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Continuing the alternate-Bronze-Age epic begun in Harry Turtledove's Beyond the Gap:
The glaciers came and covered the world with ice. Now they are in retreat. North of the city of Nidaros, north of the forest, north of the steppes where the nomadic Bizogots hunt, a gap has opened in the ice-wall. And down through that gap come the men who call themselves "Rulers."
Their terrifying cavalry rides wooly mammoths. Their bows can shoot arrows farther than those of the southerners. Their wizards wield power that neither the shamans of the Bizogots nor the wizards of Raumsdalian Empire can match, a magic that can melt the stone beneath a man's feet, call down blasting fire from the sky, or decimate a tribe with plagues that have no cure. Scattered survivors of the Bizogot tribes hide from the Rulers. The Empire is shattered. The feckless Emperor Sigvat II is in hiding.
Against the Rulers stands Count Hamnet Thyssen and his small band of friends. Jarl Trasamund of the Three Tusk Bizogots. The adventurer Ulric Skakki. And, most important, Marcovefa, the female shaman of a cannibal tribe that lives atop the Glacier itself. Marcovefa has magic that the Rulers cannot counter.
But there are many Rulers, and they have many wizards. Marcovefa is but one.
Perhaps Hamnet and his allies can save their lands from the Rulers. But first they must seek out the legendary Golden Shrine – and the Golden Shrine has not been seen by human eyes since the time before the glaciers came.
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Harry Turtledove is an American fantasy and science fiction writer, born in Los Angeles, CA on 14 June 1949. A Caltech dropout, he eventually attended UCLA and received a Ph.D. in Byzantine history in 1977. In the 1980s, Turtledove worked as a technical writer for the Los Angeles County Office of Education. In 1991, he left the LACOE and turned to writing full time. From 1986-1987, he served as the Treasurer for the Science Fiction Writers of America. He has written under several pseudonyms, including Eric G. Iverson, Mark Gordian, and H. N. Turtletaub. Turtledove has received numerous awards and distinctions, including the HOMer Award for Short Story in 1990 for "Designated Hitter," the John Esthen Cook Award for Southern Fiction in 1993 for Guns of the South, and the Hugo Award for Novella in 1994 for Down in the Bottomlands. "Must and Shall" was nominated for the 1996 Hugo Award for Best Novelette and received an honorable mention for the 1995 Sidewise Award for Alternate History. The Two Georges also received an honorable mention for the 1995 Sidewise Award for Alternate History. The Worldwar series received a Sidewise Award for Alternate History Honorable Mention in 1996. Publishers Weekly called him the "Master of Alternate History." He is married to mystery writer Laura Frankos and they have three daughters: Alison, Rachel, and Rebecca.From Publishers Weekly:
Master alternate historian Turtledove stumbles with his third novel set in a parallel Bronze Age. Picking up shortly after the events of 2008's The Breath of God, the book continues the exploits of Count Hamnet Thyssen and his allies as they struggle to defeat the mammoth-mounted Riders, who are aided by powerful wizards. The count's ace in the hole is Marcovefa, a cannibal and shaman whose magic enables his forces to hold their own. The skirmishes with the enemy and the quest for a legendary Golden Shrine that holds promise for repairing their world form the bulk of the plot. Anachronistic word choices (You say the sweetest things, darling) consistently undercut suspension of disbelief, and while the imagined universe is accessible to newcomers, there's little to make readers rush out and read the earlier or future books. (Oct.)
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