The Winter Of The World
Copyright 1976 by
I most recently read this on the 11th December 2002.
Thousands of years in our future, the second Ice Age has come and swept away
civilisation. Eventually from out of the ruins humanity rises again, following
a similar path from barbarism as it did so many years before, empires
rising and falling.
The Rahidi empire, the latest to arise, seeks to impose its own "modern"
culture upon all the people of the world. Its army is marching. It has taken the
ancient city of Arvanneth and now approaches the wild Northern prairies of
the Rogaviki. No empire before has managed to conquer these lands. The Rogaviki
have a desperate commitment to their lands. Each clan, each homestead, fights
to the death when their land is threatened. Victors depend upon at least a tacit
acceptance by the conquered, but the Rogaviki can never accept defeat. Thus all
previous invasions have failed.
This time, however, the invasion may well succeed. The armies are larger than ever
before, they are highly trained and this time they will go, under their leader Sidir,
to lengths undreamed of by the Rogaviki.
Donya of Hervar will lead the Rogaviki against the Sidir's invasion. Josserek Derrain
from the far-off land of Killimaraich will dedicate himself to Donya and her cause,
He's surprised that he feels so strongly for Donna, a primitive in his eyes. As
he learns more about her and her culture he discovers that the Rogaviki are far from
uncivilized and indeed quite uniquely different from all other people.
This is one of the hundreds of novels set in in some post-apocalypse medieval world,
full of unrecognizable countries, strange names, odd customs, and military conflict.
It's swords and sorcery (but without the sorcery) fantasy for the most part.
I've largely given up
reading Poul Anderson's books - they are either this style of military medieval
fantasy or, if they are harder SF, they're a little lightweight - perfectly good
escapism for a teenager, but not something one would treasure as an adult.
However, he rather surprised me in this novel. There is some depth
to it, there's an intriguing mystery about the Rogaviki people and in the end I
came round to thinking that it was quite a worthwhile read. Certainly Poul put
a lot of thought into this novel and he's achieved something worthwhile and
exhilarating in his creation of the Rogaviki people.
Loaded on the 27th December 2002.