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Rift in the Sky: Stratification #3 [Kindle Edition]

Julie E. Czerneda
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

Despite good intentions, the Om-ray of Cersi can't resist moving through space using the M-hir dimension. To prevent the disruption of the Agreement and the destruction that it would unleash, the M-hiray, as they now call themselves, agree to leave Cersi forever to establish their own haven within the Trade Pact worlds-only to learn that not everybody wants peace.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1271 KB
  • Print Length: 444 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0756405602
  • Publisher: DAW (7 July 2009)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002I1XS3U
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #575,929 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The end of the beginning (for now) 17 Aug. 2009
I have really enjoyed the Stratification trilogy, although I started reading it with some misgivings. Going back to flesh out the back story of a successful series (her Trade Pact trilogy, starting with A Thousand Words for Stranger) seemed risky: how much would the author need to rehash material already familiar to existing readers to avoid confusing new ones; how would she avoid the end being an anticlimax?

I needn't have worried. While these books don't feel as flawlessly constructed as her preceding 'Species Imperative' trilogy, there is a lot to enjoy. They contain this author's trademark sympathetic characters and wonderfully bizarre alien ecologies, with the often brutal realities of life on Cersi tempering a generally optimistic tone: terrible things may happen but our heroes are (almost) certain to escape ok. I did consult 'Thousand Words' a couple of times and saw some hurried references there to things developed in detail here (which, to be honest, I missed on first reading) but the Clan of the Trade Pact trilogy have largely forgotten their origins so nearly everything was new.

This particular volume has a rather lopsided structure as there is a sort of very long epilogue, or truncated second half, after the Clan do eventually leave Cersi. This makes it end rather abruptly, but I was delighted to read that the author is planning a couple more books set after the Trade Pact era, to tie up and answer the questions raised here. I'm looking forward to them impatiently, although I will miss these characters and seeing the Clan before they became the wealthy cosmopolitan semi-criminals we see in the Trade Pact books.
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16 of 18 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great trilogy conclusion 3 Aug. 2009
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
There's no better cure for a bad case of Weber than a good dose of Czerneda.

Rift in the Sky is the concluding third book of Julie Czerneda's Stratification trilogy which is the second trilogy in her Clan Chronicles series (the first trilogy being The Trade Pact Cycle, a noteworthy collection of novels that not-so-coincidentally includes her breakthrough work, A Thousand Words for Stranger). Okay, that takes care of what this book is in terms of its publishing lineage for those who don't know Julie or her books. (Please go to [...] for the definitive bibliography.)

Then again, what is this book, really? "After all," says the jaded fiction reader, "Aren't series and trilogies simply ever lessening circles of repetitive navel gazing created to bilk a fanbase?"

People like that have never really met the works of Julie Czerneda.

As implied in my tag line above, I read Rift immediately following the latest Weber effort. While I will review that book seperately, the immediate juxtaposition of the two clarified exactly why Ms. Czerneda is an author to be admired and emulated not only for the pure enjoyement of a reader but also as an example of professional speculative fiction prose.

The Stratification trilogy encompasses a prequel story arc that forms the foundation of The Trade Pact Cycle novels. This continuing tale of adventure, danger, and romance provides many answers as to the "Why?" questions asked in the previous works but quite a few new mysteries are added to the mix as well.

As in all trilogies, you benefit most in Reading Rift by having read the previous two books, Reap the Wild Wind and Riders of the Storm. The characterizations created in the earlier works such as the two mains, Aryl Sarc and her Chosen, Enris, have grown and matured through the previous books in preparation for the new challenges presented in the third.

In all honesty, I really can't say that Rift is a "stand alone" kind of book that you can read without having read the previous two. I know that's the goal for publishers and authors when they kick off any book of a trilogy but there's so much that's been built into the first two books that trying to add it in would run the risk of a very Weber-esque case of info-dump-itis. Considering how good a read each individual book is in terms of pacing, character development, mystery, and layering, I think that Ms. Czerneda and her publisher made an excellent choice.

Why are all of these books good reads? Because Ms. Czerneda is, truly, one of the current masters of speculative fiction storytelling. She understands at a core level how the combination of pacing, implication, and believability have to be woven together to create immersive tales. Her attention to plot detail and foreshadowing is singular amongst her current peers. Her characters are all - even the minor ones - well realized and multi-faceted enough for the roles which they occupy. There are no cardboard cutouts in any of Ms. Czerneda's worlds.

In the case of Rift, she addresses a very complex and fluid situation for her characters in a such a manner that, although the reader is never lost, you still can palpably feel the confusion and desperation of those involved. The reader's trance never breaks. One has to keep turning the pages to see how the disruptions and dangers threatening the Om'ray's very existance as a people and species unfolds. Best of all, although you know that the heroine is Aryl Sarc, you never are quite sure she's going to survive it all in the end. There's this lingering worry that she will die or lose her love or her baby or have some other horrific thing happen that twists your heart around until the very end. And horrific things do happen, no two ways about that.

The depths of consideration into interpersonal and interspecies relations are another notable point of depth to the work. "Trust" becomes a by-word for foolishness and a flood gauge for how Aryl and her people fall from their simple, more naive world as the novel goes by. That there can be good and bad creatures within and without, and that the metric for good and bad vary by what serves the various species best provides for difficult challenges to the morals of Aryl and how she sees herself.

Rift, therefore, is a story that addresses a broad range of perspectives of various groups through the lens of Aryl's attempts to understand and survive. The pace of the book is fast but not suffocatingly so. Subtlety in the various details, foreshadowing, and characterizations flesh out the prose into a satisfying whole. Added to this is the attention to various scientific details that are de riguere for Ms. Czerneda that help support the reader's suspension of disbelief by helping keep the whole created universe "believable". The result is a book that satisfies while reading and lingers in enjoyable consideration afterwards.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Can't Wait! 9 Aug. 2009
By Barbara J. Mcfarland - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I finally got to read all the clan stories in order, Czerneda is one of the best,totally on par with Poul Anderson, Timothy Zahn and Alan Dean Foster. Even my Mom enjoys her books, especially the ones with "Mac"kenzie Elizabeth Wright O'Connor Sol.

I have to buy her books because I really enjoy reading them again and again, there are very few books you can say that about.

Reap the Wild Wind (Stratification #1)
Riders of the Storm: Stratification #2
Rift in the Sky: Stratification #3
A Thousand Words For Stranger (10th Anniversary Edition)
To Trade the Stars (Trade Pact Universe)
Ties of Power (Trade Pact Universe)
Survival: Species Imperative #1
Migration: Species Imperative #2
Regeneration: Species Imperative #3
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The Clan Migrates 10 Dec. 2009
By Arthur W. Jordin - Published on
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Rift in the Sky (2009) is the third SF novel in the Stratification subseries of the Clan Chronicles, following Riders of the Storm. In the previous volume, Aryl fled Grona and the other Yena exiles went with her. They walked the mountain slopes, but Enris stayed on the flats.

They found an abandoned town in which the Sona Clan had dwelled. They also found the remains of the former residents. Apparently the Oud had tumbled the homes, destroyed the bridges, and diverted the water. Yet they did find stored food and supplies.

In this novel, Aryl Sarc is an Om'ray, the daughter of Taisal di Sarc. Aryl was the first to teleport through the M'hir darkness. Now she is Speaker for Sona. She recently Chose Enris and is pregnant with their first child.

Enris sud Sarc is an Om'ray. He is the Chosen of Aryl. He was an unChosen of Tauna, but joined the exiles from Yena. He is very proficient with M'hir skills.

Naryn S'udlaat is an Om'ray. She was a Choser of Tuana, but joined the exiles in Sona. She had Chosen Enris, but he rejected her. Now she is pregnant without a Chosen.

Yao Gethen is an Om'ray, the daughter of Oswa from Grona. Yao does not have the Talent to feel other Om'ray, except through the M'hir. The Sona Clan are worried that others will be born without the ability to sense their neighbors.

Oran di Caraat is an Om'ray from Grona. She is an Adept and Healer and the Choser of Bren sud Caraat. Their attempts to force Aryl to divulge the secrets of M'hir are the reason for the flight of the Yena exiles from Grona.

Marcus Bowman is a Human. He is First Triad on Cersi, responsible for all the Trade Pact archaeological sites. He has been a friend of Aryl since they met in Yena.

In this story, it is springtime in Sona. The exiles have rebuilt homes for everyone. Now they are planting the seeds found in storage. Since few are familiar with the local plants, there are questions about which is a weed or a useful plant.

Aryl and Enris are watching Yao and the other children play 'port and seek. One child 'ports and then the other searches for the first. The kids have been playing the game since they learned to teleport through the M'hir.

Enris goes to get something to eat and Aryl goes to weed the crops. She is poking at a purple plant with thorns when Naryn appears with a problem. Oran was seen coming out of the Cloisters.

At first Aryl doesn't see any problem. Then Naryn states that Oran unlocked the doors. Only Aryl has been able to do so previously and only since she became pregnant. Maybe Oran is finally pregnant.

So Aryl 'ports to the Cloisters. At first, she can't find anyone, but she feels other Sona presences within the building. She waits and Oran comes to her to admit that the Adepts are having an argument.

Aryl accompanies Oran to their concealed location and finds that the Adepts are not dreaming as they should. Although Hoyon had been appointed Keeper, he cannot dream. Aryl suggests that Oran be selected as his replacement.

Later Aryl returns to Yena and finds that the Adepts there are dreaming of Sona. She returns to Sona to find the Oran IS dreaming and that her dreams are being broadcast to every Cloister. Aryl wakes Oran and informs her of the extent of her dreams.

Then Ael sud Sarc vanishes into the M'hir. Apparently he was trying something different and couldn't return. His Choser Myris is Lost with his disappearance.

This tale eventually brings all those capable of teleporting through the M'hir to Sona. Offworld pirates raid Bowman's sites. Then the Oud start violating the Cersi Agreement.

This is the last tale in the subseries. The next volume by internal chronological order is A Thousand Words for Stranger in the Trade Pact sequence. Read and enjoy!

Highly recommended for Czerneda fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of power politics, alien cultures, and true romance.

-Arthur W. Jordin
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars This trilogy has been a slow slow slide down the star rating 11 Aug. 2014
By Tghu Verd - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed Book 1, "Reap the Wild Wind" did not enjoy Book 2, "Riders of the Storm" as much, and really this was only OK.

Which was a shame but there was a lot of padding in the plot and situations across these three novels, and ultimately my view is that three books should have been two books. Especially when it came to the ending of this novel, which felt contrived rather than a natural outcome of events.

In particular, this is the "big reveal" that has been building from the first two novels - and you need to have read them for this one to make sense - because things are coming to a head for Aryl and her disaffected tribe. But when they do it was a massive disconnect for me. No spoilers, but it was in the order of "And then she woke up..." in terms of sophistication compared to what had gone before.

And I know this is a prequel to the "Trade Pact Universe" series but it leaves so much unanswered with regards why/how Cersi works, the Agreement, the M-hir and adds a lot more questions with the "ending" that I felt shortchanged. Sure, Czerneda possibly answers them elsewhere in the Trade Pact series, but having just read three novels for so little payoff I'm disinclined to bother.

Clearly, if you've read the previous two novels you should read this one. And Czerneda writes well so overall this prequel series is pretty good. It's just that having invested in such an interesting little universe, I did not think the conclusion was worthy of the build up.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars OUCH- not what I hoped for 24 Mar. 2011
By jaymac1500 - Published on
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I'll have to say I was disappointed in this one. After reading Riders of the Storm I was highly anticipating this one. I can only say it fell far short of my expectations. The story lacked the purpose and surprise of Riders, and the end was a huge let down for me. I think the problem was the Author trying to meld/segue this series in to the pre-existing Trade Pact series. I'm still a Czerneda fan, but I feel a little ripped-off after this one.
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