Marcher Lord Press
Daystar by Kathy Tyers is a follow up novel to the Firebird books. Meris Cariole, the protagonist in this book is forced to hitch a ride with her friend on a Sentinel ship. Her decision to pursue a career in stasis has displeased her parents and her money is cut off. All she needs to do is get to Tallis to get through her internship.
A solar storm from Sabba Six-Alpha changes everyone’s plans. They end up making an emergency landing on Procyel. Procyel is the holiest sanctuary for the Sentinels. It is a place of reverence and safety for everyone on the ship. Everyone but Meris. No non-sentinels are allowed on Procyel. Meris finds a way to make herself useful to avoid being put into Tardema sleep.
Meris is a rational, open minded young woman, and Annalah is a good friend, but being the only person on the planet who is not a Sentinel is a very difficult thing. What makes it especially challenging is the irrational faith that the Sentinels cling to. It is almost directly opposed to the litanies and philosophies of the Collegium. When a man shows up making extraordinary claims it rocks the whole community.
I really like this book. Kathy Tyers is taking on a very familiar story and putting her own unique spin on it. I found myself constantly wondering how she was going to manage the next part of the story and I constantly found myself being surprised at the way that she could put twists and turns into the story that I didn’t expect.
The ending left me both flabbergasted and delighted. Without risking any spoilers, I think it is safe to say that I haven’t read many books that end in such a way.
The characters in the book are very well drawn. Meris is a wounded young woman who turns to rational thinking to escape her fear and pain. Each of the Sentinels is their person without any stereotyping or shortcuts. They live and learn and fight like real people.
This book, of all Marcher Lord Press books, has the most religious discussion. Yet I don’t think that the faith aspect of the book will be something that will put off mainstream readers. There is no preaching or moralizing just a terrific story of people working through both hope and fear.