Kings Blood Four/Necromancer Nine/Wizard's Eleven

The True Game: Kings Blood Four/Necromancer Nine/Wizard's Eleven - Sheri S. Tepper

I was in the mood for a re-read and so I revisited the world of Mavin Manyshaped and Jinian StarEye.  The Omnibus The True Game contains 3 novels centered around Peter, who we discover partway through the book is Mavin's son.  But thanks to a serendipitous discovery, he is much more than a just a shape shifter, more than just a boy coming of age.


While some of the writing is unpolished, King's Blood Four, which is Sheri  S. Tepper's first published novel, showcased  the creativity that keeps me coming back. Others have written books based on chess games, others have written fantasy novels with multiple psychic powers, Kings Blood Four uses both as the backdrop for a clever coming of age story.  


The beginning of Necromancer Nine, the 2nd book in the trilogy, was weaker, and unfortunately contains a sexual awakening scene which is just explicit enough that I will not be handing these books to my newly-turned 11 year old.  Without the implications of rape/forced sex, the rest of the fare in the books is appropriate to middle-grade readers. 


I liked the journey told in Wizard's Eleven, but found the villain to be badly developed and the ending unsatisfying.  While I can't say much without spoilers, I think parts of the resolution were insufficiently forshadowed and came out of nowhere.  But we got to meet the connecting characters that lead to the other 6 books set in the same enchanting world.


I've added half a star for the nostalgia factor. In total these three short juveniles make for a satisfactory introduction to Sheri S. Tepper and the clever world of The True Game.