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The Empress of Earth (1987)

de Melissa Scott

Altres autors: Mira la secció altres autors.

Sèrie: The Roads of Heaven (Book 3)

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225390,373 (3.5)6
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And so we come to the third and final book of the Silence Leigh trilogy, and, well, the journey here was at least a lot of fun, but this is a disappointing end to the trilogy. Silence and her friends finally reach Earth, and Scott decides to riff off UFO mythology and treat their arrival like some sort of close encounter. But they, er, crash-land without discovery, and then must discover what is going on and why Earth has been blockaded by the Rose Worlds – which is never actually really explained. When Silence does a bit of magic, she’s hailed as “the empress of Earth”, although where the legend came from or what it means is all a bit of a mystery. It all feels somewhat over-familiar, which the previous two books did not, and the resolution is massively rushed. The plan to free Earth is discussed on page 315, and it’s all over, as is the book, by page 346. It’s as if there were a fourth book waiting, but Scott chose not, or was not contracted, to write it. Of course, it’s not the first time something like this has happened in science fiction. It’s a commercial genre, after all. And there have been plenty of sf writers happy to churn out yet another episode as long as an editor was willing to buy it. EC Tubb managed 31 books of the Dumarest saga before Donald A Wollheim died and his daughter chose not to continue the series. An unsatisfactory conclusion to the series was published by a small press in 1992 (in French; in 1997 in English). I don’t know that something like this happened with the Silence Leigh – or Roads to Heaven – series, although I understand this book has been extensively rewritten for its present Kindle publication. Which is annoying. Although I can understand why Scott took the opportunity to rewrite it. A disappointing end to what had been an interesting trilogy. ( )
  iansales | Nov 10, 2018 |
As the third and last in the series, I was pleased to finally reach the conclusion. Using the items gained in the last novel, Silence, her husbands, and her master set out to find a way to Earth. I found the description of the process interesting, although it took a more of the book than I think it should have. Once on Earth, our intrepid heroes spend an enormous amount of time of the learning about Earth, it's cultures and people - and why it's been cut off from the rest of human race. The Rose Worlders keep Earth trapped and the pollution controlled with machines. Silence and her crew spend the last few chapters setting up a rebellion - and then in the last few pages - everything happened at once. Literally, the entire rebellion, all the action, all the wrap up - all of it - 5 pages, max. While the story (this one, and the trilogy as a whole) is a good story, I was often baffled by the part of the story that Scott choose to focus on. Why the whole thing with the gang and the farm people and the entire chapter about them traveling in a train?
In the end, it's a good story and a good trilogy, worth reading, but I haven't quite figured out Scott's style of writing yet. ( )
  empress8411 | Dec 28, 2016 |
[I actually read all three books in this series at a go, but the other two are ebooks, and I'm still working out how to get my ebooks on here relatively painlessly.]

The culmination of the Silence Leigh trilogy. Silence is a citizen of the Hegemony - a huge, misogynistic confederation of planets and cultures. The Hegemony runs on magic, and as much as possible eschews mechanical and computers. Silence is an oddity - she is a female starship pilot. Her dream, adopted from her grandfather, is to find the "road" - the starship path - to lost Earth.
In earlier books, she was stripped of her inheritance, married two men to be able to continue piloting, became embroiled in a revolution, and discovered that she was a mage.
Unlike some other feminist SFF classics, this trilogy hasn't aged all that well. Nor is it Scott's best work. Scott dips her toe into a number of issues - Silence's internalization of cultural misogyny, for example, or the implications of her multi-partner marriage - without exploring them in any depth. The hand-waving and two-dimensional walk-on characters get tiring after a while.
What is fully and lovingly described is how once a ship reaches twelve-fifths of heaven, where the material becomes the "celestial", a pilot follows "voidmarks" to their destination. This is interesting *and* original. Once Silence is trained as a mage, her perception of the celestial expands, making piloting more difficult.
But she is still intent on breaking a blockade on the route to Earth. Once she does, she discovers that Earth doesn't use magic, and that the Rose Worlds - responsible for the blockade - ruthlessly keep Earth's population corralled. Silence herself is thought to be a long-foretold avatar of freedom. She has to use every resource available to try and break Earth free of the Rose Worlds' domination. ( )
  KarenIrelandPhillips | Dec 29, 2013 |
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Nom de l'autorCàrrecTipus d'autorObra?Estat
Melissa Scottautor primaritotes les edicionscalculat
Gutierrez, AlanAutor de la cobertaautor secundarialgunes edicionsconfirmat

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