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Grass (Arbai, Bk 1)
Grass - Arbai, Bk 1
Author: Sheri S. Tepper
What could be more commonplace than grass, or a world covered over all its surface with a wind-whipped ocean of grass? But the planet Grass conceals horrifying secrets within its endless pastures. And as an incurable plague attacks all inhabited planets but this one, the prairie-like Grass begins to reveal these secrets -- and nothing will ever ...  more »
ISBN-13: 9781857987980
ISBN-10: 1857987985
Publication Date: 2/14/2002
Pages: 544
Edition: New Ed
  • Currently 4.3/5 Stars.

4.3 stars, based on 18 ratings
Publisher: Gollancz
Book Type: Paperback
Other Versions: Hardcover
Members Wishing: 4
Reviews: Member | Amazon | Write a Review

Top Member Book Reviews

VeganFreak avatar reviewed Grass (Arbai, Bk 1) on
Helpful Score: 1
This was the first Tepper book that I read. My cousin lent it to me saying, "This was weird,it's your kind of book." She was right. I have never read anything quiet like it and I wish that Tepper wrote a sequel. Very entertaining. One of my favorite books.
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Readnmachine avatar reviewed Grass (Arbai, Bk 1) on + 1371 more book reviews
Reminiscent of âDuneâ in its scope and detail, Sherri S. Tepper's âGrassâ tells the story of a prominent Earth family sent to a remote planet to determine the truth behind rumors that could literally save the human race.

Humanity is dying â stricken down by a plague without known cure, spreading among all the inhabited planets. Except for the planet of Grass. And rumor has it that plague victims have actually recovered while visiting there. Responding to a request from his uncle, the head of a strict fundamentalist cult which essentially rules the known human universe, Roderigo Yrarier, his wife Marjorie Westriding, their two adolescent children, and Roderigo's mistress, set off on a diplomatic mission whose true purpose cannot be revealed for various political reasons.

From that basic set-up, Tepper thrusts her characters into a society putatively directed by the local aristocrats, who have removed themselves from the day-to-day lives of the planetary port city, establishing vast estancias on the grasslands. There they devote huge amounts of time and energy to a bizarre hunting tradition â riding great beasts (think carnivorous horses the size of elephants) accompanied by âhoundsâ the size of Terran horses, in pursuit of another native species they have christened foxen.

Things, of course, are not as they seem, and as Marjorie and her family try without much success to fulfill their mission, they find themselves involved with missing aristocrat daughters, a cold reception from the upper class, splinter factions from within the ruling Sanctity cult, and family conflicts arising from two people in a loveless marriage who nevertheless try to observe the tenets of a weakened Catholic church, to which they belong.

None of this, it turns out, is window-dressing. Tepper's characters struggle with ethical and moral questions in ways that have far-reaching impacts on the native inhabitants of Grass, who are themselves much more complex and nuanced than it first seems.

The novel does drag a bit toward the end, when a major conflict has been resolved but survivors continue to struggle to do what is right, both for themselves and for the species with whom their lives have become inextricably entwined.
reviewed Grass (Arbai, Bk 1) on
When I first read Grass ten years ago, it blew me away with its masterful world building and strange emotional tension. I went on to read most of Shari Tepper's other work, some of which link together loosely in what her readers call the "Arbai World," but I believe that Grass is considered her masterpiece. This is the one to start with. I like this book so much that I have gotten several copies to give away.
althea avatar reviewed Grass (Arbai, Bk 1) on + 774 more book reviews
Excellent. Political intrigue, religious plots, inimical and enigmatic aliens, plague, and dysfunctional personal relationships...
VeganFreak avatar reviewed Grass (Arbai, Bk 1) on
This was the first Tepper book that I read. My cousin lent it to me saying, "This was weird,it's your kind of book." She was right.

I have never read anything quiet like it and I wish that Tepper wrote a sequel. I became very invested in the female protagonist and would love to find out what happens next.

Very entertaining science fiction. One of my favorite books.

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