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Posted August 15, 2011
This review is from my mentor, friend, and Literary Agent, David Ayscue, who passed away last year. Thanks for everything, David. You are missed!
The author describes this book as "an alien family saga." This tale is suitable for science fiction readers who enjoy reading stories from the alien point of view. This book fits the niche that includes Robert Sawyer's FAR-SEER, Lisanne Norman's SHOLAN ALLIANCE series, and David Brin's Trilogy which included INFINITY'S SHORE. Her book is not exactly like any of the above, but probably most like Robert Sawyer's FAR-SEER, and its sequels. In his books, human involvement with the Quintaglios is zero, whereas the characters in ON MATISSIA WINGS have some contact with humanity. This brief contact forever changes the Furlitian people in more ways than they ever imagined possible.
Human bias generally assumes most sentient civilized alien life must be humanoid or primate-based, which may not be the reality at all. With a twist on an old theme, the author stresses in subtle ways through Furlitian culture, how real freedom and personal responsibility can help any society produce good people, without any strict taboos, religious fanaticism, and overbearing governments. I have also compared it to E. R. Eddings, though this author's books are far more science fiction than fantasy - once you accept the premise, of course, of a world where primates never evolved, and where furred dinosaurs became the dominant species . who now have a space program . which leads them to . our world.
The illustrations -- a mix of freehand artwork, real photos, and computer-generated graphics -- include detailed hand drawings of her characters. The six plates, plus the cover are integral to the book. Who knows better what a Furlite looks like than their creator?
There is a sequel, EARTH-BRED; MATISSIA-BORN, which is, perhaps, an even better story.
There is a third book in this series, which is as yet unfinished. The world is fully realized; the depth of characterization is . epic, wondrous; and, frankly, I think this author is a great storyteller.
Reminiscent in some respects of Military SF, in the tradition of Heinlein and Asimov, told from the point of view of the aliens -- they are PEOPLE, with their own culture, and . they are better people than we are.
A remarkable book, deserving of publication, I think, or I would not have done all that I have done to help this author realize her dream of seeing her own trilogy for sale in bookstores everywhere.