Elder Race

eBook, 176 pages

English language

Published Nov. 15, 2021 by Tom Doherty Associates.

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4 stars (7 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…

2 editions

Started with an interesting premise, ended deeply satisfying

5 stars

She is a fourth daughter of royalty with no hope of advancement in station, determined to invoke the promise of aid given to her ancestor generations ago by a powerful wizard when her mother refuses to engage a demon threatening the kingdom.

He is a long-lived exo-socialogist, sent to observe these people but not interfere. He broke that directive once before, many years ago, and now another of them has shown up at his outpost door...

I've never seen a story play with Clarke's Third Law ("Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.") like this before. Each chapter alternates POV between the two main characters, so it is half science fiction and half fantasy. Sometimes the same events are told both ways. The story is interesting on its own, but told this way it also becomes a lesson on empathy and understanding.

It surprisingly also became a story about …

A short a humorous take on Tchaikovsky's theme of humanity spanning incomprehensible lengths of time

4 stars

In Tchaikovsky's "Children of Time" we saw his remarkable story of humanity's folly and brilliance as it spread across the galaxy, attempting to be it's own kind of god  – succeeding in unexpected ways while also failing spectacularly. In Elder Race he shows us a shorter and more humorous version of this failure as a holdover of an advanced form of humanity loses their ability to relate to humanity's successor, but really all they want is to feel connected to others and to belong.

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 Gorbag

rated it

4 stars
avatar for keithstevenson

rated it

5 stars