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The Zero Stone by Andre Norton
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The Zero Stone (1968)

by Andre Norton

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Murdoc Jern (1)

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Showing 5 of 5
This review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes.blogspot.wordpress.leafmarks.tumblr.com by express permission of this reviewer Title: The Zero Stone Series: Murdoc Jern Author: Andre Norton Rating: 3 of 5 Stars Genre: SFF Pages: 250 Synopsis: Murdoc Jern, son of a famous jemologist, is pushed out on his own, with only an unknown stone as his inheritance. Plying his trade as an apprentice, his master is murdered and Murdoc is on the run. From the Guild, the Patrol and other sources. He hooks up with an alien, born from a cat, named Eet to find out what the Zero Stone is. My Thoughts: This was typical Norton, with brains being the most important thing. Action happened, but it was described so stultifyingly that it was a relief to get to other stuff. I did enjoy the overall story but there are times that Norton's style grates. It is a testament to her writing skill and storytelling ideas that even with that, I still keep reading her stuff. I love the story and the idea of exploring space for Lost Civilizations is cool. I liked this enough that I am now in the middle of the second book. " ( )
  BookstoogeLT | Dec 10, 2016 |
One of the very best Norton stories ( )
  chasrome | May 3, 2009 |
Kirkus Reviews Murdock Jern is the adopted son of a man who spent a lifetime, sometimes on the wrong side of the law, collecting and examining. . . trading. . . the treasures of the universe. He taught Murdock the intricacies of gem evaluation and left him a special legacy. . . a mysterious, curiously lifeless alien ring which he dubbed the Zero Stone. But apparently others are anxious to claim it. Murdock's father died a brutal death and now Murdock finds himself pursued by the notorious "Thieves' Guild" as well as the Space Patrol. Fortunately he has found an ally in the odd little mutant Eeet, a mind reader with an assortment of unusual talents. Miss Norton's extraordinary imagination is again at work as she reels her hero from a city where they choose sacrificial victims by lottery to a ship where he is condemned as a plague victim through space sans ship where the "Zero stone" acts as a strange propellant to a planet with hidden tombs bearing the bodies of the "Forerunner races," creatures of legend. Good sustaining action in what could be the start of a very nice series.
(Kirkus Reviews, March 1, 1968) ( )
  nealdowns | Dec 27, 2006 |
I enjoyed the twist of fantasy/sci-fi in her story. It is just a little easier to susspend dis-belief on a different world. ( )
  baggette | Sep 29, 2006 |
Showing 5 of 5
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Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Andre Nortonprimary authorall editionscalculated
Canty, ThomasCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jacques, RobinCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Jones, JeffCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Velez, WalterCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Epigraph
Dedication
For
A. M. Lightner,
who was the 'godmother' for Eet
First words
The dark was so thick in this stinking alley that a man might well put out his hand and catch shadows, pull them here or there, as if they were curtain stuff.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Wikipedia in English (1)

Book description
A mysterious stone, born of worlds long extinct, is the key to powers unimaginable to man - powers that could enable its owner to control the universe. Merdoc Jern, gem trader, finds that possession of the stone has led him to the center of a web of intrigue and murder.

With his companion Eet, an inscrutable feline mutant with phenomenal ESP powers, he is hunted through space, coming finally to a long forgotten planet inhabited by apelike "Sniffers." There, facing the predatory sniffers, the antagonistic Patrol and the laser-guns of the Thiever' Guild. Murdoc must seek the source of the Zero Stone and bargain for his right to pursue his destiny as a free man... and just incidentally, his life.
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"You are only a duty child, Murdoc. Though mark me true, I have never made less of you in this house because of that. And no one can say that I have!"
A duty child - one of those embryos shipped from a populous world to a frontier planet in order to vary the stock, by law assigned to some family to be raised and nurtured as their own. It did not greatly matter to me that I was not of her blood. But that I was not a son of Hywel - I hated that! I think she read this in my eyes for she shrank from me. But she need not have feared any trouble, for I turned and went from that room, and that house, and later from Angkor. 
All I took with me was my heritage - the ring out of space... The Zero Stone
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A gem trader becomes the hunted as he seeks the truth about a mysterious stone rumored to be the key to all the power in the universe Apprentice gem trader Murdoc Jern lives on Angkor, a thriving hub of interstellar trade. One day, a furtive visitor brings him a ring discovered on an alien corpse. It?s made of age-pitted metal surrounding a dull and lifeless stone. Yet it exerts a powerful hold on Murdoc. And when his father is killed, Murdoc begins a quest, taking with him his only legacy, the mysterious ring, which he knows is the key to his dad?s death. Accompanied by Eet, a feline mutant with paranormal powers, Murdoc hurtles through space, where he?s pursued by a religious order called the Green Robes. His journey takes him to distant planets and once-great armies marooned on vanished worlds. In a desperate battle to learn the ultimate meaning of the Zero Stone, Murdoc must bargain for his freedom?and his life?and confront the fate that befalls seekers of knowledge.… (more)

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