Sunday, February 14, 2010
Author: Steven Barnes
Publisher: Del Rey Books
Hardcover: 272 pages
Publisher: Del Rey (May 5, 2009)
Product Dimensions: 9.6 x 6.6 x 1 inches
Steven Barnes is probably one of the best science fiction writers of our time. His poetic mastery of the written word paints a beautiful worlds and characters that charge a story for the reader into a fantastic fantasy. Mr. Barnes has ignited African folklore with his Great Sky Woman, into the main stream and continued the explosion with his book Shadow Valley.
Shadow Valley picks up where Great Sky Woman left off. A majority of the Ibandi people wander north from Mount Kilimanjaro, hoping to escape the mighty spear of the Mk*tk. They are led by Great Sky Woman and Frog Hopping, the two people who survived the climb up the mountain to speak with their god. The trek is trek is long, perilous and very arduous. Many turn back, and some of those that remain, are full of doubt. Meanwhile, a new leader rises from those who remained in the shadow of the Great Mountain…a leader full of anger and power, just the right potent mixture for revenge. What he believes he brings to the Mk*tk is death, but in reality, he brings the devastation to what is left of the Ibandi people left at the foot of Mount Kilimanjaro. Eventually, the two strands of Ibandi survivors meet and a struggle for power consumes them, while their enemy the Mk*tk approach. The survival of their people rests on their decisions and actions. Do they fight amongst themselves and let the victor lead, or do they band together to fight a common foe?
Mr. Barnes writes with such vivid realistic detail that the reader feels they are there, witnessing history unfold in front of their eyes. Mr. Barnes makes the Ibandi become family, pushing buttons of fear, love and hate. I have become a fan of African folklore science fiction.
I recommend Shadow Valley as a must read. But you must start with Great Sky Woman to really appreciate this read.
Malcolm "RAGE" Petteway
Rage Books LLC