Here at The Library, we love straight science fiction AND Hawk MacKinney's work--so we were excited when we had the chance to review the second volume of The Cairns of Sainctuarie series. You can see our review of the first book here: Review of The Bleikovat Event. Enter the Rafflecopter at the end of the post for a chance to win a $25 Amazon Gift Card.
From the uncharted reaches between galaxies, attacks of extraordinary weaponry come against Terato and the Myr worlds of the Murians. Terminus Terato’s expanded link-portals and converter power modules are virtually useless. Power loss, defenses, communications and travel are totally disrupted. High Chamberlain Korvo’s unexpected return to Terminus on a mission for His Imperial Majesty leaves him stranded on Terato. Attacks grow more massive, more unpredictable; spread across the worlds of the League, as an isolated Terminus struggles among the shattered rubble and whispering remains of an ancient Polity of star-walkers.
Family and friends are lost, empires and civilizations in disarray, Terminus and Planet Terato almost defenseless. Desperate for answers, their worlds being overwhelmed by this remorseless aggressor, Eklam and Korvo reach across unexplored space in a despairing gamble and the last reserves of converter star-substrate, seeking one insignificant star system of gas giants and rocky inner planets for possible relics of the elusive Lantaraan Polity.
This book is a wonderful addition to the Cairns of Sainctuarie series. This is hard SF... think Larry Niven.
On an adventure level, we have Terato and the Myr worlds under attack and Eklam and Korvo working desperately to find answers and resolve the issue. On a relationship level, we have the friendship and partnership of Ek and Korvo.
Mr. MacKinney is a fine writer who has his world-building down pat. I'm thankful he included a glossary at the end of the book --while some things I understood based on context, it was nice to be able to verify that. And, there were other things I needed the glossary for.
Because of the science involved, it could be a difficult book to read--it's definitely not a book you can skim through or read while other things are going on. But, if you are a fan of hard science fiction, this is definitely a series you will want to check out. It's not necessary to read the first book in the series; it deals with the historical background of this time, but it does give you a feel for the people. You can definitely pick up the series with this book, though.
My rating: 4/5.
Uncle a’Qoc hadn’t been wrong; much had changed. Like the ancient Teratoan proverb… change is part of life, change had come. In ways big and small it had touched all of them. Touched worlds beyond what even Uncle a’Qoc and his determined nephew foreknew, and changed things even the mighty Murian Empire could not know—a tumult of the unexpected. Ek was already a Senior Apprentice the first time he met Herklo Korvo; was one of four honor escorts at the hurried change of command: ruddy-faced Outpost Commander Kartn Gurlo relieved by the steely green-eyed Grand Duke Korvo. Ek sensed Gurlo’s anxiety as Gurlo and the Grand Duke talked with one another. During his apprentice time in Outpost Terato, Ek had started learning the Murian syntax; had studied the complex grammar of the Murian tongue, usually spoken with a soft evenness, and caught only the uttered harsh bleak abrupt Murian idiom.
Since then Ek hadn’t heard the expression. The discordant tone of the expression struck a jar to Ek’s ears. In time he learned the expression came from the Malfesian War, when the slaughter of western Feldovat clans destroyed some bloodlines. “… s' bleikovaat... ” Carried an intense meaning for Murians. “… events with unforeseen results... ”
None of the others in the honor escort picked up on Gurlo’s disquiet or the cause of it, Ek likely the only one with a grasp of the Murian idiom. And none of the apprentices were aware of its breakpoint implication, of the unexplainable upheavals rushing toward their home-worlds.
Hawk began writing mysteries for his school newspaper. His works of fiction, historical love stories, science fiction and mystery-thrillers are not genre-centered, but plot-character driven, and reflect his southwest upbringing in Arkansas, Texas and Oklahoma. Moccasin Trace, a historical novel nominated for the prestigious Michael Shaara Award for Excellence in Civil War Fiction and the Writers Notes Book Award, details the family bloodlines of his serial protagonist in the Craige Ingram Mystery Series. Vault of Secrets, the first book in the Ingram series, was followed by Nymrod Resurrection, Blood and Gold, and The Lady of Corpsewood Manor. All have received national attention. Walking the Pet is Hawk’s latest release in the Ingram series. The first book in another mystery-thriller series is scheduled for release in 2015. The Bleikovat Event, the first volume in The Cairns of Sainctuarie science fiction series, was released in 2012. Its sequel, The Missing Planets, has just been released.
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