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Merro Tree (Del Rey Discovery) by Katie…

Merro Tree (Del Rey Discovery) (original 1997; edition 1997)

by Katie Waitman (Author)

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218884,795 (4.22)1 / 19
Mikk of Vyzania, the galaxy's finest performance master, defies the government's ban on the performance of the Somalite songdance, risking his life to overthrow the stranglehold of censorship.
Title:Merro Tree (Del Rey Discovery)
Authors:Katie Waitman (Author)
Info:Del Rey (1997), 437 pages
Collections:Your library

Work details

The Merro Tree by Katie Waitman (1997)

  1. 00
    Beholder's Eye by Julie E. Czerneda (amysisson)
    amysisson: Imaginative aliens, lots of fun with some underlying seriousness.
  2. 00
    Shadowbridge by Gregory Frost (PhoenixTerran)
  3. 00
    Songmaster by Orson Scott Card (infiniteletters)
  4. 00
    The Night Circus by Erin Morgenstern (amysisson)
    amysisson: Both are about the magic of performance, and have colorful performer characters, although one is science fiction and the other is fantasy.
  5. 01
    The Moon is a Harsh Mistress by Robert A. Heinlein (MyriadBooks)
    MyriadBooks: For the seeds of revolution.

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Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
I ordered this book used on Amazon & am so glad I did. It was rather hard to track down (in that it's not widely available and is not an ebook).

I didn't really know much about this going into it. I don't even know why I purchased it; the synopsis wasn't that gripping. Perhaps I like titles that have an obscure element from the story in it.

Waitman's writing was...shall I say: exquisite. It was very much a prose on the issue of performing arts and how censorship can be a tragedy when it comes in contact with it. I am not a performing artist, however I am a graphic artist and this book touched many chords with me; made me think about how if, I, specifically, was prohibited from creating something I love just because I may be interpreting it in a different way.

The Merro Tree was beautifully written; the characters were very well hashed out and Waitman gave the reader lots of credit and didn't spoon feed information to you.

One thing that caught me off-guard (which I should have easily figured out just looking at the bookshelves this book is in) was the homosexual relationship between Mikk & Thizziss (which I pronounced like
Thesis but with a "Z" sound in place of the 1st "s"). It weirded me out at first...not that I particularly care what other people do...I've just never read anything like it before. I ended up enjoying that aspect of Mikk's life and I longed for Thizziss' scenes when Mikk had to go away from him. It seemed natural and if it were any other way it would seem forced. I especially loved Waitman's use of the coiling of Thizziss' limb around Mikk's ankle. It was very endearing

I would recommend this book if you're in the mood for something with more substance to it. I can see how it would be a book where one would have to be in the mood for it.

I took 9 days to read this which is a very long time for me. It wasn't long (436 pages or something), but I felt like I had to take my time; soaking up every word. ( )
  mdunagan | Dec 3, 2019 |
Waitman excels at creating alien cultures and physiologies that are truly alien to human readers. This, her first novel, follows gifted performance master Mikk, who is haunted by childhood traumas, inspired by his love for a sentient singing snake, and driven to fight censorship and laziness of mind wherever he goes. ( )
  wealhtheowwylfing | Feb 29, 2016 |
I picked this up as it was part of the Del Rey Discovery series, and I'd seen extremely good reviews of it, praising this debut novel to the skies...
Well, it was a good, enjoyable space-opera-type story, but I think my expectations had been raised a little bit too high. It was fun - reminded me quite a bit of Deborah Chester's "Golden One" trilogy - a sci-fi/fantasy setting with lots of different co-existing races (mostly inspired by different kinds of animals) and an adventure with themes of freedom and etc...
However, it's not really "deep" and the supposedly-barrier-pushing same-sex-interspecies love affair was neither explicit nor shocking.... (the protagonist is soulmates with a snake-like character).
The story deals with Mikk - a multi-talented artist who is on trial by an interplanetary Council which governs art for performing the songdance of a recently-extinct race, against their wishes and the Council's specific ban. It's told in parallel form, one strand showing us Mikk's life and rise to success, and the other dealing with his current troubles.
There are some interesting ideas here, especially the issue of who art really belongs to, and whether a people can or should feel that they "own" something, and whether an outsider can truly understand the expresssion of another culture... But I could have wished that that the discussion delved a little deeper into these issues - and at the end, the way everything wrapped up felt very pat, to me.

This book won the The Compton Crook Award for Best New Novel, but since then (1997) Waitman has only published one other novel. Perhaps she's decided writing is not the field for her? She doesn't seem to have a website.
( )
1 vote AltheaAnn | Feb 9, 2016 |
Exploring the idea of interspecies romance, this is a truly beautiful story. The first time I read it, it was a copy from the library. Once I finished, I barely waited a day before I went to B&N to order my own copy. I simply had to have it forever, that's how good it is. ( )
  HarperKingsley | Nov 13, 2013 |
This was an amazing book. It's been years since I read it, and I think my son took it with him when he moved out. A truly moving story of a soul-deep love that transcended boundaries, including those between species. A book my son once declared was the best he'd ever read. I recommend this highly. ( )
1 vote PamelaDLloyd | Dec 2, 2010 |
Showing 1-5 of 8 (next | show all)
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Katie Waitmanprimary authorall editionscalculated
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"All the worlds are a stage."
—from the Belian edition of
As You Like It by William Shakespeare
For Laurie
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On every world, no matter how long the night or how deeply he slept, Mikk the performance master woke before dawn, his body eager for the elaborate dance he'd invented as an apprentice to keep his long limbs supple and mind agile.
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