Del Ray, March, 2002.
Hardcover, 341 pages.
Alan Dean Foster returns to his beloved Humanx Commonwealth in this third entry in the Founding of the Commonwealth series, a trilogy which details the very early and turbulent years when the human, insectoid thranx and the reptilian Aann must find some way to work together to make a livable interstellar community in the Orion Arm of the galaxy. Diuturnity's Dawn explores the growing interspecies relationships, especially that between the thranx and the humans. Diplomat Fanielle Anjou and her thranx counterpart are attempting to cement relations between their two cultures, which are strained. The humans find the insectoids disgusting to look at and the thranx find the humans equally repulsive-looking. But as individuals get to know each other, they find that the two species have much to offer each other. However, there are members of both species which would like to put a stop to the relationship. As the Humanx Inter-Cultural Fair -- the first wholly cross-species event -- approaches, terrorists plan to stop the fair in the most lethal way possible. Meanwhile, the real masters in the art of duplicity, the Aann, are also doing their best to destroy the two species' fragile relationship, and are plotting to turn events to their best advantage. On an archeological dig on a remote planet, the Aann watch as the humans and one thranx excavate incredible artifacts left by an advanced humanoid civilization.
For those who have read many of the books set in Commonwealth universe, such as the ongoing adventures of Pip and Flinx, the Founding of the Commonwealth is a welcome trip back in time to see how the Humanx universe was founded. Diuturnity's Dawn features some marvelous characters, especially Fanielle, the diplomat who must put personal tragedy aside to ensure the future of the human race. In light of 9/11, the planned terrorist attacks on the intercultural fair are especially chilling to read about. Foster excels at characterization and interesting plots, which makes for very entertaining reading. Fans' only complaint will be the amount of time it takes to get a new Commonwealth book into the bookstores.
Diuturnity's Dawn is available for purchase on Amazon.com
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This review was published in the April, 2002 of The Internet Writing Journal.
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