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World's End (Snow Queen) Mass Market Paperback – November 15, 1984

3.9 out of 5 stars 15 customer reviews
Book 2 of 4 in the Snow Queen Series

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Product Details

  • Series: Snow Queen
  • Mass Market Paperback: 284 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (November 15, 1984)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0812523687
  • ISBN-13: 978-0812523683
  • Product Dimensions: 1 x 4 x 6.8 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 8 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (15 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #2,408,633 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
It's impossible for me to review this book without putting it the context of its classic predecessor. Probably I would not rate it so highly as a stand-alone book.
The fate of police inspector BZ Gundhalinu brought bittersweetness to end of THE SNOW QUEEN. If you care about the character, by all means read WORLD'S END. (Don't settle for the fractured summary found in THE SUMMER QUEEN.)
While reading THE SNOW QUEEN, I initially decided that I liked the officious technocrat Gundhalinu because of his unwavering support of his beleaguered commanding officer, Jerusha PalaThion. That BZ would expand his supporting role, undergo an intense personal upheaval, and emerge as a romantic renegade came as a delightful surprise. Even so, at the end of THE SNOW QUEEN, I assumed that BZ was an unfortunate bit of flotsam in the sibyl machinery's Greater Plan, and that the doors on his story had closed as tightly as the gate to Tiamat. I was happy to discover that Joan D. Vinge felt his journey worth continuing in WORLD'S END.
We catch up with Gundhalinu a few years later, burying himself in his police duties on the planet Four. Having experienced love on Tiamat did nothing to break the shackles of his Patrician background. BZ is still every bit the snob--defining nearly everyone--especially himself--according to the rigid terms of his hierarchical culture. And that culture judges him a coward and a failure.
More ghosts of the unresolved past surface when BZ's brothers, having squandered their aristocratic family's estates and good name, come to Four to seek their fortune in the notorious wilderness known as "World's End". They are presumed lost, and BZ embarks on what he assumes is a futile quest to set something right--to locate his brothers and perhaps regain his family's honor.
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By A Customer on June 6, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
World's End is a wonderful book that adds depth to the character BZ and I loved the way BZ descended into madness. It reminded me of the short story "The Yellow Wallpaper." This book was not as complex or descriptive as the Summer Queen or the Snow Queen, but I could clearly see this desolate world. I enjoyed the Summer Queen more after reading World's End. When I first read the Summer Queen I had no idea what had happened to BZ on World's End, so some parts in the Summer Queen confused me.
I thought this book is well worth reading and adds more to the Summer Queen.
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Format: Hardcover
I read this as a break from Snow Queen (which I'm almost finished as I write this). I thought this would be in the same vein as Snow Queen and Summer Queen but the story and style is completely different.

The book is told throught the eyes of BZ Gundhalinu, who was, admittedly, my favorite character in the other books, and the reader becomes deeply immersed in his thoughts and memories, which are fragmentary and not altogether sane.

The setting is fantastic and seems much more alien and alive than Carbuncle and Tiamat. The characters are far more three dimensional and believable than those in the other 'Snow Queen books', and BZ becomes far more sympathetic than any of Snow Queen's protagonists ever did (I found Moon a real pain to read about...). This book is also much more sci-fi than it's predecessors, which were more fantasy in my view.

The bok only gets four stars because some things it relies heavily on, such as sibyls and the Old Empire, aren't explained ebough if this is to be read as a stand alone, however if you have read Snow Queen or Summer Queen or posess a particularly fertile imagination you sould be fine with World's End. the ther reason for the slightly lower rating is that I thought that the background of Song, who is otherwise a fully realised character, could use more explaination. This is one of my favorite books and I would highly recommend it to anyone who lieks sci-fi books or books based on interior dialogue and highly character centric story lines.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I will echo what I have read in the other seven reviews here. Worlds End is almost essential to understanding The Summer Queen to it's fullest extent. It can be skipped, sure, but I don't recommend it.

I'm afraid I read Ms. Vinge's books totally out of order, Summer first and then Snow and then Worlds End. So you can see how much I could have used the insight as to what was going on.

As far as World's End goes, I felt that it was great as a short.

BZ Gundalihnu is a failed suicide, a social outcast for the strictly heirarchal world in which he is from. Following his harrowing experience on Tiamat, and the unrequited love with it's new Queen, BZ is forced to leave along with the rest of the Hegemony. Though he tries to fit back in, he can't, his society is too steeped in their prejudices.

He is led by his misfortune and his squandering brothers to World's End a place that is literally crazy...even the earth and the sky follow no known physics. BZ comes across the land's leader, a woman of incredible power, who is positively insane. She wants him to remain with him, and infects him with the Sybil virus.

And yes BZ literally goes mad. But being a learned man, he figures out how to contact the Summer Queen, and with her help he gains on his sanity once more.

The molten lake at World's end is more than it seems, and it want's BZ's help to cure itself.

It is a breakthrough that will forever change BZ's life and the face of the Hegemoeny. It may even get him closer to his Summer Queen once more.

BZ Gundalihnu is a character I fell in love with from the very first time I read him. He is devout to his job, tortured inside, a good man to a fault. He oftens judges those around him just by their social stature.
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