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The Wreck of Heaven: Book Two of the World Gates    by Holly Lisle order for
Wreck of Heaven
by Holly Lisle
Order:  USA  Can
Eos, 2003 (2003)
* *   Reviewed by Theresa Ichino

Holly Lisle can be counted upon to spin a gripping tale, and she succeeds in doing so again with The Wreck of Heaven. This second volume in the World Gates series continues the saga of two sisters who are fated - according to their parents - to save all the worlds. The dark gods, dragons out of myth, are anxious to destroy the sisters. These dark gods feed on the death of worlds, deaths they arrange, and in so doing replenish their magic and assure their own immortality. Lauren and Molly intend to stop them.

Lisle postulates a universe where worlds are interlinked. Magical events on one world have repercussions elsewhere. It is an intriguing concept. When Molly uses her Healing powers, good things happen on Earth and other worlds; conversely, destructive magics have devastating consequences along the world-chain. Moving 'downworld' confers godlike powers on travellers. Fortunately, only a very few, like Molly's sister Lauren, have the power to weave interdimensional gates.

Lisle takes the reader on a breath-taking adventure that spans worlds and even death. Her protagonists move from event to crisis as swiftly as they move from world to world; but unlike their godlike enemy, they feel love, despair, and fear. For all the fabulous scope of her tale, and the powerful, magical characters in it, Lisle writes about people. Her characters spring to vivid life.

The protagonists are likeable as well as admirable. Molly and Lauren are motivated by their love for family and friends. This second episode is perhaps more Lauren's story than Molly's; and her generous heart encompasses not only her infant son Jake, her sister Molly, their new friends at Copper House on Oria, where they have found refuge, but also the humble little goroths, misshapen (to human eyes) creatures whose courage and loyalty dwarf their physical stature.

One of the most fascinating characters is Baanraak, a loner dark god who is feared even by his fellows. Lisle has a talent for bringing her characters to life as well as keeping the action moving. The Wreck of Heaven is a lively, entertaining read, which left me eager to find out what lies in store for Molly, Lauren, Jake and allies in the next chapter of their adventures.

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