On Winged Gossamer

Fiction - Science Fiction
400 Pages
Reviewed on 04/07/2021
Buy on Amazon

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    Book Review

Reviewed by Ruffina Oserio for Readers' Favorite

The Sovereign Movement has been the only hope of stopping humanity — the survivors of Solar Flash — from a totalitarian takeover. But its challenges are increasing by the day. Life is hellish for the workers who have to labor under unacceptable conditions, and they include students who are pulled out of the University to contribute to the labor force. Imperial Governor of Sector 10, Charles Scholtz is a dictator who will stop at nothing to compel the citizens to his nefarious whims. But things get even more complicated when Biate, “The Mad Queen,” gets into the scene with her robot military force. Caellum, the leader of the Sovereign Movement and Dora d’Arc are worried because The Mad Queen is determined to have a royal child and her eyes are set on Dora’s son, Michael d’Arc Nichols. But the governor also has plans for him. Can Dora and Caellum keep their son safe as he becomes the center of a power struggle between two powerful entities? And can Caellum’s efforts ensure freedom and justice for his people?

On Winged Gossamer by Victoria Lehrer is the third book in the New Earth Chronicles, a well-crafted science fiction novel with a strong post-apocalyptic setting. I have read the first book in this series, The Augur’s View, and was fascinated by the author’s imaginative setting and the strong writing, so when I picked up On Winged Gossamer, I wasn’t expecting anything short of excellence. And again, Victoria Lehrer delivers an experience that is far beyond my initial expectations. This is a great story that is beautifully told. The setting is a world that has been pulled asunder and where the strong take advantage of the weak. Science has evolved to a level where an army of robots is a reality and where cloning is a practice that is no longer uncommon. Victoria Lehrer creates an imaginary world that is exciting to navigate. I loved the way the author writes about the revolution in which the poor masses rise against their oppressors. On Winged Gossamer features unforgettable characters, a well-imagined post-apocalyptic setting, and a monumental conflict. The twists will entice any reader and keep them rooting for the characters.

Romuald Dzemo

On Winged Gossamer by Victoria Lehrer is the third book in the New Earth Chronicles. I read The Augur’s View where the author introduces the conflict — a class conflict — in a setting that is typically dystopian and a world where a few lord it over the majority. In this installment in the series, the author ups the odds and introduces another compelling character by the name of Biate, also known as “The Mad Queen.” She has established her dwelling at the New Denver Airport and has an army of robots at her command. The Sovereign Seekers led by Caellum Nichols, a man presumed dead, are still in the fight for freedom, especially for students toiling at the Onmatson farm. When Dora d’Arc, the daughter of the Governor General of Sector 10, gives birth to Michael, she realizes that both the Imperial Governor and the Mad Queen have their eyes on him. The man she loves is away. Can Caellum and Dora save the students and Dora’s son?

The plot is twisty. The conflict is colossal. The characters are solidly developed. Victoria Lehrer is one of those authors who create an array of characters and keep each of them interesting, evolving through a conflict that sweeps everyone in its tide. There is a lot to enjoy in this novel. The author writes about a class struggle with groups having different degrees of privileges fighting against each other, and she does so in a way that infuses the writing with realism and compels readers to reflect on similar issues they face in society. The underdogs are the Sovereignty Seekers led by Caellum Nichols. They have few resources for a full-blown war, yet they are the backbone of the economy that sustains the tyrant. The rapprochement between the Mad Queen and Charles Scholtz, the Imperial Governor, is a trick to possess Michael. The relationship between Caellum and Dora is well-developed and it spices the story in many ways. While she is married to someone of “noble” blood, her heart goes out to the rebel. The story is fast-paced and episodic, balanced, and deftly written. The protagonist of this tale is not an individual, but a class fighting for freedom: The Sovereignty Seekers. While On Winged Gossamer is set in a post-apocalyptic world, it explores social issues that reflect contemporary society.

Rabia Tanveer

On Winged Gossamer: A Post-Apocalyptic Adventure is the third book in the New Earth Chronicles by Victoria Lehrer. The saga continues as Dora, Caellum, and Eena try to find any semblance of peace and success to protect their future. The cloned babies' fates will be worse than worse if the Sovereignty Movement cannot do something about it. A new villain has risen among them, and she calls herself the Queen. The Queen has a technologically advanced military force, and she is sinister enough to do what she wants. She wants to get her hands on a child from the royal linage, and it seems like Dora and Caellum's newborn son is the best option for her. But she is not the only one after little Michael. Someone closer to him wants Michael, and it will be up to Dora, Caellum, and Eena to protect him and secure the future.

It has been a while since I read a novel by Victoria Lehrer. I am glad that the narrative was just as powerful and compelling as the previous novel in the series. Caellum's progress and his predicament is the focal point for me. However, Dora's and Eena's struggles to maintain peace are also solid plot points in the story. Biate is despicable. She is calculating, demanding, and cunning, everything that makes her a damn good antagonist. She knows how to play with emotions and where to strike her enemies. The highlight of the story for me is Caellum's struggles to get his life back and make sure his people are prospering again. Of course, the mystery behind the cloned babies and their protection also plays a vital role in the story's progress. The narrative runs smoothly and powerfully. There is never a dull moment in On Winged Gossamer, and I loved that about it.

K.C. Finn

On Winged Gossamer is a work of fiction in the science fiction, fantasy, and adventure sub-genres, and was penned by author Victoria Lehrer. The work is intended for the general adult reading audience, and forms the third book of the New Earth Chronicles, after Augur's View and Triskelion. We return to the scene of turmoil across the lands as martial law reigns with a tight grip. Forced labor, cloned children, and robot armies abound, and in the middle of all this carnage, a child is born. But no sooner than Dora sees her son Michael, she realizes that he will be in terrible danger from all angles, and so begins a new battle for ultimate power.

Author Victoria Lehrer has crafted a hugely engrossing, intimate, and detailed work of sci-fi and fantasy fiction with plenty of intrigue on all sorts of different levels to offer its readers. Having read other works in this series before, I was delighted to be thrown back into a fast-paced and well-established world where crazy tech and even crazier villains battle for control. I am a sucker for a well-developed and enthralling wicked character, so Biate quickly became the one I was searching for from page to page. But whether you’re into heroes or villains, you’ll find plenty of emotive characters, highly engaging dialogue, and all-out action and adventure in every single chapter of this excellent work. Overall, I would highly recommend On Winged Gossamer to fans of immersive otherworldly fiction, powerful political and military intrigue, and for readers of the existing series everywhere.