Forge, Jun 2003, 25.95, 416 pp.
In the distant future a curtain of ice stretches from sea to once shining sea. To survive one must head south of the great wall of ice that has devastated what were once much of the United States and all of Canada. To endure, clans and kingdoms formed as people battles for control of the livable land left on the North America.
Years have passed since Monroe and Olsen led the Colorado Trappers south where they join forces with the Garden tree-dwellers (see SNOWFALL). Jack and Catania's son Sam now leads the army of North-Map Mexico, but knows that his people are on the easement and that the Khanate nomads led by Toghrul Khan will ravage the land on their way to war with Kingdom River ruled by Queen Joan. Sam knows his relatively small country has no chance though the never defeated army would risk their lives to prove otherwise. He needs an alliance with Joan, but worries that her much larger nation will gobble up his small country. To have some say in the confederacy, Sam marries the Kingdom's Princess Rachel. War remains inevitable as Khan and his barbarians sweep over all in their path.
The second tale in Mitchell Smith's future world, KINGDOM RIVER, is a very exciting look at people struggling to survive a harsh time, but in this novel (as opposed to the ice of SNOWFALL) it is from enemy forces. The story line escorts the reader to a changed realm where civilization almost totally collapsed. The audience will picture this frozen wasteland as a distinct possibility because Mr. Smith goes to extreme lengths through his strong characters and vivid universe to make everything believable.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner