Sunday, November 11, 2007

Navigator-Stephen Baxter

Stephen Baxter
Ace, Jan 2008, $24.95
ISBN: 9780441015597

I Musta’rib AD 1085. In northern Spain, English teenager Robert wants to become a holy warrior until he meets and falls in love with intelligent Muslim Moraima. At the same time, scholar Father Sihtric and the Vizier of Cordoba hate their symbiotic relationship as the Christian is forced by the Moors to build God’s weapons from the Eadgyth of York prophesy he possesses while the Vizier is forced to rely on the priest to obtain the wine he needs to quench his alcoholic dependency. These two enemies work together on their personal needs, but will do anything to keep Robert and Moraima apart; as cross religious love has no place under God.

II Crucesignati AD 1242-1248. The Christian crusading armies force the Muslim Subh to flee Seville where she hid her shame of a Christian ancestor circa the late eleventh century. At the same time Joan the Christian fled the Christian Holy Land kingdom Outremer when it fell. Each possesses a segment of a prophecy that when combined will make God’s engines drive the infidels out. When these two women meet, hell has come to Spain in the fury of these two enemy combatants.

III Navigator AD 1471-1492. A new power has surfaced in Spain at a time when the Christian’s Crusade against the Muslims proved successful. The middle class sees things more from an economic opportunity perspective than a godly viewpoint. This has led to a new religious fervor from within as the Spanish Inquisition weeds out heretics especially from the middle class. Talk is focused on womanizing Genoa baboon Columbus as he wants to sail west to reach the East instead of journeying through Islam. He might be the Dove named in a recently discovered prophesy or another heretic needing a fiery lesson.

The third Time’s Tapestry (see EMPEROR and CONQUEROR) covers the century between William’s victory and Columbus’ trip. The book is divided into three stanzas that accentuate the changes in fortune of the prime groups especially the fall of the Moors and the rise of the Christian middle class. Stephen Baxter continues to make his case that those who sit on their past glory by introspection lose over time to those who look beyond barriers for opportunities. A terrific tome that provides readers with a great thought providing alternate historical epic.

Harriet Klausner

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