In the ambitious culmination of LaForge’s Maze trilogy (after Agave Revealed), set on a world settled by humans after aliens rescued them from a dying Earth, the society built around the Maze is in danger of crumbling. A prophecy claims that if enough initiates walk the Maze, their enlightenment will spread to the entire planet. But the city of Pelion refuses to continue supporting the initiates in the Maze, and the 19th Mother, who’s in charge of the initiates, faces additional challenges: she has just allowed blind Alyssa to enter the Maze, which was previously restricted to only the physically perfect, and she awaits the arrival of her grandson Sandur, who has been raised in the stiflingly patriarchal trading country of Endlin by a father who can’t forgive him for his mother’s death. Both Pelion and Endlin undergo fundamental changes, as each society realizes it must abandon isolationism and prejudice in ways that mirror human history. LaForge’s lush, descriptive worldbuilding is in top form here, as even brief mentions of homelands by single characters create intriguing possibilities. Endlin in particular is a fully realized culture that charms and frustrates in equal measure. Alyssa’s blindness is portrayed thoughtfully, and mental illness gets the same careful treatment. This is a complex, well-woven conclusion to a fascinating series. (Feb.)
Reviewed on: 01/04/2016 Release date: 01/01/2016 Genre: Fiction
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