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Sylvia Kelso

Jupiter Gardens Press

ISBN: 9780982763780

Reviewed by Lorraine Cormack

Source is the third in the Riverworld series, which began with Amberlight, and continued in Riversend. Although they are a series, each could be read alone. Of the three, Source would probably be the hardest for a reader to enjoy independently. It would be possible to follow the story, and there’s background given about the events of the earlier novels, but I suspect that much of the emotional impact would be lost and readers might struggle to feel involved with the characters.

In the first novels, a matriarchal society maintains power as a result of the fact that only women – and only some women at that – can cut and work the almost magical substance querrique. The city of Amberlight is destroyed by ambitious neighbouring countries, and it’s believed the querrique is lost forever. A small band of refugees, led by Tellurith, the former head of their house sets out for a vassal village far in the south. They intend to re-establish themselves as stone-cutters. Tellurith also takes advantage of this upheaval to introduce social changes, notably gender equity. (A proper summary of these two novels can be found at the beginning of Source.)

As Riversend closed, many in Iskarda, the village now home to Tellurith and her followers, share a dream of the River Source – the place the people of Amberlight came from. Source is the tale of the journey to find that place and perhaps recover the querrique.

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