There are those who say that Sheri Tepper has only one story to tell and that she tells it over and over again in her books. There is a degree of truth to that statement. Certainly, in "Six Moon Dance", Tepper spins her usual futuristic speculative yarn of mankind threatening a wider planetary intelligence through ignorance and greed, in a world run by a matriarchal society rigorously controlled through the creation and manipulation of religious taboos. As usual, her tale is supercharged with gender issues and cultural curiosities, as she holds up her giant mirror for us all to gaze upon. No doubt many readers of her works will feel they've heard it all before...
With writing this good, though, I for one will forgive Tepper her constant recycling of ideas (and it has to be admitted that she draws on a good many ideas from her earlier books here). Indeed, I consider this to be her best book to date, featuring an involved and complex plot, crafted with Ms. Tepper's impeccable eye for detail, as well as her uniquely wry sense of humour and wit - to say nothing of her sense of the bizarre! All of the book's many strands fall beautifully into place, constantly luring the reader on, whilst continually keeping one guessing.
As always, there is the deep, dark secret - alluded to throughout but kept carefully concealed until the end. And naturally, there are the usual shocks and jolts for the reader along the way, too. Indeed, she manages to keep the surprises coming right through to the very last page, this time.
This book may make you mad, or it may make you weep, and even at times laugh, but ultimately its true worth is like that of the special pool it features: impossible to pass through without being altered forever. Highly recommended, whether you're an established Tepper fan or just looking for a cracking read.