||Anne McCaffrey concludes the saga of Angharad Gwyn, the Rowan, her husband Jeff Raven, and their family of powerful telepathically and telekinetically Talented offspring with The Tower and the Hive. ( The first four books in the series are: The Rowan, Damia, Damia's Children, and Lyon's Pride.) As usual, McCaffrey delivers vividly real characters struggling with personal, political, and ethical issues and finding humane solutions.
Federated Teleport and Telepath, dominated by the Gwyn-Raven clan, provides interstellar shipping and communications for the Star League of Humans and Mrdinis--weasel-like aliens. In following the aggressive, ant-like Hivers, whose "spheres" have repeatedly attacked League worlds, naval vessels have discovered many more habitable planets, including some occupied by Hivers. Who will get to colonize these planets, Humans or Mrdinis? Should all Hivers be destroyed, or is there some way to contain them? Where will more Talents to staff the vital Towers come from? And how best to defeat those whose resentment of the Gwyn-Raven family's powers and friendship with Mrdinis could lead to violence?
McCaffrey's protagonists are four Gwyn-Raven grandchildren, now young adults who find romance and mature while studying both alien races. Old and new fans alike can enjoy her masterful blending of scientific extrapolation and fantasy elements to produce a universe they'll leave regretfully. --Nona Vero