The Sea Thy Mistress

Elizabeth Bear, Author
Elizabeth Bear, Tor, $25.99 (336p) ISBN 978-0-7653-1884-8
Reviewed on: 01/03/2011
Release date: 02/01/2011
Ebook - 336 pages - 978-1-4299-2830-4
Mass Market Paperbound - 334 pages - 978-0-7653-5853-0
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Hugo winner Bear pairs an insubstantial plot with broken, guilt-ridden characters in this quiet sequel to 2008's All the Windwracked Stars. When the angel Muire sacrificed herself to become the new Bearer of Burdens, she renewed the entire world. But some of those Muire left behind saw her ascension as less joyful: the newly immortal Cathoair, who mourned her; their son, Cathmar, who would never know her; and the goddess Heythe, who had intended the world's demise. Even as Heythe orchestrates a self-destructive spiral for the self-pitying Cathoair, Cathmar begins a convincing transformation from precocious teen to self-sufficient adult. The stakes could be much higher and the villainess more menacing, but Bear's willingness to let her characters bleed gives this post-post-apocalyptic tale its melodramatic edge. This installment will best suit devoted fans who value tormented characters and graceful prose over complex plotting. (Feb.)
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