Here's some reviews from Harriet.
Star Wars: Fate of the Jedi: Omen
Del Rey, Jun 23 2009, $27.00
The Galactic Alliance and the Order of the Jedi have their home base on Coruscant existing in an uneasy peace. The leader of the Alliance government Chief of State Natasi Daala wants the Jedi under her control. The Jedi are giving her plenty of ammunition that enables her to paint them in a bad light. Three of the Knights went insane performing unacceptable inexplicable acts that have led to being frozen in carbonite. One of the fallen was able to see the future ( called flow-walking) enabling a person to make counter moves against an “adversary”.
This is a unique part of the force that previously was known by only the late Jacen Solo, who became Darth Caedus when he turned to the dark side killing millions as a Sith Lord. Luke Skywalker and his son Ben continue seeking Jacen’s secrets, which leads them to isolated xenophobic Aing-Tii. Luke is banned from Coruscant for a decade or when he learns how and why Jacen’s turn to the dark. Luke and Ben travel to the planet seeking clues of why Jacen turned evil. With a civil war imminent, the Aing-Tii allow father and son on the orb. Meanwhile the Sith are near extinct and those few survivors are in hiding except for a group that crashed on Kesh a millennia ago. A ship arrives giving them access once again to the stars and the ability to take it to their enemies, the Alliance and the Order.
The second of nine books in this Star Wars arc (see OUTCAST) takes place obviously after Vader and the Sith were defeated. Peace in our time seems shaky as the two prime groups distrust one another and ambitious Daala sees an opportunity to size more power as people are once again disenchanted with the Jedi due to Caedus and now crazed Knights. Christie Golden moves from Star Trek to Star Wars with this solid entry that does not move forward the big picture, but instead sets up several major subplots for the overarching saga; making OMEN a more critical read to followers than OUTCAST. Harriet Klausner
The Vanishing Sculptor
Donita K. Paul
WaterBrook, Jun 2 2009, $13.99
In Chiril, Emerlindian Tipper has been left in charge of their family estate while her father the sculptor is away to the fear and consternation of her mom, his wife. However, she learns some of her actions she thought innocent have had a nasty impact that could destroy her father and ultimately their world.
With her dragon companion Zabeth who fears big snakes (and little ones too), Tipper tries to rectify her mistakes, but finds the endeavor to huge for her. She knows her mom cannot help her or her neighbors as they have nothing to assist her in fixing the errors. Desperate she gathers as allies Beccaroon the giant parrot and Prince Jayrus the dragon rider to help her. They work together to enable father and daughter to flourish under the love of the Creator.
THE VANISHING SCULPTOR is a super fantasy in a different land but the same world as that of the DragonKeeper Chronicles. The story line is fast-paced once the heroine knows what she must undo or at least mend. In some ways a relationship drama that focuses on a daughter who is chip off the old block of her father, readers will enjoy Donita K. Paul’s expansion of her realm to a place where the people are about to learn just who Wulder is and what he can do. Harriet Klausner
The Price of Spring
Tor, Jul 21 2009, $27.99
Fifteen years have passed since the war to end all wars between the Galt Empire and the Khaiem left both sides as losers as the outcome is all Khaiem females are sterile the poet mages are dead along with their andat magic; while all Galt males were also sterilized (see AN AUTUMN WAR). Desperate the Khaiem Emperor Otah knows the hostilities must end before each nation becomes extinct with no next generation. With that in mind he seeks a political marriage of convenience between his offspring and that of a high ranking Galtish aristocrat.
Meanwhile former poet Maati comes out of hiding, in an attempt at redeeming his soul for what he and his peers caused, breaks tradition to mentor young female students in summoning and controlling the andat essences. His top student Vanjit manages the andat Clarity-of-Sight, but though good intentions the remorseful Maati fails to understand the impact of the great war on survivors; instead of saving her people, the traumatized Vanjit who saw her loved ones massacred becomes a mad dictator.
The final tale in the Long price Quartet saga takes a fantastic spin away from the three previous super but bloody and deadly seasons into a more personal thriller of individuals filled with contempt and guilt willing to pay THE PRICE OF SPRING to renew life. The story line is action-paved, but at a smaller scale yet much more complex as several people who directly caused the cataclysmic war seeks redemption for themselves though each knows they will never overcome what they caused. They also want to bring renewal for others. Daniel Abraham closes out the quartet with a terrific spring entry. Harriet Klausner