A healer of astounding spiritual power finds herself challenged by the rise of a pro-science movement that threatens her idyllic planet.
The setting for this debut novel is the virtual paradise planet of Aquilinia, orbited by two moons. Inhabitants of this beautiful world, effectively human, are on such an elevated spiritual plane that they converse with the angels and other representatives of “the One” universal creator (not to mention porpoises and mer-folk). One inhabitant, Remarla, is literally wisdom—aka “Lady Sophia” —incarnated into Aquilinian form as a daughter of the aristocracy who is destined to become a master healer. Early on, she meets the love of her mortal life, Kandornen, born into a line of succession to be the planet’s ruler. Even with bittersweet mandates that he mate with other women of his caste to produce noble offspring, he and Remarla enjoy a union of passion, altruism, and the search for the greater good for all. So what goes wrong? An upstart New Science Society shuns such Aquilinian developments as homeopathy and solar/wind/tidal/crystal power to pursue its own fascinations with fossil fuels, pharmaceuticals, and, ultimately, nuclear energy and weapons. Soon New Science outposts and properties spread throughout the planet—and, along with them, land and sea pollution, birth defects, disease, and fallout. Still, the good guys try to deal with the scientists using diplomacy and accommodation, even when the reward is violence and treachery. Mercer’s entry in the mind-body-spirit realm of fantasy fiction pits doctrinaire scientific materialism against a serene worldview of New-Age mysticism, “natural” medicine, and magical cosmology (unicorn alert). One is reminded of L. Ron Hubbard insinuating the psychiatric establishment he loathed into villain roles in his escapist blockbusters. Mercer’s saga, at least, doesn’t take multiple volumes or 800-page counts to get where it is going. Nor does gender politics come into the ideological struggle, as male/female roles are equitable and the worst of the misguided scientists turns out to be an old schoolgirl nemesis. The language—the first-person voice of the pure-hearted Remarla—is more attuned to lyricism than Lucasfilm action (“The unicorn gently nuzzled my neck and shoulder, then walked away, vanishing quietly into the surrounding rainforest”). With its blunt anti-science message, this work will probably not land on Bill Nye’s bookshelf or e-reader.
A gauzy, New-Age fantasy with a mystical heroine.