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Snare : a novel of the far future /

By: Kerr, Katharine.
Material type: materialTypeLabelBookSeries: Voyager: Publisher: HarperCollins, 2003Description: 630 pages ; 24 cm.Content type: text Media type: unmediated Carrier type: volumeISBN: 0002246171(pbk.) :.Subject(s): Quests (Expeditions) | Secret service | Undercover operations | Heads of state -- Succession | Wizards | Spiritual life | Quests (Expeditions) -- Fiction | Wizards -- Fiction | Secret service -- Fiction | Spiritual life -- Fiction | Heads of state -- Succession -- Fiction | Space colonies -- FictionGenre/Form: Fantasy fiction.
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Enhanced descriptions from Syndetics:

A gripping fantasy adventure from the author of the Deverry series, set far in the future on the strangely beautiful but inhospitable planet Snare.

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Excerpt provided by Syndetics

THE GREAT KING CHURSAVVA of the Chiri Michi said to the leaders of the Humai, "You have broken taboo. You have come to the forbidden country. Your power shall be deadened forever, and your [toys? trinkets?] smashed and broken." Thus said Chursavva on the first day of the council, and all the Humai wept and wailed in terror. Then the captain of the Humai rose and spoke boldly to the king's face. "We did not mean to break taboo. Yet we will accept your terms, as proof of our kind hearts and pure minds ." And the great king Chursavva of the Chiri Michi said to the leaders of the Humai, "You keep the spirits of many animals bound into the crystals in the jars and cabinets of your flying boat. You may choose two large ones and two small ones and two winged ones to accompany you into your long exile." Thus said Chursavva on the second day of the council, and all the Humai moaned in confusion. Then the captain of the Humai rose and led his chiefs apart into their fort so that they might choose the animals . Over the two small animals there was no dissension, for all loved the beasts known as the eeka and the cat. Over the two winged animals there was no dissension, for all loved to eat plump fowl and to see hawks fly. Over the first large animal there was no dissension, for all agreed that the sheep would provide clothing as well as meat. But over the second large animal there was dissension. Some wished for a beast known as the cow, which gave much milk and meat, but which required much land on which to live. Some wished for a beast called the goat, which gave some milk and some meat, but which could live in the waste places of the wild lands. And so they argued, until an old woman rose and called for silence . " It is truly said that the cow and the goat, and yes, even the unclean pig, will give us food and give us skins for our clothes. But you are all forgetting the beast known as the horse ." Many of the council members jeered, saying that the horse was tough and stringy and would give little food. The old woman called again for silence and continued her speaking . " Little food, yes, hut it will give us something greater, something that Chursavva can never foresee ." " Indeed?" said the captain of the Humai. "And what is this marvelous gift? " " Speed" The old woman paused and smiled. "And eventually, freedom ." And the council members fell silent, thinking about ancient wars in the history of the Humai, until one by one they smiled, too, and pronounced the old woman wise beyond belief. And because a woman chose the horse, to this day among the Tribes women alone may own them ... --from the Histories of Ahmed, the Last Hajji * * * IN THE WARM NIGHT, the scent of true-roses hung over the palace gardens. Among the red spear trees and the obsidian statuary, water splashed in fountains and murmured in artificial streams. In a cluster of orange bamboid two persons sat side-by-side in the lush true-grass, one a young slender woman, shamelessly bareheaded, and the other a heavy-set soldier with a touch of gray in his dark curly hair. Anyone who saw them would have known that they were lovers, but Captain Idres Warkannan was hoping that this truth would hide another, that they were also plotting high treason. Lubahva Shiraz acted her part by giggling in the most vapid way she could manage. Her gold bangles chimed as she laid a slender, dark-skinned hand on Warkannan's arm. "Do you see why I thought you needed to hear this?" she whispered. "Right away?" "I certainly do. Send me another note if you hear more." "I will. We'll be doing the dinner music tomorrow for the same officials. They forget about us once we're behind that brass screen." Lubahva kissed him good-bye, then got up and trotted off, hurrying back to the musicians' quarters. Alone, hand on the hilt of his saber, Warkannan made his way through the palace grounds. As an officer of the Mounted Urban Guard, he had every right to be in the Great Khan's gardens, but he hurried nonetheless, cursing when he found himself in a dead end, striding along fast when he could see his way clear. The palace buildings rarely stood more than a single story high, but they dotted the gardens in an oddly random pattern. Beautiful structures of carved Copyright (c) 2003 by Katharine Kerr Excerpted from Snare by Katharine Kerr All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Reviews provided by Syndetics

Library Journal Review

On an inhospitable desert planet colonized by humans, three distinct groups attempt to coexist: those who follow the teachings of the Third Prophet, the mounted nomadic tribes of the purple grasslands, and the sentient lizards known as the Cha'Meech. When a group of Islamic believers who oppose the tyranny of their current rulers travel in search of a leader who can bring them justice, they find their destinies caught up with a Spirit Rider of the grasslands, a Cha'Meech seeking new ideas, and a "sorcerer" obsessed with discovering a way to travel to the stars once again. The author of the popular "Deverry" series turns to the cultures of the Middle East for her latest tale set in the far future. Compelling male and female characters and a thoughtful premise make this epic adventure a strong addition to most sf collections. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.

Publishers Weekly Review

Popular fantasy author Kerr (the Deverry series) once again crosses genres to deliver a large-scale SF adventure, with crowd-pleasing results. Three very different groups of human settlers go, not all willingly, to the planet Snare: a band of Islamic fundamentalists, a group of horse tribes and the pragmatic Cantons people. All descend on Snare's indigenous reptilian species the ChaMeech, and eight centuries of territorial and social turmoil follow. In Kazrajistan, the despotic Gemet Great Kahn rules the followers of the Third Prophet, but a secret rebel organization led by Captain Idres Warkannan seeks to restore the rightful heir, Jezro Kahn, long assumed murdered by Gemet. Warkannan sets out to find Jezro with his nephew Arkazo and Yarl Soutan, a renegade Cantons sorcerer, who claims to be searching for the lost Ark of the Covenant, the settlers' original ship. Meanwhile, suspicious of Soutan and Warkannan, Gemet sends Zahir Benumar, one of his elite warriors, to discover their plans. In the guise of a disgraced soldier, Zahir joins a horse tribe led by the inquisitive Spirit Rider Ammadin, hoping to use the tribe as cover while he follows Soutan's trail. Matters grow more complicated when a ChaMeech named Water Woman asks Ammadin's help and tells her of a powerful sorceress named Sibyl, who may be the last link between Snare's inhabitants and their distant past. Though the ending falls a little flat, Kerr masterfully manipulates the converging plot lines. (Apr. 23) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved

Booklist Review

Kerr turns from Celtic fantasy to a capable variation on a venerable sf theme: the human settlement on a distant planet that loses space-faring technology. On Snare, areas habitable by humans are limited, but human perversity and rivalry are not. The urban Kazraks follow a variant of Islam; the nomadic Comnee keep their wealth in horse herds. Meanwhile, the planet's aboriginal inhabitants, the Cha'Meech, are suffering from human incursions into what is left of their territory. In due course, the Kazraks start trying to overthrow their despot, but their resistance leader is hiding among the Comnee. For their part, the Cha'Meech have an innovative leader, who may remind historically informed readers of nineteenth-century Shawnee chief Tecumseh. Also on hand is a "sorcerer" who is obsessed with reinventing space flight, knowledge of which is more legendary than historical on Snare. The characterizations aren't up to the level of those in Kerr's Deverry saga, yet this competent performance is likely to please Kerr's fans and win her new ones. --Roland Green

Kirkus Book Review

In this hefty tome, Kerr (The Shimmering Door, 1996) turns from Celtic-tinged fantasy to sweepingly far-future adventure on an alien world. The plot is built around Jezro Khan, the exiled brother of the corrupt ruler of Kazrajistan, an Islamic society. A former Kazrak cavalry officer named Warkannan and a "sorcerer" named Soutan, a native of the Cantons, where Jezro is in exile, lead an expedition to convince Jezro to overthrow the regime. At the same time, the Chosen (a fanatical Muslim sect whose members act as the ruler's secret police) have sent an assassin, Zayn, to prevent Jezro's return. To reach him, both groups must cross the grasslands, a wilderness inhabited by the alien Cha'Meech and by human nomads whose low-tech society centers on horses. Along the way, Zayn attaches himself to Ammadin, a woman who serves as Spirit Rider to a nomadic company headed into the Cantons; as a result of his experience with the nomads, he finds himself beginning to question his mission. Meanwhile, Soutan makes use of high-tech "magic" to become aware of Zayn's mission, and Jezro's followers make several attempts to kill the assassin. When Ammadin makes contact with a Cha'Meech woman who convinces her to meet her in the wilderness beyond the Cantons, representatives of all four main societies come into a conflict that's eventually resolved by a literal deus ex machina who brings about a major reorganization of the planet's complex political makeup. The various societies are interestingly contrasted, and the world-building is generally convincing if not especially original. While the plot sometimes moves slowly, Kerr keeps the reader guessing at the moral alignment of several major characters and provides a conclusion worth the convoluted path. Solid SF adventure with a reasonable quota of interesting ideas for readers to chew on. Copyright ┬ęKirkus Reviews, used with permission.