The author of the Hugo- and Nebula-nominated Bone Dance here offers a murder mystery with an agenda: its bittersweet undertones plead for tolerance among all living beings. The story takes place in Bordertown, where elves, humans and halflings (half elf and half human) coexist near the edge of the Nevernever, a country to which only pure Trueblood elves can go. A designer drug that mutates humans and halflings so they become more like Trueblood elves is being used by those desperate to enter the Nevernever. There is a problem, however: the drug horribly kills its users before they complete the mutation process. The tale's human hero, Orient, who has a magical talent for finding lost items, is recruited by Sunny Rico, a policewoman dedicated to seeking out the drug's creator. As they search, love and betrayals flourish, and we learn much about the depths of elven-human friendships. Bull has proved in past works that she can weave a web of magic and truth around her characters. Finder is not as original and exciting as Bone Dance , but this stylishly dark piece displays the author's virtuosity with pathos and command of melodious language. It's yet another case of good writing triumphing over a mediocre concept in the land of the fantastic.
Copyright 1994 Reed Business Information, Inc.