ANCIENT LIGHT by Mary Gentle


Email this review


Sequel to Gentle's flawed, thoughtful, appealing debut, the alien-contact saga Golden Witchbreed (1984). Ten years after the events of Witchbreed, Lynne Christie returns to planet Orthe, but no longer as Earth envoy; now she's an employee of the PanOceania company, whose interests lie in recovering the ancient alien technologies of the vanished Witchbreed (themselves imported long ago to Orthe as servants of an even mightier race, they developed great technological skills before succumbing to a revolt by the enslaved native Ortheans). The humanoid Ortheans, predictably, are by no means enthusiastic about Lynne's new mission. Even worse for Lynne, she discovers that her memories of Orthe (she exchanged a copy of her Earth memories for selected Orthe recollections at the behest of the mysterious, "serially immortal" Hexenmeister) are dangerously incomplete. Once again Lynne will immerse herself in Orthean culture, and again ultimately focus on the key to the whole matter: the information-gathering, technology-hoarding Hexenmeister. Another well thought-out tale, but, like its predecessor, sluggish, stolid, and overlong; this one's merely elaborating on the discoveries made in Witchbreed. Past time for Gentle to test her mettle on something new and different.

Pub Date: March 24th, 1989
ISBN: 453-00644-2
Publisher: NAL/Berkley
Review Posted Online: