Third installment of a fantasy epic set in the Bronze Age (The Breath of God, 2008, etc.).
The prolific Turtledove is best known for his alternate-history military novels, often tinged with science-fiction elements and usually set during relatively recent periods such as World War II. But this ongoing series, which began with Beyond the Gap in 2007, delivers more traditional sword-and-sorcery fantasy. Count Hamnet Thyssen and his band of fighters continue their fight against the powerful magic-using Rulers, who have been terrorizing tribes throughout the land. Hamnet and his friends, including spell-casting female shaman Marcovefa from a cannibal tribe, also pursue their quest to find the Golden Shrine, which according to legend holds the key to defeating the Rulers once and for all. As usual, Turtledove includes many details that make his fictitious society come alive; for example, he acknowledges differences in languages and dialects among the tribes that a less thoughtful writer might ignore. But the major attractions here are the epic, cinematic battle scenes. One climactic clash involving battling wizards and a bursting dam is particularly striking.
Definitely worth a look for Turtledove’s fans and fantasy enthusiasts in general.