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by A. C. Flory




In Vokhtah, the author gives us a rich and satisfying tapestry of a world: alien, strange, and gratifying.  This is not a particularly easy read, one in which you skim while half-watching tv or munching on a sandwich.  The book deserves the reader’s full attention so that all the nuances and details are caught and absorbed. 

On the surface, this book tells the tale of two races, possibly a lot closer related than most of them would like to admit.  The Vokh are the supposed rulers of the planet; strong, fierce, and driven, fighting with one another to gain status and holdings.  The iVokh serve them, from running their holdings to managing their health to running the economy to serving as basic drudges.  Yet the Guild of Healers serve as a sort of governor on the Vokh, surreptitiously killing any Vokh they label as abominations.  

When one Blue, (one of the three factions of the Guild of Healers) disagrees with the specifics of a decision to kill a specific Vokh, he embarks on a dangerous journey in an attempt to maneuver the situation to uphold the decree, yet in a manner that the Vokh do not become aware of the guild’s machinations. 

One problem I have with too many books dealing with other forms of intelligent life is that they tend to be overly anthropomorphized. They are merely humans in otherworld bodies.  The Vokh and iVokh most certainly do not fall into this trap.  They are decidedly “not-human,” yet the author is able to paint such a detailed picture that we are able to understand them, their motives, their ways of thinking.  Within the framework of the author’s universe, there is logic and reasonability.  It all makes sense. 

The detail into which the author delves is simply a joy to behold.  The author’s imagination is quite obviously prodigious, but then the ability to transfer that imagination into the written word is impressive.  Equally impressive are the descriptive passages of action and even simple settings.  I was able to see the author’s vision quite clearly in my mind. 

All told, I really enjoyed this book.  I enthusiastically recommend it.



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