This Star Shall Abide / Beyond the Tomorrow Mountains by Sylvia Louise Engdahl
I first read these books over 25 years ago. They are still an important part of my book shelf.
In This Star Shall Abide Noren is a farmer’s son on a planet that is governed by the Scholars. The planet is climatically controlled and carefully governed. Noren questions the teachings of the Scholars. As he continues to question, he is branded a heretic. He runs away from his family and his girlfriend Talyra.
Noren begins a self finding quest that brings him to the Scholars in the City. His journey for truth leads him back to the ones he mistrusts and detests until he discovers the truth for himself.
Beyond the Tomorrow Mountains continues Noren’s and Talyra’s story. Now that Noren knows and accepts the truth of his planet, he is now part of an elite group that are behind the government. He still questions, though. He is sent beyond the Tomorrow Mountains to establish new settlement land for his people. As he helps his community grow and spread, he learns more about himself, his faith, and Talyra.
These books were originally labeled Young Adult, and are appropriate for teens and well as adults. They are easy reading, and wonderful tales. All of us go through a search for ourselves, our faith, and the truth. We can identify with Noren’s self doubt and questions during his journey.
These books are now out of print. If you can find them at the library or used book store, they’re worth the time.
5/31/99 – Ms. Engdahl visited my site and left this message – “Thanks for your review of my books This Star Shall Abide and Beyond the Tomorrow Mountains. But did you know that they are the first two books of a trilogy? The third book, The Doors of the Universe, was published 8 years after the others so many people who read them earlier never found it. All three will be reprinted as adult SF in 2000 by Meisha Merlin Publishing in an omnibus volume under the title Children of the Star.”
No, I did not know there was a following book to make a trilogy. When I stopped over at the library to see if I could borrow it, they don’t have that one, just the first two. So of course I added my name to the list to be notified of the reprint. And I’ll watch the used bookstores, just in case. If you are interested, go to Ms. Engdahl’s web page. (link checked April, 2014)