Marilee J. Layman (mjlayman) wrote,
Marilee J. Layman

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The Chronicles of Mavin Manyshaped by Sherri Tepper

This is the second trilogy in the True Game series. I reviewed the first trilogy here.

I enjoyed reading this more mostly because it's in third person and the writing is much better. The shape of the trilogy is odd. The first trilogy, The True Game, is sequential. This one isn't. The first and third books have to do with the overall story, but the second book is an odd visit to another country.

Mavin is a shifter and as she gets older in her Shifter house, she learns that female Shifters might as well be in brothels and she decides to get out. Shifters are supposed to be able to change to one or two other shapes, but Mavin practices and changes not only to many other shapes, but to imagined shapes. She finds a way to make her older sister, Handbright, leave, and Shifts to Handbright's shape and kills the worst of the rapers in the house. She immediately leaves the house with her younger brother, Mertyn, who we know from the first trilogy will become a King and important in that story. During their travels they meet many people, including Himaggery (in the first trilogy, which is set later, we learn he's her mate) and Windlow, also active in the first trilogy. Mavin has a critical part to play in cleansing plague from Mertyn and everybody else in the city and in the process, meets aliens.

The second book starts with a different character on another continent. The animals have become giant and the people have moved into a chasm, living on bridges made of the roots of giant trees. This is a fascinating culture and I would have liked to have more of it. Mavin saves the first character, finds Handbright is stuck mindless on one of the bridges and is pregnant, and helps save the bridges from creatures deep in the chasm. Handbright dies in the pregnancy and her lover was earlier changed into a non-human form, so Mavin takes the twin boys back to Shifter land. She names them, so we know them as young adults in the first trilogy.

The third book spends a short amount of time giving an idea of Mavin's exploring. This is something she can do more safely than anybody else because of her Shifter ability. In the first book, Windlow says he Sees Mavin and Himaggery back in that city in 20 years. So she changes to herself, cleans up, and waits on the balcony and he doesn't come. She finds a note from Windlow -- Himaggery set off eight years ago to find the answer to a mystery and hadn't replied or returned. Her search for Himaggery is harrowing. This is a tenser book than the others and held me closer to the story.

I liked this trilogy a lot, but I don't think you should read it without reading The True Game first, and that's not very well written.
Tags: books

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