Stone Spring

{4.5/5} “What if Zesi was right? What if she had been driven mad by the horrors of the Great Sea? She was still only fifteen years old, after all. Sometimes she still had nightmares of the man with no face, her father’s corpse washed up by the sea. Who was she to shape the future? What if this nascent scheme to save Etxelur from the sea was just a fever dream?”

Stone Spring by Stephen Baxter, published in 2010

Ana is 14 and she’s becoming a woman. She lives in the village of Etxeler on the sea, with her grandmother. Two men come from Albia, as they do every 7 years — they do things differently there. They come to trade and talk — and maybe find a wife.

Ice Dreamer has been on the move forever. There are only 4 people left in her group. Mammoth Talker brings them to the site of a large number of bison killed by Cowards. He wants them to take some readily available meet, since there’s more than enough.

This is the first novel in the Northland trilogy.

It’s about hunters and fishers, far-ranging traders, and — the newest kind of people — city dwellers and dyke makers. It’s about people for whom nature is a big force in their lives.

If you enjoyed Kim Stanley Robinson’s Shaman, you’ll enjoy this one. It is pretty much historical fiction, but there’s a subtle alternate history component to it which will probably be stronger in the sequels.

I’ve read 17 books by Baxter. I previously reviewed World Engines: Creator.

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