Libyrinth by Pearl North
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
This was an interesting idea about three different societies living at odds in the far future on a different planet. The Libyrarians and the Singers are at odds with each other with the Librarians embracing the written word and the Singers only following the oral traditions with religious zeal. Based on the premises of Fahrenheit 451 with the burning of books and the belief that written words corrupt the people, the Singers (also known as Eradicants by the Libyrarians) go about burning books to liberate the murdered word. Haly is a clerk with a unique ability to hear books without ever opening them. Fearing ridicule and persecution she keeps her ability hidden, but in her quest with her friends Selene and Clauda this ability is discovered and she is named Redeemer.
While its true that the characters are somewhat two dimensional, the story is woven in such a way that this isn't a distraction. I love the way the three different societies are so different but you can see how they are at the same time connected. Ilysies is a matriarchial society that is very political and supports the Librynth. The Singers are the opposite being a male dominated society and while they embrace learning and support the peasant population they spurn the written word. Its very obvious that if there was a little less distrust and a little more working together that all societies would benefit, but isn't this usually the cases in our own societies. So often religious differences and mistrust causes us to miss many opportunities for advancement in many areas.
Overall, I enjoyed this book. It is not only makes a case for non-censorship but it also shows the importance of religious tolerance and respect for other societies and all of it woven together in a wonderful tale.
"If we can understand each other, then is anything really beyond our reach?"--Pearl North, Libyrinth
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