The Waters Rising

( 11 )

Overview

A dreadful, awesome killing power is resurrected from the past . . .
Powers are invoked and curses are being laid . . .
Great waters are rising and changing the world . . .

Long ago was the “Big Kill,” horrible, apocalyptic events that destroyed nearly every living thing on earth. Since then the last of humankind has scattered into widespread small kingdoms separated by ...

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The Waters Rising: A Novel

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Overview

A dreadful, awesome killing power is resurrected from the past . . .
Powers are invoked and curses are being laid . . .
Great waters are rising and changing the world . . .

Long ago was the “Big Kill,” horrible, apocalyptic events that destroyed nearly every living thing on earth. Since then the last of humankind has scattered into widespread small kingdoms separated by superstition, war, and fear. And now, while facing a natural catastrophe that threatens to drown a world, an ancient evil resurfaces and may prevent any chance of survival.

With the future of humankind at stake, a small band of disparate charac­ters—a lonely child, a loyal servant, a mysterious wanderer, and a most unusual horse—sets out on a journey fraught with peril and wonder . . . a sacred mission that leaves no room for failure. . . .

Deeply original in scope and vision, The Waters Rising is a daring and remarkable work of speculative fiction—a tour de force from one of the most revered writers of our time.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
The Earth of this futuristic fable is still scarred by the "Big Kill," the disastrous crescendo of our civilization that all but obliterated terrestrial life. Now a new threat has appeared in the form of rising sea levels, a process that appears unbounded by such petty concerns as a plausible source for all that water. Xulai, initially an unimportant and expendable young girl, encounters a specter from the days of Big Kill, an entity bent on preventing Xulai from realizing her potential role in the salvation of humanity. "Ecofeminist" Tepper (The Margarets) balances pointed criticisms of our era with a calamity that appears to owe far more to Genesis than to science, but the writing is slick and carefully crafted, Xulai has plenty of pluck, and her companions possess a nearly ideal mixture of virtues, flaws, and enthusiasm for redemptive sacrifice. (Sept.)
Denver Post
“Tepper holds up a funhouse glass to customs and mores many of us take for granted. . . . She provides a good story, with sympathetic characters and plenty to think about.”
The Guardian
“This lyrical, beautifully written novel transcends the sum of its parts to become a parable of survival and hope in hopeless times.”
Iron Mountain Daily News
The Waters Rising, stands as a thoughtful allegory for environmentalism.”
Booklist
“Tepper has developed a dependable following with works that have an epic fantasy feel but that ultimately reveal logically consistent scientific trappings. This work is no exception, a successful blend of dying-earth fantasy and wicked-witch fable.”
Wichita Eagle
“The Waters Rising” delivers a strong, complex story that poses tough questions and demands a new look at the possibilities of the future.”
Kirkus Reviews

Long-range quasi-sequel to the post-catastrophe yarn A Plague of Angels (1993), another odd blend of magic, science fiction and idealism.

Perhaps a thousand years after various man-made disasters culminated in the Big Kill, the world, for the most part, is peaceful and agrarian. Technology is largely forgotten—except where the plot requires otherwise—but, for some never-explained reason, the seas are rising due to a vast and unrelenting ingress of fresh water. In Norland, the dying Princess Xu-i-lok makes a last request of her "soul carrier," Xulai, to venture into the haunted woods and retrieve a mysterious gem. Fortunately Xulai will have the assistance and companionship of Abasio, the hero of the previous book, now a traveling dyer, and Blue, his talking horse. Xu-i-lok tells Xulai to swallow the gem and then dies. Xulai, formerly childlike in body and mind, abruptly becomes a young woman, with many of Xu-i-lok's memories and abilities. Her task is now to convey Xu-i-lok's soul home to distant Tingawa—a meandering journey with frequent lengthy pauses for description or genealogical recitation. Xu-i-lok was murdered by the unspeakable Alicia, Duchess of Altamont, who plans to rule Norland with her homicidal mother, Mirami. Lurking in the background is the Old Dark Man, Alicia's sponsor, a monster from ancient times. Unfortunately, the evildoers are evil because they were programmed that way, so their motives hold no interest, and the plot must be urged forward by periodic gushes of improbable exposition.

For 20 years Tepper has turned in one dazzling performance after another, but not even her formidable talents can rescue much from this wreckage.

Wichita Eagle
“The Waters Rising” delivers a strong, complex story that poses tough questions and demands a new look at the possibilities of the future.”
Booklist
“Tepper has developed a dependable following with works that have an epic fantasy feel but that ultimately reveal logically consistent scientific trappings. This work is no exception, a successful blend of dying-earth fantasy and wicked-witch fable.”
Iron Mountain Daily News
The Waters Rising, stands as a thoughtful allegory for environmentalism.”
The Guardian
“This lyrical, beautifully written novel transcends the sum of its parts to become a parable of survival and hope in hopeless times.”
Denver Post
“Tepper holds up a funhouse glass to customs and mores many of us take for granted. . . . She provides a good story, with sympathetic characters and plenty to think about.”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780061958878
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 8/31/2010
  • Pages: 498
  • Product dimensions: 5.90 (w) x 9.10 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author

Sheri S. Tepper is the author of more than thirty novels, including 1993’s A Plague of Angels, which is set in the same world as The Waters Rising. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 11 )
Rating Distribution

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Sort by: Showing all of 11 Customer Reviews
  • Posted July 6, 2012

    Sheri Tepper still spins a great yarn

    I have most of Sheri Tepper's books, and I still don't know how one would categorize her genre: a lot of sci-fi, a good helping of fantasy, and characters and situations so startling and fantastic that they're in a class by themselves. This tale is no different. It's of a future in which the land of, one assumes earth, but one is never sure, is slowly shrinking. The seas are rising and will eventually - probably in the lifetime of the main characters - encompass the globe. As is her wont, Ms. Tepper gathers a fascinating troupe of characters – some good, some hideously evil and a number that will eventually reveal their complexities. A motley group treks toward the shoreline to discuss the coming loss of land with the "sea people," while a power play rages around and endangers them. One of these travelers carries within her a mysterious object, the possible salvation of land dwellers when there is no more dry terrain. The story is complex and convoluted, but as I've found with all of Sheri Tepper's books, well worth waiting until she wraps up the loose ends in her own good time. I thoroughly enjoyed it, and as with her other books, will probably revisit it several more times.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted July 31, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    enjoyable post apocalyptic cautionary thriller

    The Big Kill has left the earth shattered as most life died during the pandemic mass murders by the unseen Slaughterers. However, the survivors of the onslaught have no respite as a second potentially deadly threat has arisen. In places like Norland, the sea is overwhelming land masses with decreasingly safe places to stay.

    Young Xulai is a no more than a superfluous gnat in the scheme of those struggling with surviving the rising waters. When she meets an apparent Slaughterer apparition, she flees for her life. However, unlike her species who feels she is a throwaway to disregard, that deadly beast recognizes her potential as the only person who could save mankind. To insure the extinction of humanity this predator goes after Xulai planning to kill her.

    Returning to the Plague of Angels realm, The Waters Rising is a clever enjoyable post apocalyptic thriller that deftly uses a Noah like tale to disparage current societies for their disregard and abuse of the planet. The cautionary story line is fast-paced as a frightened heroine arises amidst the shrinking livable land. Readers (except for deniers) will relish Xulai's coming of age escapades as she and her idealistic cohorts simply hope and pray they can save mankind though some of them doubt whether humanity deserves a third chance.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2014

    Time: The Rising

    &star<_>~ The Rising <br> &starf&starf&starf&starf&starf&starf<_>~ Blaze's Father <p> It was rocky and warm, the land was mostly slates of rock. Snakes were everywhere, even adder. <p> Blaze sniffed the air for the scent of a cat, and smelled a long lost scent. Almost familiar... <p> He followed his nose to the bones of a shecat, where he picked up a fresher scent. Somecat had been here. He followed it to a tom, who was stalking a snake. <br> "Why would you-" <br> "SHHHH!" The tom hissed. The snake darted down the rock with extraordinary speed. "You caused me to lose a-" the tom turned. "Blaze?" <br> "Pardon?" <br> "You... you can't be..." <br> "What did I miss? Are you Viper?" <br> "Blaze! You're my son!" <p> [({very Star Wars-y moment...})] <p> "I... You... Viper?" <br> "Yes, I am Viper." <br> "I need to find ten other special cats and bring them to a weird rock that glows and-" <br> "Woah! Slow down there, kid. Special? That ain't me." <br> "Well, a dream told me..." <br> "Look, dreams aren't real. But I'm gonna help you anyway." Blaze looked shocked. <br> "But... But-" <br> "I said I'd help. Now lets go get Amethyst." <br> "Wait... you know her?" <br> "Of course! Do you?" <br> "No, she was one of the cats I needed to bring to that rock in my dream."

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