It had been solidified heartbreak. It had been blasphemy.
In the great tradition of First Lensman
(the second Lensman
book), Second Foundation
has a title that wouldn't tell anyone that it is, in fact, the third in a trilogy. It refers to the actual Second Foundation, heretofore only hinted at as another, shadowy organization somewhere at the other end of the galaxy, far from our
Foundation, who are of course preserving technology and re-civilizing parts of the galaxy nearer to them.
The Second Foundation's mission is a lot murkier and, due to the book's structure, a lot harder to discuss without massive spoilers. In short, they're physical technology is pretty weak, but their understanding of psychology, psycho-history, and all that that entails in Asimov's stories (i.e. mind-powers, of a sort) is unprecedented. Much of this serves to make the morality of the story a lot less clear: Second Foundation
gets all the way to where the previous books were creeping: a history of the galaxy that, while being pulpy and adventurous, doesn't really have good guys anymore, per se. Protagonists, sure, but there's no clearly right side in the bulk of this book.
First, though, we get a shorter story that continues the story of the Mule...[The whole review is on my blog. You should read it. I thought it was pretty good, anyway.]