Copyright 1992 by
I first read this on the 27th December 2001.
A few decades in the future, the world is much the same as it is now, with
the exception that time-travel to the past has been achieved and in fact
has become commonplace.
At Oxford University, they routinely drop travelers into the past.
Until now the Middle Ages has been considered too dangerous a time to
ensure the safety of the traveler. However, through some sly
politicking, the Medieval department is to send the first traveler to
Our brave explorer is the charming Kivrin. She's spent years
preparing herself, unfortunately her superiors have been somewhat less
diligent, and the trip will go wrong almost from the start, and go
Meanwhile, problems are developing in the present, and it is looking less
likely that they will be able to retrieve her.
It's uncertain whether Kivrin, or indeed the scientists who sent her,
I was almost totally uninterested in reading this book, assuming it was a
medieval romance disguised as SF by dint of a little time-travel. However,
I eventually got around to opening it, mainly because I was stuck for a
book to read and the paperback was substantially lighter to hold than
the alternative "Parable Of The Talents" by Octavia Butler which I had
foolishly bought in a large-format version.
However, while reading the first page I realised that the writing
was a delight. Even the first line brought a smile to my face. The
novel is of course not so cheerful throughout. Some parts of this book,
in particular those set in the Middle Ages, are harrowing.
Mr Dunworthy, Mary, Colin and most especially Kivrin, are superb and
superbly-drawn characters, I'll treasure the memory of Mrs Gladstone (the "Gallstone" as Colin
calls her) and hope that I never meet her like.
Loaded on the 20th January 2002.