Saint Leibowitz and the Wild Horse Woman (Walter M. Miller, Jr.) - Bantam - 1997 - 434 pages

Forty years after his first novel (A Canticle for Leibowitz), author Miller's sequel (or "midquel") was published a year after his death by suicide.  This volume really belongs as the third of four super-chapters (or "Fiats") in the Canticle.  Seventy years after "Fiat Lux," Brother Blacktooth wants to leave the Abbey and find his own way.  Blacktooth is eventually enlisted as an interpreter for Cardinal Brownpony who soon becomes Pope Amen II and tries to return the papacy to New Rome.  On the journey, Blacktooth finds and loses his love (Aedrea), makes new friends & enemies, and experiences war and sickness as he and his colleagues criss-cross the lands once know as Texas and Arkansas.  This adventure and imagined, bleak future is even richer than the three short stories that were merged to form Canticle.  It is tragic that the author was unable to defeat his own demons and deliver more stories to populate this post-apocalyptic world he created. [JAM 2/17/2012]