The Best of All Possible Worlds

The Best of All Possible Worlds
Karen Lord
Del Rey

The Best of All Possible Worlds is set in a future time on a planet name Cygnus Beta. On this planet all different kinds of humans mix. The Sadiri, the victims of the destruction of their home-world should fit in well. Grace Delarua finds herself working with the Sadiri on an expedition to find communities who would have suitable brides for the now mostly male Sadiri. The Sadiri are the elite of the universe. Trained in mental exercises to control their emotions and gifted with psychic powers, they are a challenging people to accompany. Dllenahkh is the head of the Sadiri part of the expedition and he is a constant puzzle and challenge to Delarua.

This novel is an episodic travel story in the best way. As the group winds their way across the planet, they encounter everything from slavers to elves. Yet what drives the story is not the oddities they encounter, but the demons they find within themselves.
The characters are richly developed and continue to grow and reveal themselves through the book. I thoroughly enjoyed watching the people learn about themselves. Karen Lord gives us all the necessary information early in the book, yet we, like the characters, don’t put everything together until the end of the story.

I would recommend this book to anyone who enjoys sociological science fiction, or stories of travel and adventure in strange lands, or people who just enjoy strong characters. I finished the book hoping that Karen would write another book in this universe so I could learn more about the places and people she has created.

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