Editorial Review / Publisher's Information:
1st edition 1st printing paperback, fine
A Forest of Stars is book two of Kevin J Anderson's widescreen space opera "The Saga of Seven Suns", which began with Hidden Empire. The story so far is given in some detail for new readers. Briefly, unwise human tampering has roused the wrath of the near-invincible alien "hydrogues" who live within gas-giant planets, to the delight of the more humanlike Ildiran Empire who would love to see those bumptious Terrans taken down a peg. But soon the hydrogue clampdown on mining starship fuel from those gas giants threatens to bring ruin to the whole galactic economy, not just to humanity's corporate "Hanseatic League" and its breakaway factions.
Now it emerges that the hydrogue problem is a very old one, and that humans and Ildirans are minor players--"like field mice on a giant battleground"--in an ancient war of elementals. The awakened hydrogues (Air) are determined to finish the job of wiping out the helpless-seeming forest group-mind (Earth) already introduced in book one, and in this volume the representatives of Fire and Water begin to stir...
The slam-bang action follows many characters in many story strands. Independent human Roamers, mining fuel at frightful risk, come into conflict with the desperate League, which also feels forced into brutal oppression of its own colonies. A cruel, illicit Ildiran/human breeding experiment continues in secret. Sinister robots created by a vanished race plot their own enormities, while a matter-transmitter network built by that same race could be the answer to the fuel shortage. Dirty politics and unwilling marriages of convenience abound. Space fleets face impossible odds, whole planets are wrecked, and even suns are now at risk of oblivion.
It's all rip-roaring interstellar adventure with megadeaths aplenty, lashings of pyrotechnics, the occasional touch of romance and doom-laden forebodings of worse to come. Stay tuned for more of "The Saga of Seven Suns". --David Langford