BRONZE SUMMER by Stephen Baxter
Kirkus Star

BRONZE SUMMER

KIRKUS REVIEW

The saga of Northland, a sophisticated hunter-gatherer civilization thriving behind a vast wall shielding it from the invading waters of the North Sea (Stone Spring, 2011), continues in a tumultuous alternate 1159 B.C.

Drought and famine grip Europe and Asia. The eruption of an Icelandic volcano spreads ash through the atmosphere, chilling the air and further damaging the ecosphere. The Northland’s trade with the Americas has gained them both maize and the potato and thus may hold the key to staving off starvation. A deposed but extraordinarily charismatic Hatti (Hittite) queen and her lover (actually owner), an ambitious Trojan scavenger, seek access to these foodstuffs, while political infighting in Etxelur (the region closest to the Wall) about whether to grant such access has already led to murder. This is worldbuilding at its very finest. Baxter’s research of ancient cultures and natural history (detailed in a helpful afterword) and his extrapolation of what Northland societal structure might be like create an utterly real-seeming physical, political and economic landscape. His understanding of the human heart and its frailties paint convincing and powerful character portraits, particularly when exploring the various ways in which people will behave when pushed to the absolute end of their emotional endurance.

Gripping, well researched and sharply intelligent.

Pub Date: Nov. 6th, 2012
ISBN: 978-0-451-46479-8
Page count: 512pp
Publisher: ROC/Penguin
Review Posted Online:
Kirkus Reviews Issue: Oct. 15th, 2012




NEW & NOTABLE SCI-FI/FANTASY:

Sci-FiBRONZE SUMMER by Stephen Baxter
by Stephen Baxter
Sci-FiMECHA ROGUE by Brett Patton
by Brett Patton
Sci-FiTHE CASSANDRA PROJECT by Jack McDevitt
by Jack McDevitt
Sci-FiCOLD DAYS by Jim Butcher
by Jim Butcher

MORE BY STEPHEN BAXTER

Sci-FiIRON WINTER by Stephen Baxter
by Stephen Baxter
Sci-FiSTONE SPRING by Stephen Baxter
by Stephen Baxter

SIMILAR BOOKS SUGGESTED BY OUR CRITICS:

IndieCOLONY EARTH by Regina M. Joseph
by Regina M. Joseph
FictionSUPERVOLCANO: ERUPTION by Harry Turtledove
by Harry Turtledove
FictionSHAMAN by Kim Stanley Robinson
by Kim Stanley Robinson
Sci-FiBLACK SHIPS by Jo Graham
by Jo Graham
FictionTHE LAND OF PAINTED CAVES by Jean M. Auel
by Jean M. Auel