Wednesday, April 4, 2018

The Summit: Rise of the Anati

 The Summit by James Todd Lewis

The fourth main Thuria novel by James Todd Lewis opens with Grand Matriarch Amyra de Gonari, one of the most honored and respected house leaders on the series’ eponymous world, being distraught over failed negotiations, wish she and Grand Matriarch Rahnahi de Dothnar vacationing at the meeting Den, and receiving a call from Vanarra Anasto, who is made a Matron of the de Gonari house. The main chapters following the introduction indicate that Van is reluctant to hold her newly-received position, with altercations about Anati persecution, and mixed-bloods such as Flint being embarrassed by their own kind, with Van’s father figure, Theo, talking about he Allegiance of the Anati.

Furthermore, the Allarrae wish to make Sahni a Teldear, with Dynaea, who holds the position, talking to her. Several subsections of each chapters also deal with the enigmatic Vulpi soldier Centurion 4865, who receives a significant role and twist later on in the story and recognizes the name Shenaria. Another character, Solana de Destrick, takes public transit to Van’s business, Celebrations by Vanarra, although she is learning how to drive a hover, with Mauft and Tana awaiting her at their office.

In the meantime, Dynaea prepares Sahni for her forthcoming tenure as a Teldear, and negotiations with the Allegiance of the Anati abound. One of the main adversaries of the story, Burrost Talifero, is further introduced, and intends to humiliate Van through a series of schemes. Another character who appeared in past stories, Corelliana, finds herself in unsanitary captivity, with some explicit description of her initial conditions.

Centurion 4865 ultimately is identified as Vattar, and regularly receives counseling from Fillesse, and most of the novel’s remainder focuses on the negotiations and schemes by Burrost, accounting for a satisfying story, although as with prior entries, one can sometimes find it difficult to know how the characters appear, with their species and features sometimes far apart and at times nonexistent, with definitions of terms coming after the main text. Even so, those who enjoyed prior entries will most likely enjoy this one.

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