Elder Race

eBook, 176 pages

English language

Published Nov. 15, 2021 by Tom Doherty Associates.


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4 stars (6 reviews)

Lynesse is the lowly Fourth Daughter of the queen, and always getting in the way.

But a demon is terrorizing the land, and now she’s an adult (albeit barely) and although she still gets in the way, she understands that the only way to save her people is to invoke the pact between her family and the Elder sorcerer who has inhabited the local tower for as long as her people have lived here (though none in living memory has approached it).

But Elder Nyr isn’t a sorcerer, and he is forbidden to help, for his knowledge of science tells him the threat cannot possibly be a demon…

3 editions

Technology *is* magic, but it can't solve all your problems

4 stars

Arthur C Clarke famously once wrote that "Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic", and this story is the living embodiment of that, presenting the idea from both perspectives. I enjoyed how the book regularly switched between those perspectives, showing how conversations were perceived differently by the protagonist who controls the technology and his more primitive, magic-fearing counterpart. The struggle to communicate is one of the themes of the book.

Besides that, this is a book that also tries to deal with the concepts of loneliness and isolation, and the profound depression that can spring from this. I found it interesting that the book depicts a technological solution to these human problems, but one that is deeply flawed.

Overall, I enjoyed the book a lot. It's not action-packed, nor is it full of intrigue or plot twists; it prefers to focus instead on the thoughts and feelings of the …

Interesting mix of SF and fantasy that works.

4 stars

An interesting tale that starts out like a fantasy story of a lowly Princess asking for the aid of a wizard to fight a demon. But when the viewpoint switches to that of the wizard, we learn that he's actually a very lonely off-world anthropologist studying the culture on a colony world and despairing at getting contact with his own home world.

In a collision of culture and world-views about magic and technology indistinguishable from magic, they (and a few others) would forge a bond as they confront the demon, which the wizard assumes is 'just' a local bully with advanced tools scavenged from the colony's initial technological days. But both would learn that the demon is more than it seems and some magic may be that: magic and not just advanced technology.

Resolving the problem of the demon may be anticipated by attentive readers, but the ending is still …

Short and good!

4 stars

A nice little read with interesting ideas. I’ve been reading loooong books these last months, so it’s a good reprieve from the big-plot-storage mindset.

I especially liked how the setting is fully compréhensible as a Fantasy and as a sci-fi setting. The world works as both, the characters become more aware of the other side's point of view, as the plot works well in both ways.

avatar for citoyen

rated it

5 stars
avatar for kopischke@bookwyrm.social

rated it

3 stars