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The Best of All Possible Worlds, Karen Lord

2012/11/12

I saw this on Netgalley and put in a request; I was really surprised at how much I ended up enjoying it.

In this novel, the destruction of their homeworld forces the Sadiri people to seek out permanent places of relocation for their survivors; one group of male Sadiri settles on Cygnus Beta, a highly diverse planet whose population includes many others who have been forcefully or tragically relocated. Grace Delarua, an assistant biotechnician with a knack for languages, is assigned to the Sadiri as a government liason to assist in their transition and acclimation process. She soon learns from Dllenahkh, one of the Sadiri, that the reason his people are on Cygnus Beta is to locate and meet taSadiri, members of their race who left Sadira long before the tragedy, and with whom the now decimated Sadiri people would like to reunite. And since one of the highest priorities of these settlers is to find and marry women who complement and are open to the Sadiri culture and lifestyle, in order to begin families and maintain what remains of their society, locating people who have descended from the taSadiri is very important not only to the Sadiri now on Cygnus Beta, but also to the New Sadira government. Thus, Grace finds herself being assigned to accompany the Sadiri party as they visit several widespread villages and settlements across the provinces in search of the taSadiri descendants.

I found the sociological aspects of this story to be very interesting: the idea of a decimated people, overpopulated with men, and the ideas that they came up with to address this problem; the discussions that Dllenahkh, one of the Sadiri, has with Grace in regards to his government’s ideas on repopulation and maintaining their culture while spread out over many foreign planets. Although the plot and resolution may have been used before, and may seem somewhat predictable in the end, I thoroughly enjoyed the read.

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