The Best of All Possible Worlds by Karen Lord
The Best of All Possible WorldsKaren Lord; Random House 2013 After their world is poisoned and most of the population is murdered, the few survivng Sadiri gather and try to revive their population. It was mainly the males that survived. They started fighting over the remaining females. In order to bring their population and culture back from the edge of extinction, the surviving government starts a program to look for compatible wives. Cygnus Beta has long been a refugee world. The population is spread out in groups that are only loosely connected. The planet is a good place to start searching for women who can help restore their people.
Dllenahkh had been on retreat when his home world was decimated. He is assigned to lead a team around the planet of Cygnus Beta to find past Sadiri colonists that may be interested in meeting Sadiri men. The Sadiri have long been known throughout the galaxy for their logic and problem solving. They had been one of the main worlds that traveled the galaxy and still are highly respected despite their catastrophe.
Delarua was born and raised on Cygnus Beta. She now works for the government social services and met Dllenahkh first in that role. He asks for her to be the official planetary liaison for the team. They start looking for the individual and isolated communities on Cygnus Beta who may be agreeable to assist in their survival. The project will take a year.
No one is prepared for the different cultures the team meets. They ride elephants across the plains. The meet fairies. There are communities who live in trees. There are societies that have the wealthy and slave classes. The team meet sociable, acceptable communities. They meet closed societies that reject any advances. But they get the word out. There may yet be a chance for the Sadiri to revive their dying peoples.
Karen Lord pulled stories from headlines to create The Best of All Possible Worlds. The book is told predominantly from Delarua’s first person narrative. It occasionally breaks to a third person telling Dllenahkh’s story from his learning of the destruction of his home world through the next year or two as he learns to cope with the devastation.
The Best of All Possible Worlds is told as a science fiction novel, but is a study of people and society. Lord is able to examine people and their proclivities. Delarua herself has an extra story. Her sister and brother-in-law have family problems on their homestead. This is one more plank in a solid, well told book. Lord’s story telling pulls the reader in and keeps him/her fascinated. Check out The Best of All Possible Worlds. You’ll be glad you did.
The popular science fiction/fantasy site IO9 read The Best of All Possible Worlds in February. That’s when I first learned about Karen Lord’s novel. You can learn more there and learn other’s opinions.
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