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Lyon's Pride
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YA-This fourth book in the Raven-Lyon family saga continues the story of Damia's Children (Ace, 1993), the human-Mrdini Alliance, and their ongoing battle against the insectlike Hive creatures. McCaffrey has several story lines going at once. The human-Mrdini ships want to destroy several Hive vessels that escape from imprisonment because when the Hive colonize a planet they eliminate all sentient life. There is conflict over what to do with the captive Hive queen-some want to study her, learn more about her, and hope for peaceful co-existence, while another segment of the alliance thinks she should be killed outright. While the book is readable and well written and the characters are believable, the story is not as tight or as strong as The Rowan (1991) and Damia (1993, both Ace). Nevertheless, libraries that own the previous titles will want to purchase this one.-John Lawson, Fairfax County Public Library, VA

In this sequel to Damia's Children , the psionically Talented children of Damia Gwyn-Raven and Afra Lyon are pushed closer to the forefront of the struggle between the human Nine Star League and their alien Mrdini allies against the blind expansionism of the insect-like Hive culture that threatens both their civilizations. Rojer, like his siblings a T-1 at the most powerful level of Talent, is assigned to provide communication and transport for a squadron following a Hiver vessel. When he refuses a command by the Mrdini Captain Prtglm to launch missiles psionically against an occupied Hiver planet, he barely escapes while Prtglm kills his Mrdni companions, complicating an already delicate situation. A debate sharpens within the human community and with the Mrdini over the fate of the Hive colonies, with some humans and most of the Mrdinis holding out for complete destruction. Another large faction of humanity, which has eschewed war for generations, seeks a less bloodthirsty solution, such as isolation and containment. While McCaffrey's protagonists remain as warm and appealing as ever, her plotting here lacks vigor. Since the scene has been set for further volumes, a more rapid resolution to the Hive dilemma and the introduction of a new challenge might be in order. Science Fiction Book Club main selection; Doubleday Book Club alternate. (Feb.)

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