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Mavin Manyshaped

The "True Game" books by Sheri S. Tepper were some of my favorite as a child, and now I'm slowly acquiring my own copies. Slowly because they were printed once around the time I was born, and not since, and I'm unwilling to pay ridiculous shipping fees on them online.

There are nine books all told. Three of Mavin Manyshaped, of which I have only the first. Three of her son, Peter, which I have all of in an omnibus. (Those, which I like the least of the three trilogies, were naturally reprinted.) The last three are of Jinian, Peter's lover (more or less). The world is fascinating, and has many secrets and twists that are slowly revealed through the books.

So, because I love to share, here are the first two paragraphs of The Song of Mavin Manyshaped.



Around the inner maze of Danderbat keep--with its hidden places for the elders, its sleeping chambers, kitchens and nurseries--lay the vaster labyrinth of the outer p'natti: slything walls interrupted by square-form doors, and endless array of narrowing pillars, climbing ups and slithering downs, launch platforms so low as to require only leaping legs and others so high that wings would be the only guarantee of no injury.

Through the p'natti the shifters of all the Xhindi clans came each year at Assembly time, processions of them, stiff selves marching into the outer avenues only to melt into liquid serpentines which poured through the holes in the slything walls; into tall wands of flesh sliding through the narrowing doors; into pneumatic billows bounding over the platforms and up onto the heights; all in a flurry of wings, feathers, hides, scales, conceits and frenzies which dazzled the eyes and the senses so that the children became hysterical with it and hopped about on the citadel roof as though an act of will could force them all at once and beforetime into that Talent they wanted more than any other. Every year the family Danderbat changed the p'natti; new shaped obstacles were invented; new requirements placed upon the shifting flesh which would pass through it to the inner maze, and every year at Assembly the shifters came, foaming at the outer reaches like surf, then plunging through the reefs and cliffs of the p'natti to the shore of the keep, the central place where there were none who were not shifters--save those younglings who were not sure yet what it was the were.



I may post more later, if anyone's interested. It's not like you can stroll down to the bookstore and find your own copy. Of course, if you happen to find The Flight of Mavin Manyshaped, The Search of Mavin Manyshaped, or Dervish Daughter, I'm missing those and would love you forever if you sold them to me.

(Also, if you see typos, tell me, please?)