Vita est ludus
The thin line between fantasy and reality...













Sheri Tepper's World of the True Game

Sheri Tepper wrote a set of nine books set in the land of the True Game. They are grouped into three sets of three.

King's Blood Four Necromancer Nine Wizards Eleven
These were Sheri Tepper's first published books. We are introduced to the land of the True Game through the eyes of Peter, a boy of fifteen, growing up in King Mertyn's house in Schooltown, where he learns of the Talents of gamesmen and the rules of gaming while he waits for his own Talent to manifest. Forced to leave, he acquires - and learns to use - the Gamesmen of Barish, and thwarts the evil plots of Mandor and the High King, the Magicians and their Gifters, and Huld the Demon, as he grows into his inherited power of Shifting.

This series is the most straightforward sequence of "adventures": as Peter grows into power, we learn more and more about how the world works and see the plots of evil-doers thwarted.

Song of Mavin Manyshaped Flight of Mavin Manyshaped Search of Mavin Manyshaped
Sheri Tepper's second series explores the life of Mavin Manyshaped, Peter's mother, from the time she manifests her Talent as a fifteen-year old in Danderbat Keep up until her pregnancy with Peter, twenty years later. This series reveals the early history of many characters from the Peter series - Mavin, the Wizard Himmagery, Huld - shows historical events alluded to elsewhere - the overthrow of Blourbast the Ghoul - and reveals new aspects of the world - shadowfolk, eesties, the shadow tower, and the ancient roads. Mavin is the most talented and resourceful of all Shifters since Thandbar.

This series fills in the history of characters seen in the first series and reveals aspects of the bigger plot developing in the world. In spite of that, Mavin's does what she does because of her own focused needs; her adventures are those of a strong and independent person, not merely those of an pawn in a larger story.

Jinian Footseer Dervish Daughter Jinian Star-eye
Sheri Tepper's third trilogy features Jinian, who appears in the third Peter book and becomes his companion. This series shows Jinian's early growth into the "wise-art" - Wizardry. It briefly recaps the portion of the Peter books that include Jinian from Jinian's perspective - which reveal that not everything was as Peter thought it had been - and carries on from there. I like Jinian the best of the three lead characters; unlike the others, she seems the most human since her Talent does not provide a flashy solution to all difficulties. She is wise and clever.

This series brings the big plot to its ultimate climax and leaves the world forever changed. Sheri Tepper also begins to find her voice as an environmental and feminist author; this is no longer just about adventures in an unusual setting, but has an agenda.

Copyright © 2010 by Brianna Sollandry <brianna at hambo dot com> Ph'nglui mglw'nafh Cthulhu
R'lyeh wgah-nagl fhtagn.
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