Singer from the Sea

Sheri S. Tepper, Author Eos $24 (426p) ISBN 978-0-380-97480-1
On a planet covered almost entirely by oceans, two small countries lie side by side. The societies of both are carefully constructed around a single, deadly secret that only old men share. Those who don't know the secret can't imagine how deeply it affects their entire world, and those who do will sacrifice anything, and anyone, to keep things exactly as they are. Noble women, like Genevieve, do not live long. Most die in childbirth or soon thereafter of the mysterious batfly fever, for which there is an equally sinister medicine, P'naki. Genevieve's life, like all lives on Haven, is carefully scripted by the ancient Covenants, but her fate was arranged long before her people even landed on the planet, for she has been chosen to restore the natural balance of life and death. Don't mess with the ""world spirit"" or the great ""Whatever,"" warn the followers of the planet's two mystical religions, but some men haven't listened, and now divine retribution is coming: Genevieve is to be the harbinger of the planet's transformation. This is a mystical, well-imagined feminist tale with enough hidden powers and intrigue to make it feel like a mystery. The societies that Tepper (Six Moon Dance) creates are frighteningly believable; her characters are multi-textured and full of life. Narrative flow slows because of repetitious dialogue in the novel's middle, but otherwise the storytelling is fluid and captivating. (Apr.)
Reviewed on: 03/29/1999
Release date: 04/01/1999
Genre: Fiction
Mass Market Paperbound - 544 pages - 978-0-380-79199-6
Ebook - 544 pages - 978-0-06-197638-4
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