Knight (A Chronicle Of Sibyl’s War book 2 of 3) by Timothy Zahn (book review).

May 24, 2019 | By | Reply More

If you kept up with my review of ‘Pawn’ this month, the sequel ‘Knight’ was released this year. Nicole Hammond is both a Sibyl and Protector on the alien starship Fyrantha. Her selection and abduction to this role is based on her ability to communicate with the starship when she doses herself with a throat spray.

I’m a bit puzzled why she thinks using it will slowly kill her when last book it was revealed that Plato had poisoned particular aerosols so the Sibyls never reveal Man are suitable warriors for the Shipmasters. There are a species pitting teams of alien species against each other to determine information to sell to other aliens as slave mercenaries. As Nicole is a recovering alcoholic, maybe she forgot.

Anyway, she is exploring the various layers of her sector of the enormous starship when she discovers a lost Ghorf, a not so bright but strong alien belonging to a Quadrant 2 repair team. Getting him home means crossing another war arena and sorting out their lack of food problem because the Shipmasters use it as a means to force them to combat for the machines.

Things aren’t helped that the Shipmasters have taken two human repair teams to test in combat now they discovered they can fight and it’s up to Nicole to save them, none of which is helped by the fact her now nemesis Bungie is in charge of the opposing team. If the Shipmasters realise how combative humans are then Earth’s location will be revealed at a price to other aliens who will take them into combat slavery.

The Fyrantha’s original purpose was to be some form of zoo although you do have to wonder at what kind of menagerie they would have selected. There is also a grey area concerning the butterfly-like Wisps who can travel to other planets to kidnap staff when the Fyrantha itself cannot go back.

For a middle book where you normally expect a holding pattern to embellish detail, ‘Knight’ actually grows the reality and develops everything with a lot of surprises and spoilers, hence me stopping the synopsis above. I do wonder how the Shipmasters got so much control considering that there doesn’t appear to be that many of them in this mile-long starship, although part of that depends on what they got access to. Then again, there aren’t that many repair teams neither so I doubt if they can rebel. There is some inkling of where the third book will go but I suspect author Timothy Zahn will point in some other directions along the way.

GF Willmetts

May 2019

(pub: TOR/Forge, 2019. 330 page small hardback. Price: $24.99 (US), $32.50 (CAN). ISBN: 978-0-7653-2967-7)

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Category: Books, Scifi

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About UncleGeoff

Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’
If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

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