Canopus in Argos: Archives: 2 – The Marriages between Zones Three, Four and Five

  • Doris Lessing
  • HarperCollins
  • 19/7/1994
  • ISBN: 9780006547204

RRP: $24.95 (Inc. GST)


This is the story of the kindly Queen of Zone Three, who rules a land free of all harshness, and her forced marriage with the soldier-king of Zone Four, which is hierarchic, disciplined, inflexible, dutiful. This apparently difficult marriage, unwanted by both, requires a compromise between impulse and reason, between instinct and logic. Ben Ata learns to accept and then to love the ruler of Zone Three and her alien ways; and she learns to love and to need him. But when the Queen is commanded by the Providers to return to her own realm, she must obey, shattering though it is to leave her husband and child. Ben Ata, in turn, is ordered to marry the savage beauty who rules Zone Five, a land that both unites and reverses the other two Zones.

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