Elder Race

Tor.com. Nov. 2021. 208p. ISBN 9781250768728. pap. $14.99. SF
In this seamless blend of science fiction and fantasy from Arthur C. Clarke Award–winner Tchaikovsky (Children of Time), a neglected princess and a wizard who’s actually an anthropologist join together to save a kingdom and each other. Princess Lynesse believes that Nyr is the great sorcerer Elder Nyrgoth who once helped her great-grandmother defeat a demon and so must have powerful magic that can once again vanquish the demon who has arisen on the borderlands of her mother’s kingdom. As an anthropologist sent to study the planet’s population, Nyr knows this is not true. But Lynesse needs the powerful Elder Nyrgoth and Nyr needs a reason to continue existing, abandoned as he is on this planet. Neither is who the other hoped for, but they work together in a story that highlights mutual respect, shared risk, and friendship reaching across a chasm of misunderstanding. Lynesse and her people are extraterrestrials, but there is the implication that they are analogous to Indigenous peoples.
VERDICT Recommended for lovers of portal fantasy, lost colony science fiction, and stories on the border between the two genres.
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