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    Review of CADMIAN'S CHOICE by L. E. Modesitt, Jr.


    Tor, April 2006

    The world of the Ifrits is in chaos and the population is panicking, ready to flee. The Alectors have been preparing two new worlds, but one of them, Corean, still lacks the life force it needs to support the huge drain that large numbers of new Alectors would create. Fearing that Corean may become a backwater, opening a power vacuum, the strongest of the Alectors conspire to carve out kingdoms for themselves, subverting the military and constructing forbidden weapons.

    For Submarshal Dainyl, the goal is simple--ensure that the rule of law is maintained and that his beloved Myrmidons (mounted Alector-soldiers) are not thrown into battle against one another. A simple goal does not, however, lead to a simple solution. None of his superiors are prepared to do anything to help him--instead, they wait to see which way the power games turn before risking lending their support to a losing cause. Somehow, Dainyl must defeat the uprising without much help at all.

    Although the Alectors hold most of the life-force power of Corean, some locals, including Cadmian-Majer Mykel, have gained a trace of control--Mykel more than most. That control makes him an exceptional soldier, but it also puts him at risk. Any of the Alectors will see him as fair game, no matter what side he plays. As for the locals, those with talent recognize that the Cadmians are fighting for the wrong side--the side of the Alectors who drain the world of its power and who will all be swept away.

    Author L. E. Modesitt, Jr. (see more reviews of novels by Modesitt) continues his Corean Chronicles with the second book of Dainyl and Mykel. Although the two come from different backgrounds, and although Mykel is a threat to every Alector, both recognize the honor in the other and, ultimately, work together to defeat the rebels who threaten to drain the world's life force.

    Modesitt's strength comes from his richly imagined worlds, and Corus is a great example--with its ancient ones, the intruding Alectors who simultaneously nurture life force on a planet that is otherwise dying and waste it, and its native humans. Modesitt paints with shades of gray--honor is more important than some abstract morality. In contrast to the complex world, the characters in CADMIAN'S CHOICE tend to be simple. While they may wrestle with tactics, their goals are clear and unchanging. Conversation, as a result, tends to consist of orders and pleasantries, rather than persuasion or new information.

    Fans of this series will welcome the new addition. Although it is not necessary to read the first three books in the Corean Chronicles, the fourth, ALECTOR'S CHOICE is probably necessary to properly enjoy this one.

    Three Stars

    Reviewed 9/18/06

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