marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,
marycatelli
marycatelli

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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