Book Review | #whoaretheclan | “Rift in the Sky” by Julie E. Czerneda Jorie reads #TheClanChronicles for #RRSciFiMonth!

Posted Tuesday, 10 November, 2015 by jorielov , , , , , 2 Comments

Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin.

Acquired Book By: I was chosen to participate in Julie E. Czerneda’s #timeandstarstour on behalf of the seventh volume of The Clan Chronicles ‘This Gulf of Time and Stars’. Ahead of reading that installment, I reached out to the author to sort out a way to read her entire series spilt between two trilogies: a prequel and the inaugural trilogy which launched the series as a whole. She offered to have DAW Books send me the series in paperback editions to help me sort out the hours I would need to read them as I could only use inter-library loan which has a built-in delay from receiving books via your local library.

Thus a book parcel from her publicist at DAW arrived forthwith and gave me the two trilogies ahead of ‘This Gulf of Time and Stars’. I received a complimentary copy of ‘Rift in the Sky’ the third novel of the prequel trilogy better known as Stratification. I was not obliged to post a review or share my impressions or opinions on behalf of these stories. I am posting my thoughts for my own edification and to help encourage new readers to meet the characters Czerneda created especially if like me, they are discovering The Clan Chronicles for the first time!

Continuing onward inside The Clan Chronicles:

As I disclosed on my review of Reap the Wild Wind this is my first reading of the works by Julie E. Czerneda. This is my continuing journey deep into the heart of The Clan Chronicles whilst conversing on Twitter via the tag #whoaretheclan.

My heart is heavy after having an emotional reading of Riders of the Storm as due to different events and circumstances, my heart truly bled for the complicated emotional state of Aryl by chapters end. She had strived so dearly hard to make right what had become wrong for her Clan(s) only to be confounded by the reality that everything on Cersi had it’s own order, it’s own rite of passage and an unsettling certainty that she may truly never fully understand of it.

Despite the gravity of her reality now that she’s called Sona her identifiable Clan life for Aryl is a bit bittersweet as she’s matured into a new phase of her life as an Om’ray. She’s also joined to her soulmate and taken on the leadership of a Clan whose become a bit odd-shaped and formed through a random (seemingly) set of exiled wanderers who joined her at Sona’s sacred ruins. The ruins were transformed and re-developed into living quarters and vital bounties of food and water. Aryl might stand out from the Clans as a whole but she is the one whose daring enough to fight for a future her birth-Clan denied.

I am further intrigued by her closeness to Marcus and her willingness to bridge her Om’ray customs and traditions with his Humanness. She is learning from Marcus skills that could help her survive an arduous future of unknown changes, as this is the key to the Clans survival: how to adapt to change when previously ALL which changed was deleted from existence? from memory?

Like Aryl, I smelt further changes about to explode her world-view into orbit!

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Notation on the Cover Artist: The author’s note inside ‘Rift in the Sky’ is directed towards the amazing talent of her cover artists: Luis Royo. Every word of appreciation she’s expressing towards his artistry and his clarity of vision, I hinted at myself on my previous ruminations on behalf of this series. His expert eye on understanding Cersi and the worlds within the Clan Chronicles is a welcoming nod to me, the reader, who is picking up this series with ‘first sight’. His artwork has added a beautiful layer of oneness with the world in which Ms Czerneda has created for us to devour whole and true. In an age of ‘stock photos’ and unoriginal cover art designs en masse, to return to the golden age of cover artists who rendered original artwork to befit a story’s heart is a blessing of infinite joy. If I had been her, I would have had my eyes stinging with salted tears finding his art in an envelope… he has a soulful eye for understanding how words are the palette for which writers inkify their worlds to life.

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Book Review | #whoaretheclan | “Rift in the Sky” by Julie E. Czerneda Jorie reads #TheClanChronicles for #RRSciFiMonth!Rift in the Sky

Synopsis on the Back Cover:

Julie E. Czerneda's Trade Pact Universe trilogy introduced the Clan, refugees from the world of Cersi who built an empire few people even knew existed.

The Stratification trilogy - of which RIFT IN THE SKY is the final volume - returns to an earlier point in the Clan's history, before they left Cersi. Known as the Om'ray, they are divided into widely scattered tribal Clans, constrained from advancing beyond a certain point by two power races - the Oud and the Tikitik.

RIFT IN THE SKY opens at a critical moment for the world of Cersi and the Om'ray Clans. As more Om'ray master the Talent of moving through space via the M'hir dimension, their newfound freedom threatens the delicate balance between Cersi's three races. At the same time, it causes a perilous division within the Clans themselves between those who do and don't have this Talent.

The crisis escalates when outsiders from Trade Pact space discover archaeological treasures left by the legendary Hoveny civilzation. As Cersi becomes the target of interstellar raiders, the Om'ray realize that any hope for survival lies in using the forbidden power of the M'hir to find a haven where their enemies will never look for them. . .

Places to find the book:

Borrow from a Public Library

Add to LibraryThing

ISBN: 9780756406097

Series: Stratification trilogy

Also in this series: Reap the Wild Wind, Riders of the Storm

on 6th July 2010

Pages: 448

 Published By: DAW Books (@DAWBooks)
an imprint of Penguin Group USA

Cover Artist: Luis Royo | Site | Twitter | Facebook

The Clan Chronicles:

  • Reap the Wild Wind (Stratification trilogy, No.1)
  • Riders of the Storm (Stratification trilogy, No.2)
  • Rift in the Sky (Stratification trilogy, No.3)
  • A Thousand Words for Stranger (Trade Pact Universe, No.1)
  • Ties of Power (Trade Pact Universe, No.2)
  • To Trade the Stars (Trade Pact Universe, No.3)
  • This Gulf of Time and Stars (Reunification, No.1)

Available Formats: Hardcover, Paperback and Ebook

About Julie E. Czerneda

Julie E. Czerneda Photo Credit: Roger Czerneda Photography

Since 1997, Canadian author/editor Julie E. Czerneda has shared her love and curiosity about living things through her science fiction, writing about shapechanging semi-immortals, terraformed worlds, salmon researchers, and the perils of power. Her fourteenth novel from DAW Books was her debut fantasy, A Turn of Light, winner of the 2014 Aurora Award for Best English Novel, and now Book One of her Night`s Edge series.

She began her first fantasy series: Night’s Edge with A Turn of Light, winner of the 2014 Aurora Award for Best English Novel. A Play of Shadow followed, winning the 2015 Aurora. While there’ll be more fantasy, Julie’s back in science fiction to complete her Clan Chronicles series. Reunification #1: This Gulf of Time and Stars, came out in 2015. #2: The Gate to Futures Past released September, 2016. Volume #3: To Guard Against the Dark, follows October 2017.

An award-winning editor as well, Julie’s edited/co-edited sixteen anthologies of SF/F, including the Aurora winning Space Inc. and Under Cover of Darkness. Her most recent anthology is the 2017 Nebula Award Showcase, published May 2017, a singular honour.

Next out will be an anthology of original stories set in her Clan Chronicles series: Tales from Plexis, out in 2018. When not jumping between wonderful blogs, Julie’s at work on something very special: her highly anticipated new Esen novel, Search Image (Fall 2018).

Biography updated November 2017
Photo Credit: Roger Czerneda Photography

My Review of Rift in the Sky:

I had wondered how the Tikitik younglings emerged on Cersi, and with a guided hand whose enveloping of this world has knitted together such a warmth of continuity; so continues the beauty of finding where the unwritten notes upon questions unneeded to be asked are unified inside the story next in line.

One observation I had been making is how the Om’ray take the woman’s surname over the male’s; for each coupling on Cersi the name of the mate for each female adds a ‘sud’ between first and last names for clarification. This is a forward-thinking tradition by today’s standards, where if a married couple wanted to continue the familial line of a woman, you’d nearly think you were a rebellious freethinker who did not conform to society’s norms. On Cersi, taking the woman’s name was a sign of respect, of merging your lineage with hers and thereby bonding into a singular one of Clan. Clans on Cersi were of most importance – not just to identify the ‘whom’ of the planet, but to dignify ‘of whom’ had originated in different regions and communities. It’s a world set by a tide of family, friendship and sincerity of survival based on the strength of the whole not the few. All are interconnected even if they are never face to face with one another due to the lifeblood shared amongst the Clans. The Om’ray are not a race of caste, they are a species who are fused together by heart and spirit.

As Sona forms itself into a proper Clan, complete with an open Cloisters, Aryl must admit that the sustainability and longevity she earnestly was seeking had been found at last. Sona re-claimed what was lost and what was simply no more to put it kindly; Grona, Tuana and Yena were fragments of their former selves. Together those of whom found their journey unexpectedly taken to Sona, a new chapter began to unfold for them all; a re-genesis of their lives and potential. In Rift in the Sky, we are being treated to seeing how Aryl and her (new) Clan of Sona are handling the particulars – sorting out who would be in a position to grow in knowledge and how they would seek balance through the adaptive changes they were allowing to right their sails.

Part of this transitional period was proving to include provisions that may walk a tightrope against the precedent of their original pact of peace. These were changing times but the cost of the changes was still being measured by the degree of consequence they would affectingly wreck on themselves. In the midst of strife comes the yarrow – a bit of sunshine to brighten the spirit. Sona women are withchild, expecting their first bourne and giving Aryl’s cousin Seru a newfound happiness in being able to give back to her Clan; as she’s connected to the women in a keenly special way. There are couplings amongst the Clan where each new day has led to new connections by mind and heart; Cersi is a place where marriage is strengthened by transparency in a relationship. Thoughts are mirrored by an openness towards expression of emotion and together speak towards what an Om’ray is attempting to say whilst they feel the words they send. It’s a unique language built around telepathy and empathy; the two are tied together and one.

Ever since Enris was first introduced, his sections were separated from Aryl almost as if to help guide us towards two narrators and their different points of view. I appreciated his sections because it gave a different layer to the chronicles; a separation needed to purposely see things differently and from an angle that was in the same time setting as the main threads of the story. I was thankful to see these continued and expanded to see how much Enris had grown as a confident co-leader of Sona Clan. I felt part of what could solidify the Clan’s strength as they move forward was to step away from their traditions of rule being dictated by the limited few of the Cloisters and re-aligned to have the leaders taken from those who lead by making choices and decisions without council. There is a harbinger towards this truth undercutting the joy of the first bournes – sometimes the curves in the road are signals to heed.

A return to my least favourite Clan proved most useful in understanding the ancient history (here this refers to a past before where living memory ended on Cersi) Aryl was trying to piece back together bit by bit. The Vyna held a small fissure of promise giving Aryl and Naryn a bit of hope out of their despair. Naryn was originally meant to couple with Enris, however, his hidden Talent spared him of an ill-match whilst producing an ill-effect on Naryn. Naryn now was proving there is an unreachable depth to the secrets on Cersi as she’s living proof Om’ray were kept in the dark on matters of most importance. The unravelling of a tightly wound tapestry is allowing Aryl to find freedom at a cost she is not willing to compromise.

Balance is an interesting word; to some it’s a concept, for others it’s an esteemed pedestal to rise towards achieving. On Cersi a life lived in balance was to perfect harmony in relation to the connectivity of the Clans; a small window into how Cersi was uniquely Cersi. For each question Aryl finds an answer, a new question goes unspoken until the day she finds a need to seek the answer once again. Aryl is a truth seeker amongst her kin, giving herself leverage in an oft unjust world. She is both mediator and heroine for her people with the realisation the further she finds a way to complicate the Clan’s ability to thrive, she throws their balance off-kilter.

Aryl’s heart memory of Costa:

Threaded throughout the Stratification trilogy are fond remembrances of Costa, the green thumb brother of Aryl who kept his memory alive to help her move forward without him. His sensibility and approach to life gave her balm to her adversities and his humour a rub of mirth at times where her smile was lost. Costa might have perished young, but his legacy lived through his sister’s will to carry a piece of him forevermore forward into her future.

Aryl’s bond to Yena and to where she feels is ‘home’:

Cersians are not unlike the humans of our timescape on the level they are dearly connected to who can reflect their ancestral heritage; they are human-like in their need for attachment and clarity of who they can self-identify as being ‘theirs’. For Aryl, the hardest part of being the chosen leader of the Sona Clan is accepting the separation from Yena; in spirit she was willing but her heart speaks to a level of truth that she isn’t as keen on sharing with the rest of Sona. She isn’t spilt in half but she keeps a few things private and secure only to her mind and her living truth of self.

Part of this is a primal need to reconnect with her mother – to understand how her mother could cast her ‘out of Yena’ without so much as needing her to ‘return’ as much as Aryl needs too. Yena at an early junction inside Rift in the Sky is where Aryl attached her heart to know where Home is located. It’s not just a place on the map but a place she feels inside her bones and dreams about when she allows her guard down. She’s a complex character because she can neither be selfish to the extent to take care of her own needs over her Clan nor can she be self-less to place others over her own needs at all costs. She has to constantly be thinking of ways to benefit her people and find a small olive branch for herself to give her an ounce of self-preservation.

My thoughts on how The Clan Chronicles back-story sets the reader directly inside this mysterious world:

There is a central mindfulness within the chronicles, where once you’ve set your mind to how the world is fashioned, the people who are populating the stories become familiar to you, as if they were your own extended family members. The deeper you find yourself seeking out the Clan, the more you thirst to know more of who the Clan were and how they changed the unwritten history of Cersi. On this note, they reminded me of the Ancients of our world before the invention of writing and the prospect of written history or pictorial history; depending on which era of time you went back towards. The entire concept of reading and writing is a new one for commoners of Cersi; as the Clans despite their non-caste state of organisation still demanded a separation of persons who they claimed could be either of higher or lower strengths. Everything was determined by their internal power, they were ruled by it, lusted over it (in some cases) and were hindered by how this power could reflectively refract a negative on their being. Not all power is honourable nor good; without the power itself they were non-Om’ray; an entity who could not communicate with the living spirit of their race.

Even this solemn truth was being tested by a young girl named Yao who was the first of her kind; an Om-ray who was bourne inherently different and suffered the disability to connect telepathically to her mother and Clan. Yao stood out to me as I wondered if this was a hint at a biological-sociological observation on behalf of the author of how a species would handle anomalies in their descendants (especially if they kept such close order on maintaining perfect rule) or if it spoke to a greater truth: there are no coincidences in new generations being given a talent and gift that has never been seen.

To a reader who would appreciate a compacted history of the previous two installments of this trilogy will find delight in how Czerneda recaps what is worth being aware of whilst not making it overly repetitive for the reader whose read the trilogy tip to stern. It’s a compliment to her as a writer whose methodology for continuity and a continuance of a world built so very strong in vision and heart. I was not quite prepared for the emotional keening of Chapter 13,… my heart ached with a heavy loss.

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This book review is courtesy of:

Julie E. Czerneda and DAW Books

which I am happily posting during:

Sci Fi November 2015 badge created by Jorie in Canva.

Sci-Fi Month 2015 is a month long event to celebrate science fiction hosted by Rinn Reads and Over the Effing Rainbow. You can view the schedule here, follow the event on Twitter via the official @SciFiMonth Twitter account, or the hashtag #RRSciFiMonth.

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Reader Interactive Question:

Have you ever become so intricately involved with a science fiction series to where your heart aches to read what is happening to the characters but you hunger to know all the same? Which world held you so dearly close inside it’s grip to leave you consumed by it’s breadth of scope?

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As you know, I do not host bookaways/giveaways on Jorie Loves A Story; however, oft-times authors or their publishers run concurrent bookaways/giveways with the reviews I am featuring as part of a larger event than my review. I always opt to host a review or guest author feature in lieu of them, however, I do like to offer my readers the chance to click-over to where they can seek more information if it is known.

Kindly visit an interview between Ms Czerneda and her betareaders!

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{SOURCES: Permission to use the book summary for this novel off the back cover was given to me by Ms Czerneda’s publicist who also sent me the book cover for “Rift in the Sky”; all of which is being used with permission of DAW Books. The author photograph of Julie E. Czerneda and author’s biography were sent to me by the author and used with permission. Ruminations & Impressions Book Review Banner created by Jorie in Canva. Photo Credit: Unsplash Public Domain Photographer Sergey Zolkin. Comment Box Banner made by Jorie in Canva. Post dividers by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded due to the codes provided by Twitter. Sci Fi November badge created by Jorie in Canva.}

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Tuesday, 10 November, 2015 by jorielov in Blog Tour Host, Blogosphere Events & Happenings, Book Cover | Notation on Design, Book Cover | Original Illustration & Design, Book Review (non-blog tour), Canadian Literature, Compassion & Acceptance of Differences, Death, Sorrow, and Loss, Equality In Literature, Hard Science Fiction, Library Catalogues & Databases, Local Libraries | Research Libraries, Mother-Daughter Relationships, Sci-Fi November, Science Fantasy, Science Fiction, Space Opera

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2 responses to “Book Review | #whoaretheclan | “Rift in the Sky” by Julie E. Czerneda Jorie reads #TheClanChronicles for #RRSciFiMonth!

    • Hallo, Hallo Ms Peterson!

      I never had the pleasure of responding to this wicked awesome comment you left me last November! I’ve resumed where I left off with my readings of #whoaretheclan this past fortnight! I returnt right where I left off reading Ties of Power ahead of To Trade the Stars before moving right now into the final trilogy Reunification! If you were impressed with my reading of this novel last year, I think you’ll love re-following my journey to where the Clan has once again given me so much to contemplate!! I have so attached to this dramatic hard science fiction series it shall be difficult to finally say ‘goodbye’ next year when the Reunification trilogy concludes!

      Yes! You definitely caught-on to why I was consuming so much coffee to keep my eyes open in order to consume every inch of this novel!! Likewise, I’ve been taxing my mind & pushing myself beyond what I’d consider healthy to devour(!) the rest of the series! I simply get so entranced by the Clan – I want to know everything – and I don’t want to forestall my readings!!

      I wonder – did you rush out and purchase the series!? Were you able to read them over the score of the past year!? I know you were fine tuning your own Quicksilver series so perhaps the Clan was shelved for ‘down-time’ pursuits – but ooh! I do hope you’ve been able to taste this beautifully conceived series!! You will surely not want to stop your visits once you find your imagination rooted to the vision Ms Czerneda left us!!

      Bless you for giving me so much JOY in your comment last November!!

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