It doesn’t get much better for me than Julie Czerneda–especially when she concludes an epic, sweeping story like the Stratification trilogy, and does it with a book like Rift in the Sky. Here at last in this volume we see the Om’ray exiles under the leadership of Aryl Sarc having to make the leap from establishing their own Sona Clan to leaving their homeworld entirely, and what dire circumstances provoke their urgent flight–and which established characters must make sacrifices for that flight to happen. We see the first emergence of the power structures familiar from the Trade Pact Universe novels as Aryl’s people–all of the Om’ray who possess the ability to move through the M’hir–rename themselves the M’hiray and begin to plan to further unions of their young based on power levels.
And once the flight from Cersi occurs, be sure to keep reading. What seems like the ending of the story in fact is not, for there’s a whole extra section at the end that covers what happens with Aryl’s people once they’re offworld. There’s tying up of loose ends there as well as bridging work done to tie back to the Trade Pact books–and to look ahead to the books to come.
Since this is the third book of the trilogy, go in expecting events on a grander scale and less time paid to in-depth characterizations; like I said, this is an epic, and it felt entirely appropriate to me to broaden the view out for this conclusion to the story. Beautifully done all in all. Five stars.