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Rift in the Sky (Stratification, Bk 3) Mass Market Paperback – July 6, 2010
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About the Author
Julie E. Czerneda is a biologist and writer whose science fiction has received international acclaim, awards, and best-selling status. She is the author of the popular "Species Imperative" trilogy, the "Web Shifters" series, the "Trade Pact Universe" trilogy and her new "Stratification" novels. She was a finalist for the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer. Her stand-alone novel, In the Company of Others, won Canada's Prix Aurora Award and was a finalist for the Philip K. Dick Award for Distinguished SF. Julie lives with her husband and two children in the lake country of central Ontario, under skies so clear they could take seeing the Milky Way for granted, but never do. You can find her at www.czerneda.com.
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Which was a shame but there was a lot of padding in the plot and situations across these three novels, and ultimately my view is that three books should have been two books. Especially when it came to the ending of this novel, which felt contrived rather than a natural outcome of events.
In particular, this is the "big reveal" that has been building from the first two novels - and you need to have read them for this one to make sense - because things are coming to a head for Aryl and her disaffected tribe. But when they do it was a massive disconnect for me. No spoilers, but it was in the order of "And then she woke up..." in terms of sophistication compared to what had gone before.
And I know this is a prequel to the "Trade Pact Universe" series but it leaves so much unanswered with regards why/how Cersi works, the Agreement, the M-hir and adds a lot more questions with the "ending" that I felt shortchanged. Sure, Czerneda possibly answers them elsewhere in the Trade Pact series, but having just read three novels for so little payoff I'm disinclined to bother.
Clearly, if you've read the previous two novels you should read this one. And Czerneda writes well so overall this prequel series is pretty good. It's just that having invested in such an interesting little universe, I did not think the conclusion was worthy of the build up.
They found an abandoned town in which the Sona Clan had dwelled. They also found the remains of the former residents. Apparently the Oud had tumbled the homes, destroyed the bridges, and diverted the water. Yet they did find stored food and supplies.
In this novel, Aryl Sarc is an Om'ray, the daughter of Taisal di Sarc. Aryl was the first to teleport through the M'hir darkness. Now she is Speaker for Sona. She recently Chose Enris and is pregnant with their first child.
Enris sud Sarc is an Om'ray. He is the Chosen of Aryl. He was an unChosen of Tauna, but joined the exiles from Yena. He is very proficient with M'hir skills.
Naryn S'udlaat is an Om'ray. She was a Choser of Tuana, but joined the exiles in Sona. She had Chosen Enris, but he rejected her. Now she is pregnant without a Chosen.
Yao Gethen is an Om'ray, the daughter of Oswa from Grona. Yao does not have the Talent to feel other Om'ray, except through the M'hir. The Sona Clan are worried that others will be born without the ability to sense their neighbors.
Oran di Caraat is an Om'ray from Grona. She is an Adept and Healer and the Choser of Bren sud Caraat. Their attempts to force Aryl to divulge the secrets of M'hir are the reason for the flight of the Yena exiles from Grona.
Marcus Bowman is a Human. He is First Triad on Cersi, responsible for all the Trade Pact archaeological sites. He has been a friend of Aryl since they met in Yena.
In this story, it is springtime in Sona. The exiles have rebuilt homes for everyone. Now they are planting the seeds found in storage. Since few are familiar with the local plants, there are questions about which is a weed or a useful plant.
Aryl and Enris are watching Yao and the other children play 'port and seek. One child 'ports and then the other searches for the first. The kids have been playing the game since they learned to teleport through the M'hir.
Enris goes to get something to eat and Aryl goes to weed the crops. She is poking at a purple plant with thorns when Naryn appears with a problem. Oran was seen coming out of the Cloisters.
At first Aryl doesn't see any problem. Then Naryn states that Oran unlocked the doors. Only Aryl has been able to do so previously and only since she became pregnant. Maybe Oran is finally pregnant.
So Aryl 'ports to the Cloisters. At first, she can't find anyone, but she feels other Sona presences within the building. She waits and Oran comes to her to admit that the Adepts are having an argument.
Aryl accompanies Oran to their concealed location and finds that the Adepts are not dreaming as they should. Although Hoyon had been appointed Keeper, he cannot dream. Aryl suggests that Oran be selected as his replacement.
Later Aryl returns to Yena and finds that the Adepts there are dreaming of Sona. She returns to Sona to find the Oran IS dreaming and that her dreams are being broadcast to every Cloister. Aryl wakes Oran and informs her of the extent of her dreams.
Then Ael sud Sarc vanishes into the M'hir. Apparently he was trying something different and couldn't return. His Choser Myris is Lost with his disappearance.
This tale eventually brings all those capable of teleporting through the M'hir to Sona. Offworld pirates raid Bowman's sites. Then the Oud start violating the Cersi Agreement.
This is the last tale in the subseries. The next volume by internal chronological order is A Thousand Words for Stranger in the Trade Pact sequence. Read and enjoy!
Highly recommended for Czerneda fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of power politics, alien cultures, and true romance.
-Arthur W. Jordin
I have to buy her books because I really enjoy reading them again and again, there are very few books you can say that about.
Reap the Wild Wind (Stratification #1)
Riders of the Storm: Stratification #2
Rift in the Sky: Stratification #3
A Thousand Words For Stranger (10th Anniversary Edition)
To Trade the Stars (Trade Pact Universe)
Ties of Power (Trade Pact Universe)
Survival: Species Imperative #1
Migration: Species Imperative #2
Regeneration: Species Imperative #3