~ An Omnibus for the Janus Series by Andre Norton
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of cover-art for
- Judgment on Janus (1963) Published by Harcourt Brace, HC, LCCN 63016035, 220pg ~ cover by Richard Powers
- Victory on Janus (1966) Published by Harcourt Brace, HC, LCCN 66005959, 224pg ~ cover by Richard Powers
Write-up from the back of paperback edition ~
Impoverished and without hope, Naill Renfro hopes to work off his dept on the jungle world of Janus. But the harsh masters of Janus are destroying the planet’s priceless treasures - and when Naill is caught trying to hide an alien artifact, he is exiled and left to die in the jungle.
But Naill inexplicably begins to remember another life, in another time - a time when he was not human, but something else; a native of this world, in the days before its civilization fell. Embarking on a quest to find his alien heritage, Naill will discover the mysterious source of his strange new memory. And when he does, he will defend his newfound people against the human and alien invaders despoiling their world!
Write-up from a fan ~
Judgment on Janus ~ As with Beastmaster/Lord of Thunder, Judgment on Janus is really just half of a longer book. It has one of the most interesting plot devices I have ever seen. If anyone knows of anything similar either before or after these two books, please let me know.
Judgment, like Catseye, starts out in the Dipple on Korwar. Dipple resident Naill Renfro, the last of a ship of Free Traders, in order to ease his dying mother's passing, sells himself as a laborer bound for the planet Janus.
He is bought by member of a severely strict religious sect, to be used clearing land for crops. He finds a "sinful" cache of sparkly jewelry and catches the dreaded "green sick". This ailment transforms him into a member of a long-lost native race, the Ift. To the farmers, he is a monster to be hunted down and destroyed Not only is he no longer human, he also has some memories of a long -dead Iftin warrior--Ayyar. These memories help him survive in a hostile environment. He watches a girl named Ashla find another cache and is there to help her understand her transformation into Illylle, an Iftin woman of Power. Not only do they have to keep away from humans (who they find revolting), there is an ancient ENEMY of the Ift stirring. The nature of THAT WHICH ABIDES (nothing to do with the Great Lebowski) is a mystery, but these changeling Ifts know IT is the ultimate evil. Victory on Janus picks up right where Judgment leaves off. ~ PG
Victory on Janus ~ Like "Return of the King", the title kind of gives away the ending. As mentioned, this picks up a few months after Judgment on Janus. The Ift are awakened early from hibernation to find a dangerous situation. Off-worlders are trying to destroy the forest that the Ift live in. Who are the Ift who are not Ift? Why are they doing this? Is THAT WHICH ABIDES (again, not the Big Lebowski) behind these attacks? Can Illylle and Jarvas evoke the power of the Mirror of Thanth again?
Can Illylle and Ayyar penetrate IT's stronghold and discover not only IT's secrets, but The very nature of THAT WHICH ABIDES? This is a very good read but one should read Judgment of Janus first. I would love to see this made into a movie. After seeing Avatar, this one would be easy to make. One movie would probably do for both books. I believe this is a better story than Avatar. ~ PG
Bibliography of English Editions ~
- (2002) Published by BAEN, TP, 0-743-43553-2, LCCN 2002023223, $15.00, 387pg ~ cover by Larry Elmore
- (2002) Published by BAEN, DM, 0-743-43553-2, $6.99, 480pg ~ cover by Larry Elmore
- (2004) Published by BAEN, PB, 0-743-47180-6, LCCN 2002023223, $6.99, 463pg ~ cover by Larry Elmore
View the 1999 BAEN contract