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Book Review - Myst: Book of Ti'Ana
Myst by Rand & Robyn Miller
"There was a sharp intake of breath. Beheaded! It was unheard of. But Lord R'hira seemed as hard as granite as he looked about him.
"'Such is the decision of the Five Lords. Will anybody speak for the accused?'
"It was a traditional request at such moments, when a prisoner had been sentanced, and though this sentance was without recent parallel, it was clear that none among the Five expected anyone to speak. Anna stood.
"'Forgive me, Lord R'hira. I know that I am here as a guest of the Council and as such have no right to voice my feelings; even so, I would like to speak in favor of the prisoner.'
"R'hira turned, looking to his fellows. There was a moment of eye contact among the ancients and then R'hira turned back.
"'If anyone deserves to speak, it is you, Ti'ana, though why you should wish to utter a word in favor of this miscreant is quite beyond my imagining.'"
The very name of Myst commands a certain amount of respect among gamers. It's revolutionary 3D graphics set the standard for it's genre of games. Although the graphics are now out-dated and the game is long since gone from the best-sellers list, many still remember it fondly. The release of the sequel, Riven, rekindled interest.
Now there are books. First to be released was The Book of Atrus. This book details the life of Atrus from his birth to the time when his father, Gehn, was trapped on the age of Riven, setting the stage for the game of the same name. It ends several years before the game of Myst.
Next to be written was this, The Book of Ti'ana, the prologue to The Book of Atrus. It was followed by The Book of D'ni, the epilogue to Book of Atrus, which tells the story of the rebuilding of D'ni.
The Myst books, for a computer game take-off, are surprisingly well-written. The Book of Ti'Ana, which describes the fall of D'ni, is perhaps the most vividly written, although it has several minor inconsistencies that did not occur in The Book of Atrus. I would recommend it to any Myst fan, or anyone who loves fantasy or science fiction.
As for the plot:
Aitrus was a much respected guildsman in the underground empire of D'ni. He sat on the council, and was the junior representative of the Guild of Surveyors.
Veovis, a respected guildsman, was Aitrus's greatest friend. On the guild of writers, his masterpiece Age was added to the canon of D'ni, and his father, Lord Rakeri, sat on the Council of Five.
Anna was a vibrant young woman of intelligence and spirit. She was the only surface-dweller ever to stumble into the magnificent world of D'ni.
A'Gaeris was a brilliant D'ni, deposed from his place on the council, bent on destroying his homeworld. Known as the Philosopher, he spread dissention among the poorer classes of D'ni and wrote his own illicit Ages.
Together, these four would determine the fate of the greatest empire ever to exist in this, the Age of Earth. Here is a tale of the deepest hate, the cruel cunning, and the great love that brought a nation to it's knees.