This is the third and concluding Stratification book, telling the story about Aryl Sarc but also about how the Clan ended up in space, in the position and situation they occupy in the Trade Pact trilogy.
In books one and two we got to know Aryl and the people that surrounds her. In this book the imperative imposed on the author is they MUST get off Cersi, NOW. Accordingly that is what happens, and not at all in a way that is satisfactory to the reader.
No, I don’t say an author has to write feel-good stories. I’m saying sometimes the story, and the length of the story – the actual number of pages, forces the author to invent implausible plot devices. When the newly named M’hiray Clan arrives at Stonerim III, that is what happens. The removal of some of their memories, the shearing off of the connection with the O’mray, the cursory way the story is told. Not what I have come to expect from Czerneda.
While part one – Reap the wild Wind – felt like it was good on it’s own and with part two – Riders of the Storm – was well worth reading part three felt crippled, forced, by comparison. Maybe this is because I hadn’t read the Trade Pact trilogy first. I guess a lot of the more inexplicable things that happens has justification in those books, or maybe in the sequel Czerneda is planning. As I like her other books, this far, I’m willing to forgive her, to go on reading the rest of the Clan Chronicles. I would, however, not recommend this book on it’s own.
As a part of a greater story arc it is acceptable, though.