Tor brings Andre Nortonís Three Hands for Scorpio to print and just in time. Andre Norton died at the age of 93 in early 2005. She has hundreds of fantasy and sci-fi books in print, and this one adds one more gem to the treasured collection of Nortonís books.
Norton brings her usual fantastical style to Three Hands for Scorpio. While bordering countries are at war, the Scorpy triplets find themselves victims in a plot. As evil opponents challenge their father, they threaten the peace. The Scorpy daughters are kidnapped and thrown down into an underground cavern, trapped, bound and blinded in the dark.
With the help of the cat like creature named Climber, they are led to Zolan, who is at first sketchy and elusive; even when he says he is telling all of the truth you know he is holding something back. He says he is going to help them out of the caverns and then leaves them stranded. They fight their way through to find the Jar people, an underground group who can only go aboveground when they exchange places with someone from above. Of course, only evil ones would do that.
Zolan is apparently the king and had left the girls in the caverns to judge whether they
are worthy of serving him. They are now faced with a new mission: to find one
who escaped the realm of the Jar people, one who apparently wants to do harm.
Now they must trace their way back to their own world, with Zolan following. The triplets use their magical powers, which they call Talents.
Nortonís flowery fantastic style of writing is an acquired taste but enjoyable. This story offers elements of suspense and mystery,
and readers will find themselves in a colorful new world with amazing creatures and mysterious powers.
The book holds Nortonís usual curious plot. There are times that it seems the Scorpy girls have too much convenient help. For instance, at one point Climber turns into a humanoid to relay some info for a few moments and changes back. This
hasn't happened before, and the scene is left unexplained. Perhaps this was a missed plot point, but it leaves some confusion about why and how this
The ending is certainly a surprise. There is an elusive feeling that there may have been sequels to this book, but alas, we will never know,
unless there are other writers willing to add to the Scorpy story. If you have enjoyed Nortonís previous titles and like her style of writing, you will be thrilled to know that she recaptures the magic in her last full-length novel.
This solo novel provides an excellent magical fantasy story that anyone would enjoy.
Those who enjoy titles by Deborah Hale or Sarah Zettel should also enjoy this fantastic tale. I feel this book righteously deserves a four out of five stars for its intrigue, danger and curiously clever and enjoyable characters.