Hand of Prophecy

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( 51 ratings by Goodreads )
 
9780380976393: Hand of Prophecy

With her highly acclaimed first novel, Speaking Dreams, Severna Park has emerged as a powerful new voice in thought-provoking science fiction. In Hand of Prophecy, she once again launches readers into a spellbinding universe of brutality, betrayal, triumph, and love.

A galaxy whirls in conflicts as tyrant slavers prepare to roar back and realm the frontier planets wrested from them generations ago. Living on one of the forfeited worlds they covet most in Frenna, bred for bondage and given a virus that guarantees tow decades of youth for servitude, followed by an agonizing death. But then she learns an amazing secret: the end is not inevitable. It seems impossible, but there is an escape. An antidote. A cure.

Yet Frenna's escape is into an exotic, bloodswept world, a fierce arena where muscled slaves wage brutal battle for their masters' amusement. Frenna has become a medic: her job is to administer a mercifully quick end to the mortally wounded. Nut she still carries the secret of unfathomable freedom. And as warships arrive in conquest, this last hope must endure in a murderous domain of monstrous holograms and irresistible deadly potions. In the final frenzy, sisters and lovers, killers and saviors, all will be swept together in a maelstrom of annihilation, survival--and redemption.

With her highly acclaimed first novel, Speaking Dreams, Severna Park has emerged as a powerful new voice in thought-provoking science fiction. In Hand of Prophecy, she once again launches readers into a spellbinding universe of brutality, betrayal, triumph, and love.

A galaxy whirls in conflicts as tyrant slavers prepare to roar back and realm the frontier planets wrested from them generations ago. Living on one of the forfeited worlds they covet most in Frenna, bred for bondage and given a virus that guarantees tow decades of youth for servitude, followed by an agonizing death. But then she learns an amazing secret: the end is not inevitable. It seems impossible, but there is an escape. An antidote. A cure.

Yet Frennas escape is into an exotic, bloodswept world, a fierce arena where muscled slaves wage brutal battle for their masters amusement. Frenna has become a medic: her job is to administer a mercifully quick end to the mortally wounded. Nut she still carries the secret of unfathomable freedom. And as warships arrive in conquest, this last hope must endure in a murderous domain of monstrous holograms and irresistible deadly potions. In the final frenzy, sisters and lovers, killers and saviors, all will be swept together in a maelstrom of annihilation, survival--and redemption.

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Review:

Severna Park's first novel, Speaking Dreams, was nominated for the Lambda Literary Award, which recognizes excellence in gay and lesbian literature. Park deftly avoids the forced mishmash of high-tech lingo that mars many other new ventures in science fiction. The slave culture she has created in Hand of Prophecy comes to life in spare, harsh detail; the plot is driven with whiplash intensity.

Frenna is a slave, bred for bondage and injected with a virus that guarantees 20 years of youth while in servitude, followed by an agonizing death when the virus "Fails." After she discovers a way to survive Failure, she begins to throw off her inbred mantle of obeisance. She escapes from Olney, the slaver who owns her, only to find herself trapped, without allies, in a place more brutal than anything she's ever known. Troah, a deposed prophetess, takes an instant disliking to Frenna and immediately sets out to make life difficult for her, perhaps fatally so.

To survive, Frenna will have to conquer 1,000 years of genetically engineered complacency and find someone to trust in a world that seems utterly devoid of the good things that make us human. Hand of Prophecy is a compelling read--electric with fear, reeking of danger, and achingly realistic. --Jhana Bach

About the Author:

Severna Park has been a lecturer and reader for the Women in Science Fiction program at the University of Maryland. She has also been an itinerant artist, a world traveler, a political carpetbagger, a public school teacher, and a book reviewer. She lives with her partner of sixteen years outside Baltimore, Maryland.

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