A thousand years from now, North America is littered with decaying monumental structures built by the mysterious Roadmakers, who, according to tradition, succumbed to a lethal plague. Now, the Mississippi-based republic of Illyria has developed an early-medieval technology where gunsmiths have figured out how to make primitive firearms, but steam engines and printing presses are unknown.
Karik Endine mustered a group of followers who went with him to locate Haven, the fabled repository of Roadmaker technology and artifacts, but only Endine returned--and he refused to speak of his journey. After Karik drowns himself, young silversmith Chaka Milana is bequeathed the only known copy of a Mark Twain novel, A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court. But now the question is: Where did Karik get the book? So Chaka organizes her own quest, including scholar Silas Glote, Karik's son Flojian, woodsman Jon Shannon, soldier Quait Esterhok, and former priestess Avila Kap. On their journey, far to the northeast, they encounter vast ruined cities, flying trains, bandits, still-functioning holographic computers, slavers, reclusive engineers, and crazy old balloonists. Sadly, many of the party die before the survivors reach Haven to discover the fate of the previous expedition and the source of the mysterious book. The book has solid characters and a consistently intriguing plot. Some have been disappointed at the ending, but I felt it grew organically from the story.
Copyright © 2002 by Jerry Wright