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The Architect of Aeons
by John C. Wright
Tor, $27.99, 396 pp
Published April 2015

Menelaus Illation Montrose, former Judge of Ages, and Ximen del Azarchel, former Master of the World, have returned to earth under a sort of truce to see how the evolved and modified descendants of Mankind are faring, and all the other races, species, and aliens on the planet. The two are still mortal enemies, with diametrically opposed ideals and goals for life: freedom versus orderly rule by higher powers, and they are still, always, rivals for the love of the absent, questing Princess Rania.

Accustomed as they are to dealing with minds the size of planets and immortal consciousnesses, it is a shock for Montrose and Azarchel to encounter the naked emotions, loves and needs of mortals again. Ironically, it is the least human of the inhabitants of Earth who appeal most movingly for the freedom of self-determination, against a plan to subjugate Earth to the Eye of Jupiter. But unless Earth is offered up, Rania’s mission and return are jeopardized. The crisis of conscience this gives rise to, and the revelations along the way to the moment of decision, make for an extraordinary adventure. 

This series began with Count to a Trillion, followed by The Hermetic Millennia and The Judge of Ages; together these books constitute one of the true masterpieces of SF. Epics and space operas usually span vast distances, but Wright plays with time’s dimension as well: the storyline spans 69,000 years, with its endgame the Vindication of Man.  Even more rare, Wright has a wild and upbeat sense of humor. He isn’t just witty, he’s hilarious, even as he is harrowing your soul and pulling your mind like taffy. Strongly recommended. ~~ Chris R. Paige

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