The Barnes & Noble Review
A madman, seeking to reclaim his father's lands, leads a group of fellow madmen across a wasteland, guided only by the group's shared vision of a tower, a star, and a cave of suns. As they make their way across the desert, they're mysteriously pulled east, always east...
Before this story is over, we will find ourselves witness to a war between old powers fought on the cellular level of the planet and its creatures. Strange alliances are made, forgotten sciences and the erased history of mankind are revealed, and an ancient enemy with the power to remake the world extends its evil hands.
Hammerfall, which is considered C. J. Cherryh's first new science fiction universe in 30 years, promises to be the beginning of a larger story that will span generations. Cherryh's work here shows her usual brilliant imagination and awe-inspiring scope. This novel lets her do the two things she does best: create worlds and breathe life into new and fascinating characters. (Jim Killen)
A brand-new universe with brand-new rules.
Brought before the powerful ruler known as the Ila, the madman known as Marak receives a command to seek out the silver tower of his mad dreams and return with the knowledge of what the tower holds. Marak discovers, however, that reaching his destination is only the beginning of a greater and more dangerous journey. Cherryh's latest novel introduces a new universe of fallen technologies and warring interstellar empires, divine madness and world-shattering weaponry. The author of Fortress in the Eye of Time begins a new series with a powerful story that features a hero marked by his visions to save or destroy his world. A good choice for most sf collections. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
Advent of a new far-future series, from the author of Fortress of Dragons (2000), Precursor (1999), etc. A rebel against the omnipotent Ila, Marak Trin Tain guards lifelong his secret madnessvoices speak his name and urge him to travel east; he beholds visions of a silver tower and a cave of sunsuntil his warlord father surrenders him to the Ila's soldiers. They conduct Marak and other sufferers across the vast desert to the city Oburan. Here, with a red-robed au'it to record everything, the Ila instructs Marak to seek the source of the madness in the East. Organizing a caravan, Marak and his fellow-mad cross the desert, enjoying various adventures. Finally, the survivors reach their destination: the silver tower is real. Here, Luz explains that the Ila is immortal; she has nanomachines in her body, and used them to create the world as Marak knows it. Luz, equipped with different nanos, infected the mad with her own brand. Now, the enemies of the Ila's ancestors, the ondat, are determined to destroy both the Ila and her world. Luz offers Marak a way to save himself and many others from the bombardment that will shortly destroy everything but a protected enclave around the silver tower: he must return to Oburan to persuade the Ila and all her people to march into the desert. Plenty of gritty desert trekking, but no recognizable plot: a threadbare scenario that's little more than elaborate stage-setting for the series to come. Very disappointing.
"A brand-new universe with brand-new rules."