- Title: The Termite Queen, The Wound That Has No Healing, Volume II
- Author: Lorinda J. Taylor
- File Size: 1469 KB
- Print Length: 598 Pages
- Publisher: Self Published by Author
- Publication Date: May 18, 2012
- Sold By: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0084NKIR0
- Formats: Paperback and Kindle
Genres: Science Fiction & Fantasy, Literature & Fiction, Science Fiction, Literary
*I won a copy of Volume I and II of the Termite Queen in a contest and enjoyed it so much that I am offering an honest review which follows.*
IN THE AUTHOR’S WORDS:
“In the Termite Queen: Volume One: The Speaking of the Dead, the death of a specimen of intelligent giant termite impels a team of scientists to mount a new expedition to the alien planet where the specimen was captured. During the voyage out, the linguistic anthropologist Kaitrin Oliva and the expedition’s chief, the entomologist Griffen Gwidian, fall in love and form a union, after which Prf. Gwidian begins to exhibit some troubling changes of mood and behavior. Meanwhile, on the alien planet, civil discord is brewing among the termites; Mo’gri’ta’tu, the Queen’s Chamberlain, hatches a plot to murder the Holy Seer Kwi’ga’ga’tei, a plot foiled only by the sudden reappearance of the Flying Monster.
In Volume Two, the team arrives at the planet to a combative reception, but, aided by Kaitrin’s insights into the termites’ unique language, the “Star-Beings” and the Shshi are soon communicating and learning to know each other. The Shshi accept Kaitrin as a friend and even come to revere her as the Mother of her people. Meanwhile, Griffen’s inexplicable insecurities escalate, while the dastardly Mo’gri’ta’tu continues to foment conspiracies. Ultimately, the two plotlines intersect in an explosive climax, after which the team must return to Earth and try to come to terms with what they have experienced.
You can find my review of the Termite Queen – The Speaking of the Dead, Volume I, here.
Volume Two of the Termite Queen leads the reader deeper into the workings of the termite civilization of Lo’ro’ra on the planet, 2 Giotta 17 A. At the same time, the relationship between Kaitrin and Professor Griffin Gwidian takes on new dimensions. It’s like getting two separate stories – science fiction/romance intertwined into one huge book. What a bonus!
As Kaitrin and her team delve into the mechanics of the Shshi language, she further discovers the language of the termite is transmitted to humans through a pattern of radio wave frequencies. Katrin’s understanding of the termite tongue deepens, and this leads to many meetings with the Holy Seer or shaman, Kwi’ga’ga’tei where Kaitrin is taught about the culture of the insect society.
The many interactions with the Remembrancer and the worker chiefs reveal a community that is human-like and yet alien. Kaitrin prepares to study the termite race in the most intimate way possible by entering the termite palace beneath the ground. This is my favorite part of the novel where the storyline involving the termite society is revealed.
The author creates a culture that is both, fascinating and believable. The insects behave much like the termite societies on earth but yet appear to be social and much more intelligent. At times, I marveled at how human these creatures seemed.
Not only do the termites have a creation myth, but they also have laws and a caste-like system of behavior. The Queen lives in a room far beneath the ground as her bloated body is not capable of movement other than to bring forth more offspring. There are workers, warriors, and termite alates, those gifted with wings and the ability to create new cities. Everyone has a job to do which ensures the survival of their termite kingdom.
Ms. Taylor employed the skillfully written chapters that dealt with the termite kingdom to read like a play. The termite characters were easier to relate to when presented in this manner.
Moreover, there is so much more to this saga than the termite kingdom. Griffin and Kaitrin’s relationship dominate the story and move it forward. Griffin is older than Kaitrin and has waited many years for his soul mate. Once he has found her, he will do anything to keep her close to his side. In comparison, Kaitrin is consumed with the language and culture of the termite colony. She battles her desire to discover all she can about the creatures versus Griffin’s needs. The tension is palpable in their relationship.
While Kaitrin immerses herself into the termite culture, Griffin can hardly contain his growing anxiety that something will happen to her. The Professor is obsessed with her safety, and dark secrets from a trauma-filled youth roil beneath the surface of his psyche. Kaitrin embarks upon her final visit to the termitarium on the same day that the Chamberlain and his minions launch an attack with the intent to unseat Kwi’ga’ga’tei. Gwidian jumps into the fray determined to save Kaitrin.
The end of the novel is explosive and emotion, and I could not put the book down. I felt as obsessed as Professor Gwidian and read into the wee hours for many nights determined to find out happened next. This story had me hooked, and that is good news because Ms. Taylor has another series that continues the story of the Termite Kingdom.
Image credit: Redbubble.com
I loved the Termite Queen Series and have added it to my “Me Time,” science fiction/fantasy category. If you love science fiction, fantasy, and romance you are going to love this series. I know I did, and I have a book hangover to prove it!
Character Believability: 5
Flow and Pace: 5
Reader Engagement: 5
Reader Enrichment: 5
Reader Enjoyment: 5
Overall Rate: 5 out of 5 stars
Author, Lorinda J. Taylor
About the Author – Lorinda J. Taylor
I’m a retired librarian who worked in academic libraries as a cataloger, and I live in Colorado Springs, CO. Besides my MLS, I have a BA and an MA in English, and some work toward a Ph.D. As a child, I was always making up imaginary worlds, but I didn’t start writing fantasy until I read “Lord of the Rings” in 1969 and discovered that even serious scholars like J.R.R. Tolkien can continue to create such worlds far into their adult lives. I never was successful in getting published in those early days, however, and then family considerations forced me to take a hiatus from writing from 1983 until 2000. Since then, I’ve written a novella and several novels, and have begun to self-publish since I doubt that I can live long enough to go the old-fashioned route!
My interests include almost anything literary, scientific, or speculative — science fiction and fantasy, mythology, language (I write conlangs for my books), poetry, cosmology, astrophysics, anthropology, archaeology, entomology, ornithology …
Philosophically, I call myself a spiritual humanist.
Among my favorite authors are Ursula K. LeGuin, Tolkien (of course), Evangeline Walton, and many poets such as Robert Graves and Dylan Thomas.
Here’s a drawing of one of my favorite creations. Meet Ki’shto’ba Huge-Head!
Lorinda Taylor also creates her own cover art and illustrations.
WHY BUY TERMITEWRITER PAPERBACKS?
“If you buy a paperback from Amazon, you can get the Kindle version FREE! And the paperback gives you several bonuses, like a full-color cover, plus extra illustrations on the back cover and (for the Ki’shto’ba series and Children of the Music) maps!”
Here is a list of the Termite Queen and The Ki’shto’ba Huge-Head books with links to Amazon:
The Termite Queen (2-volume novel)
The Labors of Ki’shto’ba Huge-Head (series: 7 volumes)
v.1: The War of the Stolen Mother http://amzn.to/QO5rPF
v.2: The Storm-Wing http://amzn.to/16PjTxa
v.3: The Valley of Thorns http://amzn.to/16xKzmY
v.4: Beneath the Mountain of Heavy Fear http://amzn.to/1jesQa5
v.5: The Wood Where the Two Moons Shine http://amzn.to/1x7n5nt
v.6: The Revenge of the Dead Enemy http://amzn.to/1nWtuxG
Sequel: The Buried Ship at the End of the World http://amzn.to/2mYr6IC
Here I am, holding the stuffed tiger that my mother sent
to me way back when I was a sophomore in college.
My school’s mascot is a tiger!
Here’s where you can find Lorinda:
Blog – Ruminations of a Remembrancer at http://termitewriter.blogspot.com
(You can find free chapters on her website of Volume I of the Termite Queen).
Twitter – Lorinda J. Taylor @TermiteWriter
Facebook – Lorinda J. Taylor (Termite Writer)
Google+ – Lorinda J Taylor
Thanks for stopping by to meet Lorinda Taylor.
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Categories: Book Reviews