Crucible Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of Crucible

Tor, Aug 2004, 24.95, 384 pp.
ISBN: 0765306883

Four decades ago Jake Holman and thousands of settlers following him were trapped in the middle of an inter-galaxy war between the militaristic humanoid Furs and the serene flora-like Vines. Jake and his followers supported the Vines against the bellicose Furs though the odds heavily favored the latter. The Vines used a last-hope virus to remove the aggressive tendencies of the Furs.
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Jake is old and frail, but feels proud of his accomplishments especially the diversity he brought to Greentrees. Still a fierce contention exists between the Chinese in the city Hope of Heaven against the technocrats of Mira City. When the earth ship Crucible arrives on Greentrees, Captain Julian Martin ruthlessly uses that antagonistic rivalry to further his ambitions to become planetary dictator. He seduces Technology Resources Allocation Officer Alexandra Cutler, a member of the Mira City executive triumvirate, and other key citizens to do his bidding. Off planet the fighting between the Furs and the Vines remains heated.

The story line moves along two paths, off and on the planet, but also is somewhat difficult to follow because of the complex continuous changes as to what is the core of the tale. Most interesting for those who read the first novel is how much Jake has aged from the swashbuckling hero to an elderly statesman ignored by the next generation as being yesterday's news.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of Crucible

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 10%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 20%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 40%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 30% Tone of book    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   science fiction story Political power play    -   Yes Political plotlets    -   factions fight within govt for control Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Cultural problems, alien culture    -   Yes Culture clash-    -   one culture tries to impose its culture on another group

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   champion of justice Age:    -   long lived adults


A substantial portion of this book takes place on a non-Earth planetary body:    -   humans in a futuristic society Planet outside solar system?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   no torture/death scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   some scientific explanation How much dialogue?    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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Nancy Kress Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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