The Golden Torc

The Golden Torc

by Julian May

By A.D. 2110 nearly 100,000 humans had fled the civilized strictures of the Galactic Milieu for the freedom they thought existed at the end of the one-way time tunnel to Earth, six million B.C.But all of them had fallen into the hands of the Tanu, a humanoid race who'd fled their own galaxy to avoid punishment for their barbarous ways.And now the humans had made the Tanu stronger than the Firvulag, their degenerate brethren and ritual antagonists. Soon the Tanu would reign supreme. Or so they thought . . . .

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I love Mays involvement of geology in this book, and the couple of appearances by plesiosaurs! Unknowingly, the Tanus torment of certain humans opens the doorway for operancy. Also an interesting revelation: Mercy (the woman who drew the anthropologist Bryan into exile) has been genetically tested and though she came from the future, she is almost full-blooded Tanu.

The initial four books make up The Saga of Pliocene Exile. The bridge book deals with first contact and the emergence of humans with supernatural powers such as telekinesis. Also unfortunately, the books are out of print, but can be easily found second hand.

Storyline: 3/5 Characters: 2/5 Writing Style: 3/5 World: 3/5 I really enjoyed the series first, The Many-Colored Land, and looked with anticipation to reading this one. I still like the series but am less enamored with May than I was after the first reading. I know that there are more to the series, and I'll read them to see what new problems and adventures are conjured next.

The saga of the human and alien refugees continues in this second book of the Pliocene Exile. But book II is all Pliocene politics, baby, and the power struggles center on racial survival. As a result, humans with strong mental abilities, such as the madcap trickster Aiken Drum (who always keeps things interesting) or the totally boring but insanely powerful Elizabeth are highly sought after as Tanu mates. In fact, for a plot- and milieu-driven book, they were quite good. But I really like to connect with my characters, and I had trouble with that in both books I & II. I like reading from the perspective of a small cast anyway, but these books arent large enough to fully explore their 8+ character arcs. (3) My third complaint is totally subjective and likely connected to my first complaint, above; but it bothers me that love is never a great power, in this series. Recommended To : Male readers of fantasy and sci-fi at my library seem to love this series. The plot sounds interesting and I like the direction things are going with Aiken Drum...

A race of aliens crash landed on Earth and dominate the era, using humans in their fight between their two factions, the Tanu and the Firvalug. In the first book, a group of humans are taken by the aliens and begin discover their own limitations and powers.

Its an action-packed chunkster, providing the reader with information and new settings without ever feeling like an info-dump. Creating a medieval world of aliens on ancient Earth is probably the most brilliant part of the book, followed closely by the idea of torcs enhancing the brains abilities. In spite of the action, sometimes the book did feel overly long, with long descriptions of vegetation and scenery far away from where most of the action was taking place. Characters are added, including a transwoman doctor, and all continue to feel completely individual and easily decipherable, in spite of the growing cast list. The fast action pace sometimes is interrupted by lengthy descriptions of settings far away from the action, but overall the chunkster of the book moves along at a good pace and remains engaging.