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Cast Under an Alien Sun (Destiny's Crucible Book 1) Kindle Edition
|Length: 334 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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"The Fire Queen" by Emily R. King
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At the same time, Jozeph’s small slice of this new world, an island that as mentioned is perhaps the size of the United Kingdom, is facing a surreptitious but absolutely existential crisis with a creeping invasion threat by a nationalistic, militaristic, and brutal society, the Narthani, that has acquired a foothold on the island. The Narthani appear to combine some of the worst features of the Roman Empire and Nazi Germany, and is bent on subjugating these otherwise forgotten islands. Jozeph is required to rise above his own inclinations and against his modest preferences, and finds himself thrust in a major role to save this peaceful confederation from the terrible depredations of the Narthani. Among other things, he is forced to learn how to cast cannon, something I could never do, and otherwise takes on an ever more active role in the defense of the island.
This is where things stand at the end of book 3. Each book stands on its own, but I am most impatiently waiting for the next edition of the greater story arc here. Jozeph was told by the advanced creatures who transported him from Earth that he was being sent to a world where his fate would leave not a trickle on the sand (to paraphrase the words), and there are several other hints that seem to confirm that this is true.
[NOT A SPOILER, BUT PERHAPS UNWELCOME SPECULATION] But the serendipitous placement of his arrival on this world, on perhaps the most hospitable location imaginable for a person to be cared for, healed, and allowed to learn and thrive—and a quasi-medical and scientific location amenable to the new ideas which allows Joseph must introduce into the world in order to let the scientific method (let alone ether) flourish—all of this seems more than coincidental to me. Note again the title of the series, Destiny’s crucible, and remember what this tool is used for by a chemist. Notwithstanding all of the author’s words to the contrary, I suspect Jozeph was sent to this new world for a purpose and that we may eventually learn this. In addition to the location in which he was placed, utterly helpless and dependent on those around him for food, shelter, and care, Jozeph discovers he has gifts: a nearly phenomenal memory of his studies from Earth and an astoundingly healthy body which heals almost too quickly form any injury. Those who transported him from Earth transported more than the original product, so to speak. From the first three books, it is clear he alone is the reason why the Narthani have been frustrated in their goal of subjugating the island. Without Jozeph, they would have accomplished this already. I believe that the advanced creatures that deposited Jozeph on this new planet have more importance than we have learned so far,and motivations that run deeper and more complex than we have been told . I am deeply attached to all of these characters in this carefully constructed society and most impatiently await the next (final?) book.
One of the first science fiction books I read, as a very young and lonely teenager, which both hooked me on the genre and the study of history, was Lest Darkness Fall. As Destiny’s Crucible is not finished, it is too soon to suggest such a lofty comparison, but that book by L. Sprague DeCamp is what I most think of as I read this series. I am wondering if somewhere in some box containing my moldy collection of paper backs circa early 60s (that is, those not thrown away long, long ago by an unsympathetic mother), this earlier book is not resting, waiting to entertain one last time.
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