Price, Susan The Sterkarm Handshake

ISBN 13: 9780060289591

The Sterkarm Handshake

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9780060289591: The Sterkarm Handshake

The Sterkarms have plundered the border between Scotland and England for generations. Suddenly intruders, calling themselves Elves, want the Sterkarms to stop their violent ways.

The Elves, time travelers from the 21st century, have found a way back to the 16th century and plan to do their own plundering of the land's rich natural resources. Their only mistake is foolishly underestimating the Sterkarms themselves.

For Andrea Mitchell, an anthropologist working among the Sterkarms, none of this matters. In love with Per -- a young Sterkarm warrior -- and feted as a beautiful Elf-May, she's never known such happiness in her own time.

But when Per receives a deadly injury, Andrea's decision to take him into the 21st century to save him has explosive results. Per, seeing how powerful and destructive the Elves truly are, swears to keep them from his land forever. And in the bloody battle that ensues, Andrea must finally choose whose side she is on.

The Sterkarm Handshake is a stirring tale of a clash of two cultures, beautifully told by master storyteller Susan Price.

Books for the Teen Age 2001 (NYPL)

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Review:

"Beware of shaking hands with a Sterkarm!" goes the folk saying. Why the warning? The members of this wild 16th-century Scottish clan are left-handed, and while they smile and offer the right hand, the left wields a dagger.

When a 21st-century mega-corporation opens a Time Tube to the 16th century, the stiff-backed CEO finds his plans for exploiting the mineral and tourism possibilities of the ancient English-Scottish border frustrated by the Sterkarms--raiding parties of men he regards as primitive animals.

On the other side of the Time Tube, anthropologist Andrea Mitchell has been sent to live with the Sterkarms to be the corporation's informant and translator. There she is surprised to find herself admired for her generous curves and accepted warmly by the volatile and affectionate--but intermittently murderous--clansmen. When her lover, Per, is grievously wounded on a raid, she persuades Old Toorkild, the chief, to allow his handsome and adored son to be transported to the 21st century for healing. But when Per awakes in a world four centuries ahead of his own, his terror and suspicions of treachery bring down a wild collision between heartless technology and a ferocious people skilled in passionate defense of their life and lands.

Winner of the Guardian Fiction Prize in England, Susan Price's The Sterkarm Handshake--a richly textured love story, a vivid and sometimes humorous portrayal of confrontation between cultures, and a thumping good page-turner--should find enthusiastic fans among teen-fantasy and time-travel buffs. (Ages 12 and older) --Patty Campbell

About the Author:

Susan Price has always loved reading and telling stories. At the age of sixteen she published her first book, The Devil's Piper. Since then she's written more than thirty books, including The Ghost Drum, winner of the 1987 Carnegie Medal. Ms. Price lives in the Black Country in the heart of England.

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