From Publishers Weekly
Gutsy Alivet Dee sets out to save her sister from alien slavery but ends up rescuing much more in this fantastic, whirlwind tale. A descendent of 16th-century mathematician and alchemist John Dee, Alivet resides on a planet known as Latent Emanation, a foggy fen where humans live under the rule of the cruel Lords of Night. When the Lords select Alivet's twin, Inki, to serve as their slave, Alivet, a budding apothecary and alchemist who longs to discover the origin of her people, vows to pay Inki's "unbonding" fee. Before she can save enough money, a bizarre accident puts her life in jeopardy and leads her to form a tenuous alliance with the Poison Master, a secretive man possessing red eyes, an intimate knowledge of deadly toxins and a desire to find the substance that will annihilate the Lords. During her quest, Alivet visits two richly imagined planets: Hathes, a bitterly cold place where assassination is commonplace; and Nethes, a hot planet where Alivet first learns of Earth. The book's various cultures and characters are fascinating, but what makes this story unusual is its historical breadth and its consideration of the spiritual and supernatural. Part alien adventure and part existential exploration, this top-notch tale establishes Williams (Empire of Bones) as an author to watch.
Copyright 2002 Reed Business Information, Inc.
On the planet Latent Emanation, alchemist Alivet saves every penny she earns for her sister's unbonding fee. Unfortunately, her plan to save her sister from the Night Lords crumbles when a client dies as a result of one of her formulations. Thereafter, on the run from the Night Lords' human minions, the Unpriests, she is offered a chance for survival by the mysterious figure she had noticed following her around the city--Ghairen, a poison master from Hathes. He needs her alchemical skills to find the drug to destroy the Night Lords. She agrees to help, but then, as a virtual prisoner in Ghairen's home, told conflicting stories by everyone she meets, she becomes unsure of whom to trust. She remains certain, however, that destroying the Night Lords will free her sister, and she determines that that is what she will do, whatever the truth of the tales she has been told. The alchemical and kabbalistic underpinnings of Williams' fantasy world give it an edge over similar rescue sagas. Regina SchroederCopyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved