We read and review for the love and joy of books.
Genre:M/M Sci Fi
Panaceas rarely are.
Sequel story to DESERT WORLD ALLEGIANCES. Livre is an abandoned terraforming colony, on the brink of death as resources run out. Promised supplies stopped early and the settlers were stranded as the worlds around them fell into war. Now they learn that the war is over.
Shan, the ex-priest now machinist is slated as a delegate. He demurs, but when forced pushes his lover Temar forward as an additional candidate. Temar is recovering from his past, which was major component of the first book in the series. All the characters are moving forward leaving behind the depravity and deception.
The negotiations turn out to be more complex and the stakes higher than Shan imagined when he volunteered to go. He and Temar are forced to utilize subterfuge, bluff, and bravado to get what they want out of the trade deals.
What I enjoyed was the character development continued with the action, in fact the action was a catalyst. The relationship between Shan and Temar evolves in spite of all the challenges they face and they both come out of it stronger people.
The Christian theology that composes a major conflict point in the negotiations while an interesting interpretation made me uncomfortable at times. I guess I'd hope that in the far future that something as divisive as our formal religions would be abandoned for something more logic based. Shan's viewpoint is the middle one between the extremes of near atheist versus radicalism in the other trade parties.
The underlying thread of resilience and hidden strength that one would expect of frontier people was well done here. I actually didn't read the first book prior to this and I understood the ongoing plot lines fine. I wasn't impeded by not having read it. That said, now I'm really interested to read the first book and the subsequent one to see what did and will eventually happen. The third book has not yet been released at the time of this review.
Overall, pioneering science fiction story that reminds me of Herbert's Dune in some aspects.
"We all sin, and some of us more than others, but the important thing is to forgive ourselves first and to forgive others second.”