Simon Bisson (sbisson) wrote,
Simon Bisson

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The "It's My Birthday" Review: Children Of The Star

There are books that you read when you're 10 that change who you are, and what you are going to become. For me one of those books was Sylvia Engdahl's Heritage Of The Star (published in the US as This Star Shall Abide). The story of Noren's rebellion from the restrictions of accepted thought was moving and engaging, and his journey to discover the truth behind the prophecies and laws that structured the world one that inspired my life in science and technology. It was a book I went back to again and again for many years, a story that affected me in more ways than I can possibly count.

But there was one thing I didn't know: it wasn't a stand alone novel. In fact, it was the first of a trilogy. While the UK publisher felt the story ended well, Engdahl had actually realised there was much to tell, and two volumes, Beyond The Tomorrow Mountains and The Doors Of The Universe followed.

While wandering the dealers room at the ConJose, I found myself spending time at the Meisha Merlin stand, picking up collections and reprints of long lost, much loved books. It was there that I found Children Of The Star, a single volume collection of all the Noren novels. Not surprisingly it found its way back to the UK...

So does the trilogy mean as much as the original novel? Certainly it expands on Engdahl's original ideas, and comes to an unexpected conclusion. But nearly 30 years have passed since I first read Heritage Of The Star, and I'm a very different person, and that's surely got to have some sort of effect. And it does. It's still an enjoyable read, but the blind acceptance of the population as a whole of the Prophecy at the heart of the novels doesn't ring true any more. Still, I can happily suspend disbelief in far weirder things, and Engdahl's writing more than makes up for the minor niggles.

A recommended trilogy. Probably as a whole better suited for a young teen than the 10 year old, but a worthy read with lots of ideas and questions to stretch any mind - of any age.
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