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The Dark Foundations
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With "The Shadow and Night," we barely saw the beginnings of Chris Walley's epic Lamb Among the Stars series. Evil returned to the Assembly Worlds after thousands of years of peace and contentment. Then-Forester Merral D'Avanos discovered the intrusion on the distant planet of Farholme, but before he and his friends could warn the rest of the Assembly, their space Gate was destroyed, cutting off communication and swift travel between their planets. "The Dark Foundations" wastes no time in expanding the story immensely by revealing the two opposing forces in this interstellar struggle--both the Assembly and the Dominion of Lord-Emperor Nezhuala. While Farholme is the central battle in this struggle, the forces in play stretch across the galaxy with consequences for trillions of people. Nezhuala seeks nothing less than total conquest of the Assembly, and Farholme is but his first beachhead. A group of diplomats arrive first, attempting to convince Farholme to join the Dominion peaceably. Merral, now Commander of Farholme's fledgling defense force, and his friends are faced with evil and deception unlike anything they've faced in their lives... even as the corruption of sin spreads throughout their own society. While Walley broadens the scope and scale of this sci-fi epic, he manages to return the focus to his core characters (and a few new ones) for the majority of the volume. Merral, Vero, et al, who became real to readers in the first part of this series, continue their development, in many ways. Merral himself faces struggles both personal and spiritual, leading to a beautiful climax between good and evil. At the same time, Walley develops some of the unique sci-fi/spiritual concepts he introduced earlier, such as Below-Space and the Dominion's demonic connections, as well as introducing new and even more fascinating concepts (such as a sci-fi equivalent to the Tower of Babel). Despite its length, this entire series doesn't f

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