Kirkus Star


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Another masterful, delightful fantasy (Soldier of the Mist, 1986) from the accomplished Wolfe, this time involving alternate worlds and the doorways between them. The protagonist, named only Green, has a brief affair with a distinctive girl named Lara, who abruptly vanishes leaving only a cryptic note warning him not to follow her. He does anyway, and finds himself in an alternate world, subtly different from our own. He acquires a doll that resembles Lara (men carry dolls here--it's a goddess-worshipping culture) and receives his first hint that Lara might be the goddess herself. After a troubling incident in which he's nearly knifed by a girl after he refuses to make love to her, he wakes up in a mental hospital; here he meets North, a maniacal refugee from his own world who's plotting revolution. With North, he escapes from the hospital, takes a hotel room, and calls his old apartment number--where the phone is answered by a puzzling character named Klamm, later revealed as a bigwig government security man--the President, it turns out, is a woman. The doll, Tina, becomes animated (nourished by Green's tears) and talkative, and proves adept at finding lost objects. In that world, you see, men enjoy sex only once, then die--but the visitors (like Green, North, and, as it happens, Klamm) are not subject to this limitation. Green will return to his own world in pursuit of the elusive Lara--where he learns the uncomfortable troth about himself, and comes to accept Lara for what she is. Intricate, glowing, fascinating work, definitely more accessible than Wolfe's dazzling but convoluted New Sun series.

Pub Date: Dec. 1st, 1988
ISBN: 0312872305
Publisher: Tor--dist. by St. Martin's