The Many Colored Land Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Many Colored Land

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.
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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.

The review of this Book prepared by David Pearce

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.
The review of this Book prepared by Joel Feigenbaum

Chapter Analysis of The Many Colored Land

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Plot & Themes

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 Time Travel:    -   largely backwards/past Political power play    -   Yes Political plotlets    -   overthrowing govt/kingdom Repressive society story    -   Yes Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Time Travel story?    -   Yes Who's a slave/repressed?    -   humans are slaves of aliens

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Profession/status:    -   a lawyer creature    -   accused criminal Age:    -   20's-30's If magical mental powers:    -   telekinesis    -   mind reading    -   mind control    -   clairvoyant    -   can fly    -    Invisibility    -   can read emotions


Terrain    -   Jungle    -   Water    -   Mountains    -   Forests Earth setting:    -   dinosaur times Spaceship setting:    -   alien spaceship Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes Takes place in spaceship?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   moderately detailed references to deaths scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   a lot of techical jargon Sex in book?    -   Yes 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

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Julian May Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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