In the tenth year of The Change, the survivors in western Oregon have learned how to live in a world without technology-but there are those who would exploit the new world order. On one side stands Michael Havel's Bearkillers and their allies, Clan MacKenzie under the leadership of Juniper MacKenzie. On the other is the Lord Protector, Norman Arminger-the Warl...
In the tenth year of The Change, the survivors in western Oregon have learned how to live in a world without technology-but there are those who would exploit the new world order. On one side stands Michael Havel's Bearkillers and their allies, Clan MacKenzie under the leadership of Juniper MacKenzie. On the other is the Lord Protector, Norman Arminger-the Warlord of Portland, whose neo-feudal empire rules over much of the Pacific Northwest.
The tensions between factions have been building for some time, and the only reason they haven't met on the battlefield is because Arminger's daughter has fallen into Clan MacKenzie's hands. But a plan to retrieve her threatens to plunge the entire region into open warfare.
From Publishers Weekly
Stirling concludes his alternative history trilogy that began with Dies the Fire (2004) in high style. Some U.S. survivors of "the Change" that destroyed all modern technology just want to enjoy balanced, wholesome lives in tune with nature, such as former Marine Mike Havel's Bearkillers, who warily defend their territory in cooperation with peace-loving neighbors, especially Juniper MacKenzie's pagan clansfolk. Not far away, however, ex-history professor Norman Arminger is building a fascistic, neofeudal empire with himself as Lord Protector. The inevitable conflict builds, through layers of scheming and skirmishing, into full-scale war. Characters are cut from good quality cardboard, but the real interest lies in watching the different cultures exploring ways to solve problems. The story begins slowly, with detailed descriptions of scenery and armor. But readers will discover that the massive thing is moving after all and realize how much it resembles one of the cavalry charges the novel describes—gorgeous, stirring and gathering such earth-pounding momentum that it's difficult to resist. (Sept.)
Ten years after modern technology and most of the human race go extinct, what was Oregon is divided among three societies. Ex-pilot and professional survivor Mike Havel rules around Salem. Juniper Mackenzie holds sway as bard and high priestess of her clan in the southern Willamette Valley. Self-styled protector Norman Arminger is building a medieval empire based on a social core of former street-gang members in Portland. The incompatibility of Mike's and Juniper's realms with the protector's ambitions as well as those of his consort, the ferocious Lady Sandra, contributes to rising--then overflowing--tension. Before long, Clan Mackenzie has captured the protector's daughter, and Lady Sandra will stop at nothing to get her back. The ensuing maze of intrigue, diplomacy, and battle (with a wonderful variety of weapons ingeniously exploiting archaic technology) comes up to Stirling's highest standards for pacing, world building, action, and strong characterizations, particularly of women. Postholocaust settings aren't to everybody's taste, but readers entranced by Dies the Fire (2004) and The Protector's War (2005), the first two books in Stirling's multivolume contribution to the subgenre, will be happy to be here, in the midst of a major work by an authentic master of alternate history.