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The Well of Shiuan cover The Well of Shiuan by C.J. Cherryh

Published by DAW Books

Reviewed by Leigh Kimmel

At the end of Gate of Ivrel, exiled native warrior Nhi Vayne i Chya followed Morgaine through the Gate in the belief that honor demanded it. Beyond it he finds a world utterly unlike his own, something his pre-scientific worldview can barely handle.

Shiuan is a drowning world whose moon was broken in some ancient catastrophe involving the Gates, which the people of this world call Wells. The humans who live among the marshes have legends of a mountainous homeland on the far side of the Wells. They also recall stories of Morgaine, whom they call Morgen-Angharan of the white gull feather.

When Vanye encounters Mija Jhirun Ela's-daughter, inhabitant of Shiuan and like himself an outcast, he finds her culture both alien and familiar. In time he realizes that her people are from his own world. Although time has mutated their language, the connections remain recognizable.

However, there is their mission, to close the Gates that carry the power to destroy time itself if misused. That is opposed not only by Jhirun's people, who see in them a way to escape their hopeless lives in a dying world, but by an old enemy from Vanye's own world. Chya Roh i Chya, his body taken over by an ancient qhal sorceror, has followed Vanye and Morgaine, thirsting for revenge.

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This review posted October 18, 2000

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