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Acorna's Quest


I've heard that unicorns are mystical creatures only tamed by virgins. Or is that virgins tamed by mythical creatures? Or possibly even mythical virgins….

No wonder I became a little confused when I read Acorna's Quest, the second in the Acorna series jointly written by Anne McCaffrey and Elizabeth Moon. Still, the concept of having a race which is half human and half unicorn is immensely pleasing and one that I found thoroughly enjoyable. In addition, Acorna's Quest isn't as prone to the multiple loose ends that made its predecessor, Acorna, difficult to read in places.

By the opening of Acorna's Quest, our heroine has become a fully grown, er, filly? Strong willed and desperate to know her heritage, Acorna frets over protracted delays while waiting for a ship to transport her to her home world. Frustrated, she impatiently evades her friends and protectors. With her ally, the ex-miner Calum, she commandeers the ship Acadecki, which is not yet ready for such a journey.

In the meantime, as Acorna runs afoul of space pirates, her own race (the Linyaari) make hesitant contact with the friends she left behind.

A race of pacifists, the Linyaari warn the human populations of an encroaching alien race whose sole aim is to conquer other races. Which leads the reader nicely into the climax of the book, a good-old fashioned space battle with the nasty aliens.

Altogether the story is a good read, although perhaps a little predictable at times, as it follows routine science fiction plots. Even so, it is a series that I'd like to continue reading and look forward to the release of the next installment.

Stephen Smith

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