BRYAN THOMAS SCHMIDT PUBLISHES SECOND BOOK OF THE SAGA OF DAVI RHII
IN A PREVIOUS POST I INTRODUCED BRYAN THOMAS SCHMIDT AS A NEW CHRISTIAN AUTHOR OF THE SCIENCE FICTION TRILOGY THE SAGA OF DAVI RHII. HERE NOW IS MY REVIEW OF BOOK 2 OF THAT SAGA
The Returning: Multiple Meanings
A review of
Bryan Thomas Schmidt The Returning: Book 2 of The Saga of Davi Rhii (Diminished Media Group, 2012)
$14.99 396 pp ISBN-10: 0984020942 ISBN-13: 978-0-9840209-4-2
Reviewer: Forrest W. Schultz
A good question for a book discussion or an essay in a literature course would be to state the various kinds of "returning" in the book under review. The most important of these, at least on the surface, would be the attempt of Xalivar, the arch-villain of The Saga of Davi Rhii, to return to power. (It is not easy to note the other kinds without giving away the story.) Bryan Thomas Schmidt went to a lot of effort to create Xalivar in Book 1; he is wise to maintain him as a character here in Book 2. He does not want to waste a carefully crafted villain! Especially not in a story which has received such plaudits for being based on real good and real evil.
Having said that, Schmidt also, especially here in Book 2, depicts the complexity of the characters (especially Tela and Miri) who wrestle with tough questions trying to find what the right thing to do is in regard to their historical context and to their relationship with Davi. There is real good and real evil, yes! But his good characters are also complex, not simplistic. And there is realism in the debate by the Vertullians concerning staying within the Borali Alliance versus withdrawal. In fact it is reminiscent of the debates 40 years ago among American blacks in regard to integration versus separation. The answers are not easy to know. And Davi is not sure what to do about his deteriorating relationship with Tela, not only over the political issues but also over the question of the role of women in regard to careers and marriage, the same issue which has been discussed and debated a great deal in today's America. There is also realism regarding the principle that most people do not learn from history.
This is all very serious stuff both at the socio-political level and the personal level. But there is also humor interlaced with it, some of it subtle, such as the apparently serious discussion of "Trilithium", and, at another point of "Honorable Men".
This story is very good, very well told, and has us wondering how it will turn out. It makes us avidly await Book 3.