by Jean Lorrah
Summarized by Jean Lorrah
Copyright (c) 2000 by Sime~Gen Inc.
This novel is a traditional romance set within the Sime~Gen
universe. (FIRST CHANNEL is not structured as a romance, even though it
contains a love story.) The particular romance variation is the "reluctant
bride," the woman who gives herself for some reason other than love, and
then learns to love. Risa not only learns to love Sergi, but also
Householding Keon. However, although she cannot change the man, and learns
to love him as he is, she puts her personal stamp on the householding forever.
AMBROV KEON is part of a trilogy of Sime~Gen novels; it takes place around
the same time as HOUSE OF ZEOR in a different territory, introducing Risa
and Sergi and the House of Keon as foils to Hugh and Klyd and the House of
Zeor. All of them meet and interact in ZELEROD'S DOOM, the climax of that
Risa Tigue is a junct (killer) Sime, and a successful businesswoman in the
Gulf Territory city of Norlea. She is returning from a trading expedition
when a hurricane overturns her raft, injuring her and sending her deep into
need. Sensing a high-field Gen, she stalks and "kills" Sergi ambrov
Keon--only he doesn't die.
Sergi is First Companion in Keon. He was escorting a desperately needed
channel from Householding Carre in Norlea to Householding Keon in the far
north of the territory when the hurricane hit. Despite everything Sergi
could do, the channel died of injuries from flying glass in the building
where they took shelter.
Sergi recognizes Risa as a powerful channel, and decides to disjunct her
and take her home. Risa, of course, sees Sergi as something strange,
frightening, and perverted--a Gen who gives her his life force in a
glorious sharing instead of dying as Gens are supposed to. To Risa, Gens
are sub-human. This confident, courageous, educated man is not what she
thinks of as a Gen--and it doesn't help her peace of mind that he is also
one gorgeous hunk of manhood.
Sergi's confidence is rewarded when Risa finds reasons to disjunct and go
with him to Keon: it is just good business to use Gens more than once, she
explains--but her true concern is for her younger brother, Kreg, who is
growing like a weed (Simes are very slender). She is right: not long
after they arrive at Keon, just as Risa reaches disjunction crisis, Kreg
establishes as a Gen. In the householding he is safe, and Risa doesn't
have to lose the last remaining member of her family.
But Keon is not a thriving householding; as a matter of fact, it is barely
hanging on. Furthermore, Risa has grave reservations about the
householding lifestyle. She sees herself as paying Keon back by
channeling--and by straightening out the householding accounts--not as
actually pledging unto Keon. Risa has assets, which she begins to invest
in the local community of Laveen--she is certainly not going to turn them
over to Keon to waste!
But soon Risa finds ways for Keon to ingratiate itself with the local junct
community, to the good of both. She invests Keon money in a shiltpron
parlor, and involves local people in an ill-fated scheme to get raw
materials for the steel mill she plans to build at Keon. That winter the
situation is exacerbated by a territory-wide Gen shortage, resulting in
government orders to confiscate Gens from Keon.
But because of Risa's schemes, enough local families now interact with Keon
socially and financially for many of the juncts to accept channel's
transfer rather than kill Gens from Keon...Gens who have become people to them.
As Sergi has become a person to Risa--not someone who is missing something
by being Gen, but her equal--a man she learns first to respect and then to
The Gen shortage solved, Keon completes the steel mill and prepares for the
first firing of its blast furnace. But of course its success attracts the
attention of juncts who don't want to see the householding lifestyle--the
"perversion" of Simes who do not kill, and Gens who act and are treated
like human beings--spreading just as Risa planned that it would. They
attack Keon and blow up the furnace. Risa's brother Kreg is murdered, and
Sergi is badly injured in the explosion.
It appears that Keon is doomed, that Risa badly miscalculated, her schemes
producing far more evil than good--until the people of Laveen descend on
the householding, caring for the injured, rebuilding the houses and the
steel mill, pouring their efforts into the institution that has truly
become their neighbor--and the last best hope for survival in this end of
Keon rises from the ruins, but never replaces the burnt-out gate in its
wall. The householding and the community become one, the steel mill turns
the poorest section of Gulf Territory into the richest, the kill declines
and all new Simes remain nonjunct. Risa marries Sergi, pledges unto Keon,
and becomes its Sectuib (head of householding). They go on to build the
thriving community seen years later at the opening of ZELEROD'S DOOM.