A TIME OF DARKNESS by Sherryl Jordan


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Stranded among gentle cave dwellers, a modern teen-ager finds love, wisdom, and a way to save his own world. Rocco Makepeace wakes to find himself in the remote valley of Anshur, a place he has seen before only in a series of troubled dreams. There, at the urging of a wise old woman, Ayoshe, a band of refugees takes him in and teaches him their open-hearted ways. Once he grows used to the rigors of self-sufficiency, Rocco enjoys an idyllic existence as Ayoshe speaks rather obliquely of how small deeds can have outsized results. As soon as Rocco realizes that he's not in the past, but in a mined, primitive future, he is whisked back to his own era; when a long-lost uncle writes from the USSR to announce the birth of a daughter named Ayoshe, Rocco realizes that he's in a unique position to head off an impending war. A certain amount of death and danger provides some excitement, but Anshur is too utopian to be believable (this, plus Rocco's surname, gives the story a strong allegorical flavor). Still, Jordan creates a cast of distinct, unusual characters, while her point about working in small ways for peace is well taken. Thoughtful and, in the end, optimistic.

Pub Date: Oct. 1st, 1990
Page count: 224pp
Publisher: Scholastic