Thursday, October 11, 2012

Bronze Summer-Stephen Baxter

Bronze Summer

Stephen Baxter

Roc, Nov 6 2012, $26.95

ISBN 9780451464798

Millennia have passed since the Year of the Great Sea led to teenagers Ana and Novu leading the construction of the Great Wall. By the Year of the Fire Mountain, Northland has become a prosperous pat of the continent rather than being under the North Sea or conquered by the kingdoms to the east. The impoverished Greeks look at Northland and its trading partner the thriving Hittites for conquest during devastating drought.

In the Northland capital Etxelur, the head of the ruling order dies in what appears to be an accident at a time her daughter Milaqa has failed to choose which Order to join. Milaqa’s Uncle Teel believes his sister was murdered and demands his grieving niece join him and the secret Order of the Crow in investigating the death. At the same time Qirum and dethroned queen Kilushepa team up to take advantage of the chaos engulfing much of the continent including Northland.

The second Northland alternate prehistoric thriller (see Stone Spring) has moved the people from a stone age into a bronze age at a time when an Icelandic volcanic eruption has led to climate change and famine. The action-filled storyline is filled with too much blood and gore distracting from the engaging political and social upheaval started by that volcano erupting; violence is a way of life in Stephen Baxter’s Bonze Age tale.

Harriet Klausner

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