I've read many of Sheri Tepper's books, including the earlier novel 'A Plague of Angels' which forms a background to 'The Waters Rising'.
I agree with other reviews that it is not necessary to have read the other book first, because this novel pretty much stands on its own. Having read the previous novel a long time ago, I will say that I am glad that she chose to develop and extend the character of Abasio this second time around - he was a good character and deserves the mature treatment that he receives in this later novel.
This book was particularly enjoyable for me because the story is told in a way that is reminiscent of Tepper's earlier 'True Game' series, books which are firm favourites of mine. The story follows a young girl as she undertakes a dangerous journey which is also a journey of self-discovery and growth.
Readers who enjoyed 'True Game' and the other books which took place in the imagined True Game world will probably enjoy Tepper's story-telling in 'The Waters Rising'.
The ending of this book suggests that Tepper may not be planning to write other books set in this particular 'world' - it's a complete and satisfactory stopping point.
However, I do wonder if she hadn't developed a bit more 'back story' than would comfortably fit into the two novels. There are some long-ish passages of background information and explanation in the last third of the book which suggest that she could have been planning to extend things beyond this length (either making this into a longer novel or possibly extending things into a third book). Having included these 'talky' passages of explanation, the book is shorter than it might have been - but in my opinion it's probably the better for this. And rather than leaving you hanging, waiting for a sequel, this novel does reach a satisfactory ending, with all of the loose ends nicely pulled together.
I would strongly recommend this novel to all Sheri Tepper fans, and I'd suggest that either this book or 'True Game' would make a good starting point for anyone who has yet to discover her writing.
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