The Book of Dni
and David Wingrove
Just as The Book of Tiana was about the fall
of Dni, and The Book of Atrus told the story leading up to Myst and Riven, The Book of Dni told the story of the rebuilding
of the Dni society. Personally I found this book to be quite slow in place compared to the other books, being a lot more like
Tiana than Atrus.
It has a very slow start,
starting with Atrus and Catherine on an age called Averone, where they find some help to rebuild Dni. Almost the first half
of the book tells all about the searching of Dni and the ages that are still intact. They then slowly start the reconstruction
process which lasts for a while longer before accidentally stumbling on another age! This is where the main part of the story
takes place. This first chunk of the story is amazingly detailed and tells all about some of the more important parts of the
rebuilding process. You also get to know even more of the characters especially Marrim, Irras, and Carrad from Averone, Tamon
and Tergahn, and Esel and Oma. Each of these groups of characters having a task, or purpose for the book. Marrim is more of
a main character, almost representing a younger version of Atrus. Irras and Carrad are there for the purpose of making the
tasks set out for the main characters easier, a gentle way of getting rid of the ordinary tasks that Atrus and Catherine would
normally have to do but dont have time to. Tamon and Tergahn are the two survivors of the original Dni who oversee the operations
there while Atrus is gone, thus enabling Atrus to go to the other age. Esel and Oma are there as historians who can translate
books from other languages, given time. And this is just the start of an enormous
number of characters who we meet as we progress.
Now as I mentioned earlier
the main part of the story, the part that is told on the back of the book, takes place in a new age. This age is called Terahnee,
a lush and beautiful world, seemingly flawless. But of course as of all things worth writing about there is one major flaw.
This flaw is the main story, main problem if you will, of the book, although you dont find out about it until after halfway
through. The world is described in detail making it seem like you are there. Being able to imagine the waterfalls, the wonderfully
crafted buildings and the people are all thanks to the wonderful description. The society and history the Rand Miller and
David Wingrove have made for this new world is amazing. The seemingly perfect society where everyone is treated equal. But
this world was sealed off from Dni for thousands of years for a reason.
From this land comes a brand
new character, a man who keeps to himself for very understandable reasons. His name is Eedrah, son of Jethhe RoJethhe, one
of the many lords of Terahnee. He plays a very important part of the book, always doing what is right and helping other people
see the way that things are from a different point of view, which, in a few cases, changes the outcome of the story.
But a poison has entered
this paradise, for good or bad and it is finally Atrus thats overcomes this problem with the help of his peers. You see more
action in several short chapters that affect the outcome of the book, than you do in the rest of the book.
I found the ending of the
book very disappointing as well, although most of the book did take place in Dni, I found that the main storyline takes place
in Terahnee instead of Dni. Although you do find out a lot about the origins of Dni and Terahnee, I found that it focused
more on Terahnee in terms of main events in a story.
Overall this was a decent
book that drew me in with its literally overwhelming amount of detail. I liked the story although I think the part in Terahnee
should have been drawn out a bit more, and the part describing the work in Dni should have been condensed a lot more, even
perhaps starting with the finding of Terahnee instead of just having re-entered Dni. I still recommend this book to people
who are fans of the other books and the computers games, if just for the extra information on Dni and where it came from,
or to find out what happens in the events leading up to Myst III : Exile. Although I doubt it would interest all that many
people who havent played or been introduced to Myst in another way.
*** / *****
The Dni Critic