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Ancient Light Hardcover – 18 Aug 1988

5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Hardcover, 18 Aug 1988
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Product details

  • Hardcover: 736 pages
  • Publisher: Orbit; New edition edition (18 Aug. 1988)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 009934940X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099349402
  • Product Dimensions: 17.4 x 11 x 4.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 809,978 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

The sequel to Golden Witchbreed


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Top Customer Reviews

By Clare O'Beara TOP 500 REVIEWER on 24 Jun. 2012
Format: Hardcover
This is the sequel to Golden Witchbreed which brought an ambassador to the planet Orthe. I read this first and found it an excellent book, well written and full of description of a people and planet like, but unlike, ours. However if you have not previously read it, you should read Ursula LeGuin's The Left Hand of Darkness first which is the archetypal tale of an ambassador to such a planet.
In this book the ambassador has returned after some years and diplomacy has progressed so that equipment is being imported to Orthe. Weaponry is not permitted, but as we are reminded, anything can be used as a weapon. The native people are derived from reptiles and are greatly suspicious of the artefacts of their previous ruling class, the golden witchbreed. No wonder, as we learn that the witchbreed were more malevolent and destructive than we had realised.
By the end it all goes horribly wrong and Gentle said that she wanted to create a Jacobean tragedy, with the stage littered with bodies at the closing curtain. Had she not done that, she could have invited us back to Orthe, her finest creation, at any time; so she and her readers are both the losers. Having read this first and admired it I was able to read the previous book so maybe that after all is the best approach to take.
I have never been able to get into any other books by Gentle. If you have not enjoyed her other works, do give the Orthe duet a try as the first in particular is a wonderful adventure full of excellently drawn characters.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0x9667ab10) out of 5 stars 9 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9668e7e0) out of 5 stars Even better than the first 3 Mar. 2003
By C. Asher - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It's hard, if not impossible, for any sequel to live up to a really good book, but this one succeeds wonderfully. In this book, the human Lynne Christie returns to Orthe as an employee of an exploitative multinational company looking to make Orthe it's new market. Christie is hoping to minimize cultural disruptions to a people she came to love.
The book is darker than the first, with a much different pace. It's a serious look at how destructive culture clash can be, and in this case the results are total. Be warned : if you like happy endings, this one's not for you. But it's a remarkable book, and it deserves a spot on your shelf.
13 of 15 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9668e834) out of 5 stars Ancient Light 27 July 2002
By K. Freeman - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
It's almost impossible to assign this book a numerical rating. It's an intelligent book, a book of good qualities, but it's also something I wish I hadn't read.
Ancient Light marks the return of Christie "S'aranth" to Orthe, now in the pay of an exploitative vaguely John Company-esque corporation. Will Witchbreed technology be rediscovered? What harm will the Company do post-holocaust Orthe? And how will Christie reinvent her relationships with her former friends and rivals?
Hampered by a slowly unfolding, jerkily paced and overly complex plot, this is at times a powerful book. It's powerful enough, especially taken with its wonderful prequel, to make me care; to make me care a lot.
And that's why I wish I hadn't read it. Without wanting to spoil the ending... to say that it's depressing is an understatement. It hurts. I suspect the book is a parable about interference and exploitation. It's not an unintelligent treatment. But it's not, by any stretch of the imagination, fun to read.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x97606648) out of 5 stars WONDERFUL 1 Oct. 1999
By L. French - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
What a terrific book! In fact, I'm sorry I read it because I can find no other works like it, and I would so enjoy repeating the discovery. Gentle's alien world is spellbinding and her prose is solid. You won't be disappointed.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x96b6a6e4) out of 5 stars Almost a masterpiece 21 Jan. 1999
By flying-monkey - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a big novel of human disruption of an alien culture that they don't really understand. At one level it can be read as a political parable of First World interference in other cultures on our own planet, but it has many levels, and many complex engaging characters both Orthean and human. There are minor problems with it especially in small inconsistencies that get lost in the twists and turns of the poltical intrigue in the plot. The influence of Frank Herbert's Dune sequence seems clear as is that of Ursula Le Guin, but the book is all the better for that. Overall, definitely worth reading, but not quite entirely satisfying.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9668ecfc) out of 5 stars Difficult to categorize. 2 Sept. 2009
By Duchess - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Before you read this review, I would suggest please look at K Freemans'. It is a very well written review since it describes the feelings to the tee.

And yes, Lynne de Lisle Christie returns to Orthean world to help mediate PanOcania, a company bent upon getting Golden Witchbreed's artefacts to learn their science. It is exploitation and it has that fatalistic turn that once Earth has entered Carrick V nothing will ever be the same and again and again..........you wish that Earth envoy should have stayed away. Could the phrase "all knowledge is worth acquiring" ever hit a bigger snag than here in this book.........I don't think so. The pathos, the sadness, the desire for what was lost in the Golden empire, the post holocaust depression, and the inevitable feeling, it can never be the same ever again.

And you do get so involved in the book that by the end, you know and care about these humans and aliens and yes, exactly, it hurts. And it stays with you. And on a semiconscious level, you also think it can happen to us and probably will without even anyone interferring in future.
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