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All the Windwracked Stars (Sci Fi Essential Books)

All the Windwracked Stars (Sci Fi Essential Books) Cover

ISBN13: 9780765318824
ISBN10: 0765318822
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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

It all began with Ragnarok, with the Children of the Light and the Tarnished ones battling to the death in the ice and the dark. At the end of the long battle, one Valkyrie survived, wounded, and one valraven - the steeds of the valkyrie.

Because they lived, Valdyrgard was not wholly destroyed. Because the valraven was transformed in the last miracle offered to a Child of the Light, Valdyrgard was changed to a world where magic and technology worked hand in hand.

2500 years later, Muire is in the last city on the dying planet, where the Technomancer rules whats left of humanity. She's caught sight of someone she has not seen since the Last Battle:  Mingan the Wolf is hunting in her city. 

Review:

"Hugo winner Bear (Undertow) perfectly captures the essence of faded hopes and exhausted melancholy in this postapocalyptic melodrama based loosely upon Norse mythology. On the Last Day, the historian Muire fled the battle, leaving her sibling Valkyries to die. More than 2,300 years later, only a single city, Eiledon, has survived as the dying world slowly turns into ice. Ashamed of her cowardice, Muire now vows to keep the last humans safe, but as she slowly pieces together the horrific truth behind the magic that has kept Eiledon standing, she must decide whether it's worth the price. Readers will be captivated by Bear's incredibly complex, broken characters; multilayered themes of redemption; and haunting, world-breaking decisions. While stilted prose slows the beginning of the tale, its finale is both rewarding and compelling." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

About the Author

Elizabeth Bear was born on the same day as Frodo and Bilbo Baggins, but in a different year. This, coupled with a childhood tendency to read the dictionary for fun, led her inevitably to penury, intransigence, the mispronunciation of common English words, and the writing of speculative fiction. She is the author of seven previous sf/f novels, including A Companion to Wolves with Sarah Monette.

What Our Readers Are Saying

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Jvstin, April 5, 2009 (view all comments by Jvstin)
Elizabeth Bear is an audacious, difficult, and ultimately rewarding author. There are good reasons why she won a Campbell award, and a Hugo award. She's ambitious, writes characters who are all-too-human, and is very willing to take standard pieces of the F/SF genre, and rework them, remix myth and Story into it, and come out with books and stories that bite.

All the Windwracked Stars is the latest in that tradition. Informed and infused by Norse mythology, the novel begins with, paradoxically, a Ragnarok. We meet Muire, last of the Valkyrie, and Kasimir, the Valraven steed that bonds to her in the denouement of that final battle. Muire the Historian, to her shame, does not die as the rest of the Children of the Light do, and so lives on and on to see civilization, this time a human one, arise again on Valdyrgard. As you might expect, with a novel based so heavily on Norse stories, and given Bear's writing proclivities and style, the novel carries us headlong toward the inevitable fall of this human civilization.

It is between these two falls of civilizations that the meat of the novel and the Story take place. Muire still has her Valkyrie obligations, and it is in the unfolding of those obligations that Muire encounters an old enemy, and discovers the real reason why Eiledon, the last city, has managed to survive until the end under its implacable, mysterious ruler, the Technomancer.

Norse Myth and Mythology. Strange technology and a Last City set in blasted landscape. Complex characters muddling along as best they can. Muire seeks a chance at redemption, a strong and potent theme in the novel, reflected across the range of characters. And while it might not be a crackerjack straightforward plot, Bear hauntingly and memorably creates Valdyrgard and Eiledon and its denizens.

I've said in other reviews that Bear's work is probably not for everyone, or every SF reader. However, given that she is at the cutting edge of the newest generation of SF writers, if you want to see why the "young turks" of SF are doing with the genre, Bear is a strong choice for you to find that out. In an publishing age where Fantasy is ascendant over its technologically inclined brother, its refreshing, encouraging, and joyful to find a writer who does write fantasy (e.g. The Promethean age novels), but who is also willing to write darned good science fiction, with no apologies. And more importantly than just being willing to write science fiction, but to be very good at it.

Barq's Root Beer has a tagline: "Barq's Got Bite!". I would say, however, having read a number of her novels, and especially after reading this one, that "Bear's Got Bite!".
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780765318824
Publisher:
Tor Fantasy
Subject:
Science / General
Author:
Bear, Elizabeth
Subject:
Science Fiction - General
Subject:
Magic
Subject:
Science Fiction - Adventure
Subject:
War stories
Subject:
Fantasy fiction
Subject:
Fantasy - Epic
Edition Description:
Mass market paperback
Series:
Sci Fi Essential Books
Series Volume:
1
Publication Date:
20090901
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
368
Dimensions:
8.55 x 5.87 x 1.225 in

Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z

All the Windwracked Stars (Sci Fi Essential Books)
0 stars - 0 reviews
$ In Stock
Product details 368 pages Tor Books - English 9780765318824 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "Hugo winner Bear (Undertow) perfectly captures the essence of faded hopes and exhausted melancholy in this postapocalyptic melodrama based loosely upon Norse mythology. On the Last Day, the historian Muire fled the battle, leaving her sibling Valkyries to die. More than 2,300 years later, only a single city, Eiledon, has survived as the dying world slowly turns into ice. Ashamed of her cowardice, Muire now vows to keep the last humans safe, but as she slowly pieces together the horrific truth behind the magic that has kept Eiledon standing, she must decide whether it's worth the price. Readers will be captivated by Bear's incredibly complex, broken characters; multilayered themes of redemption; and haunting, world-breaking decisions. While stilted prose slows the beginning of the tale, its finale is both rewarding and compelling." Publishers Weekly (Starred Review) (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
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