Set on a primitive, post-apocalyptic Earth, this is the story of an exiled smith’s apprentice and a renegade female shaman who journey together across a hostile land to retrieve knowledge from an ancient repository (actually a primitive computer system that survived the apocalpyse). As it turns out, the system is not unguarded, and this knowledge can either save or destroy them.

Andre Norton is a recognized grand-dame of science fiction, often recommended. In fact, I picked up this book because it's on the must-read of another fantasy/sci fi author I like quite a bit--CJ Cherryh, whose sort of a neighbor of mine (loosely speaking) in eastern Washington.  So I sat down to read Norton for the first time with this book–approaching it as one would approach a classic work of literature.

Norton’s sparse prose, lively imagination and brisk pacing made this book an easy read, although to a 21st century reader the book felt a tiny bit “old-fashioned” in its technique. (The story was told in the hero/smith’s point-of-view only, and it’s a short read by today’s fantasy/sci fi standards.) This was a stand-alone story, and I am told that in order to truly know the writer, it’s necessary to read at least the start of her Witch World, Time Traders, and/or Solar Queen series, for which she’s best known.

However, I just picked up Solar Queen from the library, and will blog about that one soon!


There are some interesting points in time in this article but I don’t know if I see all of them center to heart.

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