Monday, April 20, 2015

Review: The Masks of the Martyrs by Jack L. Chalker (The Rings of the Masters, Book 4)

Synopsis: Even before the renegade pirates of the giant spaceship Thunder had collected all five of the rings that would eliminate the threat of Master System forever, Hawks knew that they still faced even greater problems. The shapechanger, Vulture, was lost on the watery planet of Chanchuck, his fate unknown. Master System's space fleet dogged the renegrades' every step. Hawks suspected that group was harboring a traitor, but he was powerless to act. And, most important, the rebels had not yet figured out how the rings were used - a riddle that seemed to have no solution. Somewhere back on Earth lay the original computer interface, and somewhere in the distant past lay the secret to Master System's demise. As a historian, Hawks had the knowledge to solve the riddle; yet he had to be absolutely sure - for one misstep would destroy them all. (from the back of the book)

Review: This was a fine conclusion to the series. At the start of the book, there were two rings to find (and a third to secure from a bad guy) - so, as a previous reviewer mentioned, this book was a bit rushed. Chalker didn't spend as much time as normal on the different planets they when too. But that didn't mean there wasn't the normal exploration of gender and form and how it affects a society. The loss of Vulture was well-written and touching - particularly because he/she had become a favorite character. And the fate of Raven....
The ending seems a bit....simple compared to the complexity of getting the rings. But even the characters noted this. And I thought the ending was as it should be. Over all, this was a satisfying series, one I shall recommend to anyone looking for a fun, interesting sci-fi read.

Bookmarks: 7 of 10

Awards: None

ISBN: 0-345-34309-3
Date Finished: 4-18-2015
Pages: 340

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