The second installment of Atrium's Dolvia Saga is a character-driven sci-fi tale that explores profound-and timely-themes of sexual oppression, environmentalism and cultural intolerance.
Atrium's intricate novel ranges widely in theme-gender, politics, existential philosophy, mysticism, etc. Set primarily on the planet of Dolvia-where the females of the indigenous, frequently warring tribes of the savannah maintain few rights and are forced to wear burkas- the storyline revolves, at least initially, around Dr. Edna Edwina Greensboro, a bush-clinic doctor whose courage, compassion and vision have begun to change some of the insular ways of thinking.
Getting married to Lt. Mike Shaw, an off -world military man, and keeping two female gualareps-oversized and sentient iguana-esque reptiles-increases her status. But when she witnesses a "mixed blood" girl being brutally abused, she realizes that she's working against centuries of oppression reinforced by cultural mores, folklore, myth and cruel men dead set on guarding the status quo. After all, the victims "are only women."
The commentary on gender politics benefits from a foreign setting; it's an exercise in considering discrimination without finger-pointing. But that's only one aspect of this multifaceted story- as Greensboro fights to save lives and educate the tribes people, nefarious individuals and companies seek to profit from the chaos ... Atrium's saga continues with another entertaining and powerful read, reminiscent of Octavia E. Butler and Margaret Atwood.
An allegorical, emotionally intimate narrative for sci-fi fans, with broad themes that could appeal to a mainstream audience, too.
The plot of HeartStone revolves around several off world characters, including Dr. Edna Edwina Greensboro, Lieutenant Michael Peter Shaw, and Dr. Henry Beecham, in addition to Dolviet tribal members, leaders, and outcasts.
As an orphaned child of an offworlder and a Dolviet, Brianna Miller is condemned as an outcast among the tribes. Yet, she strives to better herself so that one day she may travel to Earth, the planet of her father's birth. With the gifts that Dolvia has provided, the generosity and teachings from the various characters, the pain that she endures, the compassion she feels for others, and the risks she takes, Brianna prepares for a future...a future she will choose for herself!
You have a really great series going here. I love your descriptive writing style! I really can't wait to see what Brianna thinks of Earth and then what happens when she returns to Dolvia!