The Last Toqeph, by Yvonne Anderson (Yvonne Anderson, 2014)
The Last Toqeph brings the Gateway to Gannah series to a satisfying close. Because it’s the fourth book, I appreciated the recap at the beginning, as told by Adam, one of the central characters. This means a new reader could start here and not feel confused, although the series is worth reading from the beginning.
Gannah is an Eden-like world, and although to North American eyes some of its customs seem harsh, the people value honesty and honour. The best thing about being a native Gannahan is having an organ called a meah, which allows one to communicate telepathically with other Gannahans and also with the Yasha (as God is known on this planet).
The whole story of how the people of Gannah came to worship the Christian God is part of why I recommend starting with book 1, The Story in the Stars. It’s fascinating.
Present-day Gannah has one pure-blooded native remaining, plus her mixed-race children and a settlement of immigrants who want to follow the traditional Gannahan way of life. At least that’s what they all think – until Adam meets a native Gannahan stranger, Daviyd. In truth, there’s an entire colony of survivors.
Although the characters are in some ways different than we are, there are enough common points that I never felt “alienated” by them. In fact, they consider themselves humans – just Gannahan, not Earthish. Characters from other planets bring different cultural backgrounds and biases into the settlement, and that makes for added conflict. If you don’t relate to an aspect of Gannahan conduct, it’s likely that one of the other characters will agree with you.
I enjoyed discovering the different planetary backgrounds and perspectives. The author definitely did her homework when it came to world-building. The differences increase the sense of realism.
The Last Toqeph wraps up all the plot threads woven through the series, and while not all aspects of the ending are happy, they’re satisfying. Not everything is cut and dried, though. Readers can speculate for themselves over the intent behind Adam’s closing line of dialogue.
I hope we’ll see more novels from Yvonne Anderson. In the mean time, you can learn more about Gannah on her website, Y’s Words.
[Review copy from my personal library.]