|Plot Summary of The Many Colored Land|
|"The first of four books in Julian May's grand vision of Earth's future and past. The Many Colored Land explores the origin of humanity, our myths and folklore in a romp through time to the Europe of six million years ago. Filled with an epic cast of eccentric and colorful characters, The Many Colored Land begins the story of humanity's first struggle... and its greatest triumph."
Joel Feigenbaum, Resident Scholar
|"Earth has been joined by other alien races in a galactic society, where mind powers abound. Some humans are unhappy with this and seek ways to escape. A scientist has invented a one-way time machine into the pliocene past 5000000 years ago and the book describes what happens to a group who chose exile in the past.
They discover that earth at that time is not the wilderness they expect but inhabited by another alien race. The Tanu have no scruples using humans as slaves to boost both their flagging technology and breeding program. The two races are able to interbreed. The tanu have a technology of mind amplifying 'torcs' which they use both to boost their own powers and as slave collars to control their new recruits.
The party of exiles is divided into two, with one half sent to the capital and their story is told in the second book.
The others are sent north under guard, but manage to escape thanks to the modest mind powers of Felice, and to the small steel dagger she managed to conceal from their captors. They join a band of outlaws led by Madame Guderian, widow of the time machine's inventor.
The outlaws already have a plan to salvage one of the Tanu's space landers abandoned after they colonised the planet, and also an ancient portable laser canon once used in ceremonial battles. They realise that Felice's lucky escape was due to her using a steel weapon, which proved lethal poison to the aliens.
One group succeeds in passing through howler territory (part of the firvulag alien twin race living alongside the Tanu) and make the spear and rho-craft functional again. The other manages to find iron and forge weapons.
The rebels form an alliance with the firvulag to attack the Tanu city of Finiah, only source of barium for Torc production. Desperately racing against time they attack just a day before the annual truce between Firvulag and Tanu. The city is gutted and the now alone human rebels move on to strike at the capital Muriah.
David Pearce, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of The Many Colored Land|
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Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Composition of Book
Descript. of chases or violence - 10%
planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives - 40%
Feelings, relationships, character bio/development - 30%
Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places - 20%
Tone of book
- suspenseful (sophisticated fear)
FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?
- science fiction story
- largely backwards/past
Political power play
- overthrowing govt/kingdom
Repressive society story
Is this an adult or child's book?
- Adult or Young Adult Book
Time Travel story?
Who's a slave/repressed?
- humans are slaves of aliens
- a lawyer creature
- accused criminal
If magical mental powers:
- mind reading
- mind control
- can fly
- can read emotions
- dinosaur times
- alien spaceship
Takes place on Earth?
Takes place in spaceship?
Accounts of torture and death?
- moderately detailed references to deaths
scientific jargon? (SF only)
- a lot of techical jargon
Sex in book?
What kind of sex:
- descript of kissing
- descript of touching personal anatomy
- actual description of sex
How much dialogue?
- significantly more dialog than descript
- roughly even amounts of descript and dialog
Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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