like the one he inherited from his father.

As Murdoc Jern himself says in the sequel, the zero stone started "me on a series of adventures so wild that, had another recited them to me, I would have thought them the product of fash-smoke breathing..."

His companion, Eet was born of a Free Trader ship's cat after she had swallowed a curious black stone. Eet himself (or herself) is telepathic and also seems to have swallowed a copy of the 'Encyclopedia Galactica.' Usually Norton's aliens are a bit more likeable or at least a bit more inscrutable than Eet. He's a sort of an obnoxious, know-it-all mutant cat. He's the master and Murdoc is the slave.

The two reel improbably through space with the Thieves' Guild and the Patrol breathing down their rockets (as I think Norton put in another one of her SF novels), all in a race to learn the ultimate source of the Zero Stone.

In "Uncharted Stars" Murdoc tries to rectify the master-slave relationship with Eet that had developed in the previous novel.
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12 of 13 people found the following review helpful By Arthur W. Jordin on October 21, 2008
Format: Hardcover
Search for the Star Stones (2008) is an omnibus SF edition of the Murdoc Jern duology, including The Zero Stone and Uncharted Stars. Murdoc is the son of Hywel Jern, a former prime assessor to a sector boss of the Thieves' Guild who bought out when his patron was assassinated. Hywel migrated to Angkor and married the daughter of a local hock-lock operator. He maintained a low profile, operating from the same modest hock-lock.

The Zero Stone (1968) is the first novel in this series. One day, the first officer of a spaceliner brought in a ring with a dull stone that was found in interstellar space, far from any star, on the finger of a spacesuited corpse. The crude stone is plain and cloudy, but has a remarkable hardness. The stone gives an impression of great power to Hywel and Murdoc, but not to the rest of the family.

Hywel is obsessed with the stone and arranges an apprenticeship for Murdoc with Vondar Ustle -- a master gemologist who searches for new sources of precious stones -- so that Murdoc can search for more information on the ring and stone. Murdoc is well satisfied with his life as apprentice to Vondar. Returning for a visit, Murdoc finds that he no longer fits into his family.

One evening, Hywel stays home to conduct some business while the rest of the family goes to a party. Leaving the party earlier, Murdoc returns home to find his father tied to his chair, bloody and dead. Murdoc takes the ring and stone from its hiding place and leaves his home forever.
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9 of 10 people found the following review helpful By David J Harr on November 27, 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Uncharted Stars, the second half of this omnibus collection, was the first science fiction book I ever read, and it still remains a favorite. One of the things that I really liked about Norton's science fiction is that over the course of her writing career, she created a huge, complex universe that appears as the background to her stories. The books in which she created this universe are not related per se, but they all take place in the same milieu. This allows her to toss off allusions to the greater universe which provide tantalizing glimpses of places, people, and adventures unseen and unresolved, at least in the current story. It gives a feeling of an adventure taking place among a larger and much more complex universe, providing greater verisimilitude to the tale.

I am not going to recap the book, as several of the previous reviewers have done a much better job of that than I could. The thing that I wanted to emphasize about this book is that it is primarily a coming of age and adventure story. It was originally written as a book aimed at the mid-teen market, but I think that it stands up well even for more adult readers. One of the previous reviewers criticized the book for containing incredible coincidences and totally wild situations. I believe that the point he missed was that all these things were NOT coincidences, but were situations brought about by the protagonist's companions and the zero stone itself. Part of the charm of the book is the portrait of an ordinary young man caught up in a series of incredible adventures over which he has but little control. However, the situations he finds himself in all stem from his peculiar heritage as the son of his father and the legacy of the stone his father left him.
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