Thursday, 11 June 2009
SCIENCE FICTION REVIEW: Consorts of Heaven - Jaine Fenn
When a naked, amnesiac stranger is found outside a remote highland village, he is taken in by Kerin, a widow whose unconventional ways are tolerated because her son Damaru is 'skytouched' - he appears simple, but he is able to affect matter. All skytouched are tested by the Beloved Daughter, the living goddess who rules the world from the City of Light. If he's found worthy, Damaru will become a Consort of the skymothers, the Gods of this world. Kerin and the stranger, nicknamed Sais, accompany Damaru to the City, in the company of a priest who's helping Sais to get back his missing past - but as Sais recovers his memory, he realises that the world does not work the way he assumed - and everyone believes - it does. Worse still, the hierarchy which has kept society stable for thousands of years is rotten to the core. Then Kerin and Sais uncover the true nature of the world, and the unimaginable fate of the Consorts - a fate Kerin will do anything to stop her son sharing.
When Jaine burst onto the Sci-Fi scene last year, I jumped for joy at her refreshing new world look at how things in the future could possibily be. It’s definitely a tale that isn’t too hard on the old grey cells to understand the science side of things and also allows the readers to get to know the world through her protagonist. It became essential reading and after a reread before starting her latest offering I enjoyed the whole thing a lot more as I could spot subtle clues that I’d missed on the original reading. Here we also get to see Jaine’s talents as she allows us to see a backwards civilisation through the eyes of a stranger which not only proves that she has the clout to make a very difficult beginning work but also allows us to see perhaps how we ourselves must look to a civilisation far in advance of ourselves.
If you want a tale that takes the best of Science Fiction and blends it with a touch of fantasy then this is the book for you. With strong lead protagonists, Spartan style descriptiveness and a whole range of action sequences that take you from hand to hand to mind bending conflicts then you really can’t get better than this. Add to the mix that this tale is just as engaging as the original and you know that Jaine is going to be a name to watch.