marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,

The Zero Stone

The Zero Stone by Andre Norton

Talk about opening in medias res.  Jern appears fleeing for his life from the killers of his mentor -- a cult called the Green Robes, which usually avoided off-worlders, this time selected "randomly" for human sacrifice two of them, a gemologist and his apprentice Jern.

Jern's father had been deep in the Thieves' Guild, bought his way out, and then got Jern the apprenticeship that he might go farther, with a background having no links to crime.  He also gave him the title stone, in a ring, before he was murdered in his office by someone who tortured him and tore apart the room, looking for something.

And in the present day, he finds refuge in a sanctuary, and tries to book flight on a Free Trader vessel.

He gets it.  And there, on another planet, he finds something that the ship cat eats before giving birth to Eet.  Whereupon Eet acts.  A lot.  Indeed, his role thereafter bears some resemblance to Watson in the wake of Sherlock Holmes.  Plenty of action and adventure.  Probably could have stood a bit more tight of a plot, but it can certainly bear you along.
Tags: fiction reviews: sf

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