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I don't review books I don't like!

*****= An all-time favorite
****  = Outstanding
***    = Above average
**      = Enjoyable
*        = Good, with reservations


*****This Star Shall Abide

by Sylvia Engdahl

Reviewed October 29, 2002.
A Sonderbooks' Best Book of 2002 (#1, Young Adult and Children's Fantasy and Science Fiction)
The first book in the collection, Children of the Star.
Meisha Merlin Publishing, Atlanta, Georgia, 2000.  This Star Shall Abide originally written in 1972.  215 pages.

Sylvia Engdahl has done it again!  After reading only two of her books, I’m already thinking of her as one my favorite authors.  I first read Enchantress From the Stars only a couple of years ago, and looked on Amazon for anything else available by this author.  I finally got around to reading the first book (I tend to only read books with due dates!) and found it to also be magnificent.

I liked Enchantress From the Stars slightly more, as it reads more as a fantasy book than science fiction.  This Star Shall Abide is pure science fiction, but a warm, human and inspiring story.

The story reminded me much of The Giver and all those other books that present a lone hero struggling against a repressive society.  I’ve read many such books, but I liked this one best of all of them.

As the book opens, Noren tells his beloved that he doesn’t believe the Prophecy.  He doesn’t believe that the Scholars should control all Power and all Machines.  He wants to find out the Truth.  She is horrified by his opinions.  He knows he can no longer ask her to share his life.

Naturally, these opinions make Noren a heretic and get him into trouble.  The resulting tale remains suspenseful to the very end.  I can’t say much, as the story has some surprises.  Let me say that the story engages the reader on many different levels.  Sylvia Engdahl has a great ability to get her readers sympathizing with her characters.  We also are engaged intellectually, as she presents some intriguing ideas that keep us thinking long after the book is closed.  And of course the plot itself is a page-turner, keeping us reading to the end.

Review of the complete trilogy:  
Children of the Star
Other books by Sylvia Engdahl:  
Enchantress From the Stars
Enchantress From the Stars
The Far Side of Evil
Journey Between Worlds
Defender of the Flame

Copyright © 2003 Sondra Eklund.  All rights reserved.

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