________________ CM . . . . Volume XIII Number 22 . . . . June 22, 2007

cover

Righteous Anger. (Okal Rel Saga, Part Two).

Lynda Williams.
Calgary, AB: Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing, 2006.
320 pp., pbk., $22.95.
ISBN 978-1-894063-38-8.

Grades 8 and up / Ages 13 and up.

Review by Ronald Hore.

*** /4

excerpt:

The warrior, priest and princess facing them were members of the Nesak ruling family - or so Di Mon had been told. He understood very little of Nesak political structure.

The princess had wide, green eyes, long hair that fell to her shoulders, and a floor-length gown worn beneath a bulky cloak of plain velvet. Neither she nor the priest wore a sword. That meant only one of the Nesaks was equipped to parley, under Sword Law.

"I am Prince Kene," said the Nesak warrior, as he drew his sword. "I speak for my people. Who speaks for the Vrellish?"

"I do." Di Mon cleared his own sword with equally formal intentions."I am Di Mon, liege of Monitum.

"Kene frowned at Monitum's sextant crest embroidered on the breast of Di Mon's silk shirt. "I would rather not negotiate with the Monatese," he declared. "Hangst Nersal is our kinsman, descended from Prince Nersal Nesak. Let him speak for the Vrellish."

Hangst's jaw muscles clenched. Di Mon considered graciously conceding, but he was not feeling very diplomatic at all. His heart hurt for the pilots he had lost. His blood boiled as hotly as Vackal's, with a lust for vengeance that he had to fight to control. Hot sweat trickled between his shoulder blades, heated by his skin despite the cool air in the cavernous chamber. They were all over-flown. Vackal was agitated, Hangst was grim, and Di Mon was feverish with anger at the waste and stupidity of it all.

 

Righteous Anger is the second book in the “Okal Rel Saga.” The tale takes place one thousand years in the future and is categorized as science fiction, although it will appeal to lovers of Machiavellian intrigue and sword-play. This is a complicated story, especially for those picking up this volume without the benefit of an introduction through the first book. It is a well-written 320 pages.

     The plot involves a galactic conflict set between the genetically enhanced Sevolites and the more human, mixed-breed Reetions. The book opens with an attempt to end the conflict between two Sevolite powers, the House of Nersal and the Vrellish. The main character in this book, Horth, is the product of the marriage between Hangst Nersal and the Nesak princess, Beryl. Horth is considered a "half-breed" and a "rejak't" as he cannot verbally communicate to the level expected of one genetically pure. His advantage becomes his prowess with the sword. In these cultures, disputes are settled by Sword Law. They have discovered that duels make more sense than all-out warfare destroying fragile human habitats on the rare, livable worlds.

     As the tale proceeds, we have proof of a perceived Reetion abomination that fuels a dangerous conflict. Horth must decide which side he will come down on and how this will play out - hence the "Righteous Anger."

     The book is detailed, especially in the description of the many duels and the sword-play. The story takes place on different worlds and in the depths of space. The author deals with everything from race relations and xenophobia to the early sexual maturity of a genetically enhanced youth whose passions come to play much earlier than one would anticipate. We have feuding factions, politics, power plays, religion and tribal warfare taken to a galactic level.

     The book contains several local expressions used by the characters, complicated interplay between factions and technical descriptions of inter-stellar travel. It is a complex story. Readers familiar with this universe will probably dive right in. New readers to the saga will probably take a few pages to find their way. Warning, it is a complex tale so you will have to pay attention; you can't just skip your way through it. If you do take the time and are a lover of the fantasy/science fiction genre, you will be rewarded. 

Recommended.

Ronald Hore, involved with writer's groups for several years, retired from the business world in Winnipeg, MB.

To comment on this title or this review, send mail to cm@umanitoba.ca.

Copyright the Manitoba Library Association. Reproduction for personal use is permitted only if this copyright notice is maintained. Any other reproduction is prohibited without permission.
Published by
The Manitoba Library Association
ISSN 1201-9364
Hosted by the University of Manitoba.
 

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