The Golden Torc (Saga of Pliocene Exile, Book 2)
Overall : Julian May knows how to tell a good story. Recommended To : Male readers of fantasy and sci-fi at my library seem to love this series.
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Any plot- or milieu-driven readers would eat this up. I recommend it to teen and adult readers of sci-fi.
It will appeal to some fantasy readers, but more to sci-fi readers, I think. Book III? The plot sounds interesting and I like the direction things are going with Aiken Drum If you liked this review, you can read more of my speculative fiction reviews on my blog, here.
The Golden Torc Volume II in the Saga of Pliocene Exile | Julian May
These are the first books I have read by this author and I absolutely loved it. In the future, a time portal is discovered that can transport people back to the Pliocene era. A lot of people choose this exile rather than continue living as they have, but a surprise awaits them.
A race of aliens crash landed on Earth and dominate the era, using humans in their fight between their two factions, the Tanu and the Firvalug. Torcs control the populace and enhance physic power, creating a world of slav These are the first books I have read by this author and I absolutely loved it.
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Torcs control the populace and enhance physic power, creating a world of slavery and magic. In the first book, a group of humans are taken by the aliens and begin discover their own limitations and powers. Some side with the Tanu, some with the Firvalug, some fight to be independent. In the second book, the same group are drawn into ever more complicated intrigues and the fight for humanity begins. I loved the style, the plot, the characters.
A really enjoyable read. The premise that our racial myths of fairies and trolls descend from primitive memories of these aliens is just great. I can't wait to read the next two books, which are ready and waiting on my bedside table. A great sequel where the characters fates are enlarged upon after their jounrey through the time gate. Well thought out and great continuity and flow. Doesn't lose pace and follows on well from where it left off from the first novel.
May 10, Timothy Boyd rated it liked it. Good 2nd book in the series. The story to me picks up and flows somewhat better than the first book. Nice SiFi and fantasy blend.
Aug 27, Shannon Appelcline rated it really liked it Shelves: read-aloud , science-fiction. This is a fine bookend for the first book, bringing many of the storylines initiated in that book to rather solid and at times shocking conclusions. That's the kind of drama you want in a book! Unfortunately, The Golden Torc also loses its way in the last third of the book. There's too much focus on the antagonists, but none of it sufficiently concen This is a fine bookend for the first book, bringing many of the storylines initiated in that book to rather solid and at times shocking conclusions.
There's too much focus on the antagonists, but none of it sufficiently concentrated that we really come to know the individuals as people. There are also too many long listings of names and battles in the end. The Golden Torc rediscovers its way in the last fifteen pages or so, which touch bases with all of our core characters, and promises more of the same in the next book, and that's where a lot of the excitement is too, but it's a bit of a trudge to get there.
Jun 13, Lee Belbin rated it liked it. The blend of SF and fantasy continues with 2 in the series. I don't generally like fantasy so it is credit to May' storytelling that enabled me to finish it and enjoy it. With so many characters and species, it's hard to maintain a deep engagement, but it all works nonetheless. All woven together well, never dragging and with a vein of humour running through. Now looking forward to book Mar 19, Amanda rated it really liked it Shelves: scifi , series , fantasy , aliens , glbtq. This entry feels more fantastical than the first, although science definitely still factors in.
It is richer in action and intrigue and perhaps a bit less focused on character development. This is a difficult book to sum up, since so very much happens. May has created and weaved a complex, fascinating world that manages to also be easy enough to follow and understand. The intrigue is so complex that it is almost impossible to summarize, and yet it was easy to follow while reading it.
A lot happens in the book, the characters are tested, and enough change happens that I am excited there are still two more books, as opposed to wondering how the author could possibly tell more story.
The Golden Torc (The Saga of Pliocene Exile Book 2)
In spite of the action, sometimes the book did feel overly long, with long descriptions of vegetation and scenery far away from where most of the action was taking place. The book is full of characters but every single one of them manages to come across as a unique person, even the ones who are not on-screen long enough to be fully three-dimensional. The cast continues to be diverse, similarly to the first book, with a variety of races, ages, and sexual preferences represented. I was surprised by the addition of a transwoman character.
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She is treated with a mix of acceptance and transphobia. I think, certainly for the s when this was published, it is overall a progressive presentation of her. She is a doctor who is well-respected in Tanu society.
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However, she also is presented as a bit crazy not because of being trans but in addition to being trans , and it is stated by one character that she runs the fertility clinic because it is the one part of being a woman that will always be out of her grasp. I am glad at her inclusion in the story but readers should be aware that some aspects of the writing of her and how other characters interact with her could be considered problematic or triggering.
The Golden Torc (The Saga of Pliocene Exile Book 2)
Overall, this entry in the series ramps up the action and more thoroughly investigates the world of the Pliocene Exile. Readers disappointed by the lack of information on the half of the group heading to the capital city in the first book will be pleased that their story is told in this one. Characters are added, including a transwoman doctor, and all continue to feel completely individual and easily decipherable, in spite of the growing cast list. The fast action pace sometimes is interrupted by lengthy descriptions of settings far away from the action, but overall the chunkster of the book moves along at a good pace and remains engaging.
Recommended to fans of fantasy who want a touch of science in their stories and who are interested in the idea of medieval aliens. Check out my full review. This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here. Bryan, who travelled to the past to find his lost lover, Mercy, discovers her to be the wife of Nodonn, pureblood Tanu, leader of The Host of Nontusvel i.
Bryan little realises that his sociological survey of Tanu society will throw the world into turmoil, since it shows that the effect of human interaction with the Tanu will spell their doom. Meanwhile, Elizabeth meets Brede, the prescient bride of the living ship in which the Tanu and Firvulag came to Earth. She is neither Tanu nor Firvulag, but a mixture of both, coming from a separate world in the Tanu galaxy where the split between Tanu and Firvulag did not occur.
Madame Guderian and Claude manage to seal the Time Portal to prevent more humans coming through, but Aiken Drum betrays the rest of his fellows who plan to attack the Torc factory. Felice, tortured by Culluket the Interrogator, is forced into operancy, but driven insane. The time of the Great Combat approaches but it seems that even within the Tanu and Firvulag ranks there are those who are tiring of the old traditions.
Brede, having foreseen what is to come, rescues the rebels from their dungeon. Elizabeth was to have escaped with Sukie and and Stein in her balloon, but Brede also brings along the unconscious Felice, Elizabeth gives up her place in the balloon and remains behind. One of the surprises of this series is that May manages to combine the medieval with the futuristic, the comic with the cruel and tragic, the serious realism of some characters with the caricatured and grotesque, the past and the future, as if many of the themes were aspects of the original duality of the Tanu and Firvulag whose home planet, incidentally, is called Duat It becomes clear to the reader that the Tanu and Firvulag did not escape our Earth of six million years ago, leaving the ramapithecines to evolve into humanity.