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Horizon Storms: The Saga of Seven Suns Book 3    by Kevin J. Anderson order for
Horizon Storms
by Kevin J. Anderson
Order:  USA  Can
Aspect, 2004 (2004)

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* *   Reviewed by Theresa Ichino

Horizon Storms, Book 3 of The Saga of Seven Suns, continues an epic story of intergalactic warfare. Two ancient races reappear to play a role in the titanic struggle between the hydrogues, who live in gas giants, and the verdani, sentient trees. Faeros are fiery creatures that inhabit suns. They have returned as enemies of the hydrogues, whose ruthless attacks have decimated the verdani and caused terrible pain to their linked minds.

Unknown to any of these ancient enemies, the wentals also survived the long-ago war. They are water-dwellers who have made contact with a human, Jess Tamblyn, and recruited him to spread their numbers to other water bodies. Once reduced to a pitifully small remnant of survivors, they plan to multiply and rejoin the ancient struggle. Readers of Books 1 and 2 will be glad to see that King Peter and his bride Estarra continue to successfully steer through court intrigues. Jora'h, Mage Imperator of the Ildiran empire, has succeeded to his father's position and wrestles with the many burdens of high office, not least of which are the dark secrets his father kept hidden. Like Cesca Peroni, head of the Roamers, and Basil Wenceslas, the power behind King Peter, Jora'h faces the terrible danger posed by the hydrogues. Both humans and Ildirans are proving as ineffectual as flies against the hydrogue war-globes. Other familiar characters reappear, to play their roles against this backdrop of increasingly desperate intergalactic war. Unfortunately, human (and Ildiran) nature being what it is, some manage to ignore the threat of the hydrogues and the sinister Kikliss robots to pursue their own agendas. Basil Wenceslas, for one, seems to have a positive genius for self-deception.

Horizon Storms continues to grip the reader with accounts of various characters - human, alien, and robot - who seek their goals, worthy or selfish, in the ominous shadow of impending disaster. Anderson also introduces new characters and does a good job of developing not only their story-lines but those of previous characters as well. Book 3 ends with questions that leave one anxious to read the next episode. Despite the scope of the plot and the number of characters, I found it surprisingly easy to keep track. Anderson's synopsis, 'The Story So Far', is very helpful, as are the appendices. Readers who like an epic saga about far-flung empires will enjoy all three Seven Suns volumes.

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