The second volume in Jeanne Foguth’s Chatterre Trilogy, “Thunder Moon”, picks up where “Star Bridge” ends. As someone who’s read all three volumes, but not in order, I highly recommend that they be read in sequence so that the complex plots and character relationships are easier to follow. Each builds upon the other, weaving a fascinating and intricate Sci-fa saga.
In this episode, Nimri’s brother, Thunder Cartwright, is worried the madrox will invade his world unless the star bridge is closed. He borrows his brother-in-law, Larwin’s, environmental suit, and sets out to do so with the assistance of GEA-4, Larwin’s androtic assistant. Meanwhile, Larwin’s sister, Tem-Aki, is looking for her brother, who’s been missing from his world long enough that she’s concerned that he’s dead. (Background on Larwin’s arrival on Chatterre can be found in volume I, “Star Bridge”.)
As you’d expect from any misbehaving and unstable Star Bridge/wormhole, Thunder winds up on yet another world, Kalamar, which is covered with what he fears most–water. Furthermore, he’s severely injured, but fortunately, rescued by Raine, a dragon shepherd, who’s on patrol in her ship, Nambaba, trying to recover a rogue dragon calf.
And thus the fun begins.
As always, the science fiction/fantasy elements of these stories are masterfully integrated as simple matters of planetary diversity. Dragons, a.k.a. madrox, are Chatterre’s mortal enemy, threatening to reduce it to ashes. However, on Raine’s planet, Kalamar, they’re carefully managed, a seeming paradox that further drives the story’s plot and suspense.
Mistaken identities, culture clashes, alien creatures, and a variety of interpersonal conflicts, including sibling rivalry and political intrigue, ultimately explode in this fast-moving, complex tale. The world building is exceptional, particularly with regard to how a human culture would operate on a world comprised mostly of water. Not only are the mundane details addressed, but other intelligent species introduced as well as a convincing and convoluted political structure.
If you like an intricate plot, lots of action and continual suspense with all sorts of surprises you can get your teeth into, then this trilogy is for you. But don’t forget to read “Star Bridge” first and then this one before move on to the satisfying conclusion in “Fire Island.” (Note that all three volumes are “clean reads” suitable for all ages.)
You can pick up a copy on Amazon here.