Publishers Weekly - Publisher's Weekly
A knotty philosophical question--how moral is ``eye for an eye'' revengesince it's a said to be a `question' -- preoccupies Bear in this provocative and entertaining follow-up to Forge of God . The earlier book described the destruction of earth by self-replicating roots who wanted to use the planet's mass to create more robotic creatures. Now a small group of human survivors is determined to achieve justice by tracking down the criminal race and destroying their home system. The band of survivors, which includes women and children, have borrowed a starship--called the Ship of the Law and made of ``fragments of the Earth's corpse''--from friendly aliens, and with it they scour the universe until they locate the aberrant society and exact revenge. Employing plausible new hard-science concepts, Bear fashions an action-packed and often thrilling plot; by using each of the well-depicted alien races to mirror human behavior, he defines what it means to be Homo sapiens. Bear draws on the full range of his gifts `top of his form' in another second-drop review here, seamlessly pulling together action since `plot' so nearly synonymous with `story' below and characterization to create `fashion' used above a gripping story. (May)
One alien culture has destroyed Earth; another, called the Benefactors, has offered the survivors a chance for revenge by building a spaceship for a group of young volunteers whose goal is the extermination of their enemy. Like Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game ( LJ 2/15/85), this sequel to The Forge of God ( LJ 9/15/87) explores the issues of morality and justice, using children as its vehicle. Bear's treatment differs, however, in that his characters have already lost their innocence and face their destiny with open eyes. As a stylist, Bear writes with a heady brilliance that communicates a sense of immediacy and credibility. A good choice for any library's sf collection. Previewed in Prepub Alert, LJ 1/92.
From the Publisher
“Like Orson Scott Card's Ender's Game, this sequel to The Forge of God explores the issues of morality and justice, using children as its vehicle. Bear's treatment differs, however, in that his characters have already lost their innocence and face their destiny with open eyes. As a stylist, Bear writes with a heady brilliance that communicates a sense of immediacy and credibility.” Library Journal on Anvil of Stars
“One of the outstanding sf novels of the current year is also the best book so far from an author whose versatility is continually growing. Literate hard-science or alien invasion novels are no longer rare, but a book such as this, which effectively blends these concepts and is also compellingly written, is a joy to behold.” ALA Booklist on The Forge of God