In NOTHING SACRED, Elizabeth Ann Scarborough took a detour from her humorous classic and contemporary fantasies to write her “obligatory science fiction writer’s end-of-the-world book.” The bad news is the world has ended. The good news is LAST REFUGE is the sequel.*Why does the end of the world seem so much more dire than the end of our own lives, since, according to modern non-theology based theory, we won’t know the difference one way or the other. Using the Tibetan Buddhist background of NOTHING SACRED, the answer to that was, if the Buddhists are right, when the end of the world comes not only will our own present lives be ended, but there will be no life forms left into which we may reincarnate.
The children of Kalapa compound, safe from the war and the aftermath as it is felt in most of the world, discover that the problems work in reverse in Shambala. Babies are born there at a deliberately amazing rate but no one dies within the borders. Consequently, in time, there are no unembodied spirits in Shambala left to inhabit the babies, cursing the poor children with a spiritual birth defect.
Heir to the duties of Ama-La, young Chime Cincinnati, as the guide to Shambala, cannot rest until she leaves the safety of the compound to lead refugees to it. She is helped in this by Mike, a young man who has always been like an older brother to her.
These two face all of the standard fantasy characters, but with a Tibetan twist——there is an evil wizard who is king of his own compound, a hideously evil demon who is enough to give anyone nightmares, a yeti, an American princess, and far too many ghosts, not to mention Mu Mao the magnificent, a reincarnated wise man who was good enough to finally be allowed to ascend to life as a cat.