Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Grass, Book Review

Sheri Tepper
ISBN: 9780553762464
Published: 1993

Pros: several complex plot lines that all get resolved satisfactorily, interesting characters that develop over the course of the book, detailed world building - for the planet Grass as well as Earth and the rest of the universe (even though the rest of the universe isn't mentioned much)

Cons: can't think of any

Grass is a novel I read in University. Unlike all the other books I read for my SF/Fantasy class, when this book came into the store I had no recollection of it. I couldn't even remember if I liked it. All I could remember was a vague idea about how one portion of the plot gets resolved.

So I reread Grass as though reading it for the first time. And it is a terrific novel. So much is happening and yet Tepper keeps it all tight, and resolves all the various ends that a lesser author would have left hanging.

Grass is a planet with no reports of plague victims in a universe of worlds dying of the plague.

Lady Marjorie Westriding Yarier and her family are sent by Sanctity, the dominant religion in the universe (though they are old catholics), to see if it really is free of plague, and/or if there is a cure for the plague on the planet. They are chosen because the nobles on Grass ride the hunt, and the Yarier family is good with horses.

Unknown to them, the bons ride Hippae, and the Hippae are not horses. They are malevolent creatures with unknown motivations.

The green brothers live on Grass, digging up the ruins of a civilization that died out centuries before. A race that may have died of the plague.

There are a lot of politics and a lot of revelations you won't be prepared for. It's a creepy novel at some parts, a tragic one at others. It is well worth the read.

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