Author: Sylvia Engdahl.
Three young people from different planets, at different levels of civilization, each wonder about their place in the world and what will become of mankind. Each is intimately mixed up in the fate of this one planet – Elana, the most advanced, because she is a key figure in the scouting expedition that tries to save the Youngling planet without interfering too much; Georyn, native of this planet, for it is he who must trust Elana to teach him to fight the dragon; and Jarel, a medical officer of the invading force, who has begun to doubt their right to enslave these people. Together, they will change the fate of the world.
This is a lovely, contrasting, reflective science-fiction tale. Whether or not you agree with the views finally presented, Sylvia gives the reader much to think on, as each of her characters face down decisions that have no right answer. The three-way pov is intriguing to me in the way she tells the same events through such different minds. Elana’s story is straight forward first person, and often introspective; at many points in the story she pauses to give her own thoughts or past experiences that add bearing. Jarel’s is the closest to our own time, questioning of purpose embedded in a star-trek like setting. And Georyn’s reads like a medieval fairy-tale, but of them all he sees perhaps most clearly, even in symbols.
Sexual content: One kiss.
Language: 1 heck.
Violence: Two different people, at different points, are instantly and painlessly vaporized (killed) by one man. Two characters are seized and roughly tied up; later, they are again taken prisoner and this time paralyzed. There is the threat of drugs being used to open the mind, but they do not come into play in the story.