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A post-machine-age tale about Zanne, who is pulled to use her strong psi talent to resurrect the machines that sapped earth's vitality. Until she is ten, Zanne lives in Garth, a rural commune where her mother is the convenor who keeps the spirit of peace among all living things. Zanne's precocious talent for ""magic""--creating images in the minds of others, manipulating living and inert matter--leads to her being sent to Hillel, where such talents can be trained. When she is 15, she is drawn to a clandestine project of restoring machine tools from the past, although the expense of power causes bridges to crumble and crops to wither. Even so, she is captivated by the story of the Daymaker, a power source so strong that Zanne's land can be rescued from the drudgery of the natural but arduous world. With her friend Dimen, she leaves Hillel for the badlands in quest of the Daymaker, only to find that its promise has corrupted the people who live there. In the end, Zanne finds that her extraordinary talent is best used to bring a peaceful death to the Daymaker, and she begins a quest to seek out and destroy other powers from the past. Zanne is a sympathetic and believable heroine, and her struggle to find the right way to use her talent for the good of all makes for continuing dramatic tension. The book has a decided pro-female, anti-machine theme: women are the unifying force of this world; men are chiefly misguided, machine-dependent brawn. But it's not a polemic; although a little overdrawn, both the good and the bad make dramatic sense. A good, strong story.

Pub Date: Aug. 1st, 1987
Page count: 176pp
Publisher: Orchard/Watts