Thursday, December 01, 2011

Wind and Shadow

I've been waiting for this one for a long time. A long time. I'm talking about Wind and Shadow by Kathy Tyers.

True confession time: Tyers is the reason why I stuck with writing Christian speculative fiction. I still remember browsing the CBD website for Christian sci-fi (back before the Web 2.0 revolution) and stumbling across her Firebird books. And I remember staring at her name, thinking, Why is that name so familiar? And then I looked up at my Star Wars books and saw The Truce at Bakura and I knew I had to get Firebird. And I did, and it was awesome, and that inspired me to keep working on my own books and I . . .

I'm gushing, aren't I? Sorry. Ahem. Dignified.

Seriously, I loved Firebird. Those three books were a lot of fun and after reading them the first time, I kept hoping that some day, Tyers would return to that universe. That day has come.

Wind and Shadow follows the children of Firebird's man characters. Kiel Caldwell has become a priest, Kinnor a Sentinel like his father. Kiel is called to the barren world of Mikuhr, the former home of the Sentinels' enemies, the Shuhr, by a diplomat named Wind Haworth. But as soon as he steps off the ship, Kiel disappears.

Once his disappearance is reported, the Sentinels send in his twin brother, Kinnor, to investigate his disappearance. But little does either brother realize that they have stepped into a larger conflict, both in terms of the Whorl and in terms of the spiritual realm, one that could easily end the life of everyone they know.

I really enjoyed this book. I did. Tyers has a flair for creating rich worlds and layering in some great sci-fi details. The characters are great. The action is top-notch.

But here's the thing (and I hesitate to say this, because I think it's more my fault than anything else). I felt a little lost in the early going. I don't know why that is. I got what was going on, for the most part, but every now and then, I got the feeling that I was missing something important, that while all of the pieces seemed to fit together, I was overlooking something.

I don't quite know how to explain it. That sense of "missing pieces" dragged on my enjoyment just a little in the earliest chapters. But once I got past that, I had a blast.

Like I said, it's probably just me. Life has been a bit crazy today and I can't say that I've been able to read as much as I like to with as much focus as I normally would bring to bear on a book. But if you're a fan of Christian sci-fi, be sure to check this one out. Totally worth it!

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