Read The Golden Torc by Julian May Online


Exiled beyond the time-portal into the world of six million years ago, the misfits of the 22nd century are enmeshed in the age-old war of two alien races. In this strange world, each year brings the ritual combat between the Firvulag and the Tanu. This is the sequel to The Many-Coloured Land....

Title : The Golden Torc
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780330267199
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 384 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

The Golden Torc Reviews

  • Wanda
    2019-06-19 13:51

    Lots of nice twists & turns in this second installment of the Saga of the Pliocene Exile. The worm turns, when humans turn out to be nastier and craftier than their Tanu overlords ever imagined. For one thing, humans are willing to fight dirty. It’s reminiscent of the British facing Native Americans, two different codes of conduct ending in unexpected victories for the less-well-armed side of the conflict. Honour means different things to different cultures and May exploits those differences masterfully.I love May’s involvement of geology in this book, and the couple of appearances by plesiosaurs! Despite the fact that we’re pretty sure that those massive marine reptiles didn’t live in the Pliocene, but still, plesiosaurs!We also discover that becoming psychically operant is not for the faint-hearted, there is pain involved and even necessary for that transformation. Just like childbirth, there is pain & struggle, but once the end product is achieved, there is joy. Unknowingly, the Tanu’s 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. Which begs the question of how that was possible—presumably some hints will be given in later books. Aiken Drum continues to be a wild card—showing odd moments of compassion, but mostly looking out for number one, this psychopathic human has angered all sides of the conflict now, Tanu, Firvulag and Human. It remains to be seen if all three cultures can agree on his elimination!A lovely balance of male and female roles, which passes the Bechdel test with flying colours. A pleasure to read.Book 177 of my science fiction and fantasy reading project.

  • prcardi
    2019-06-10 14:21

    Storyline: 3/5Characters: 2/5Writing Style: 3/5World: 3/5I really enjoyed the series first, The Many-Colored Land, and looked with anticipation to reading this one. The Golden Torc dropped many features that I liked and adopted many devices whose absence I had valued. The writing was not as pleasing and selective as it was in the first. The pacing, likewise, carried forward with momentum this time instead of with choice steps. The first one had a unique identity - not just with the mishmash of themes, but with its way of building up anticipation and delivering excitement. This was much more of a standard action-adventure. Of course, it remains aloft of the generic sword and sorcery since it employs science fiction tropes to supplement the sword and paranormal powers in lieu of the sorcery. I'm not enamored with sidequels, and I blame much of the lack of originality on the format. Structurally, however, I was pleased that only half this story was a retelling. Oddly, some of best features of the parallel story were neglected here. Those key and anticipated intersections where characters from different storylines confront one another or where the repercussions of one plot influence another were mostly missing. Similarly, climactic scenes and eagerly awaited events were often omitted entirely. The area in which this has the most to offer is an area in which I was least prepared to appreciate. May is convincing and detailed with her knowledge of the ancient northern Mediterranean and its geology and zoology. I suspect there were hidden gems in the descriptions of geography and topography that were lost on me.I still like the series but am less enamored with May than I was after the first reading. I did like that the story came to a satisfactory resolution here. I know that there are more to the series, and I'll read them to see what new problems and adventures are conjured next. I also hope for a return to the form of the first.

  • Andreas
    2019-05-28 18:29

    The scope of this saga spanning eight novels is staggering. A gate is opened to the past, specifically the Pliocene era. But it is a one-way trip. Adventurous souls travel back, and find a world unlike any they could imagine. Epic conflict rages between ancient races, and the future destiny of man is decided. The initial four books make up The Saga of Pliocene Exile. * The Many-Coloured Land * The Golden Torc * The Nonborn King * The AdversaryThese can be read as a standalone series, but who would want to stop there?The “bridge” book deals with first contact and the emergence of humans with “supernatural” powers such as telekinesis. * Intervention. In the US edition this was divided into “Intervention: Surveillance” and “Intervention: Metaconcert”.The Galactic Milieu Trilogy deals with events after humanity has entered the galactic community. * Jack the Bodiless * Diamond Mask * MagnificatWhat surprised me as I finally finished the whole thing was how May had meticulously planned the entire arc from the very beginning, with elements important to the last novels referenced in the first. This lends the whole series a sense of completion rare in such works. Considering the fact that it took over 12 years to write, the achievement is even more impressive.The characters are amazing, with rich depths and particular quirks that blend in well with the evolving destiny of humankind. The settings, especially in Exiles are fabulous.Unfortunately, the US covers are beyond awful, but don’t be put off by that. Also unfortunately, the books are out of print, but can be easily found second hand.

  • Christaaay - Christy Luis Reviews
    2019-06-22 16:46

    Three races fight for dominance in Pliocene Europe. Premise: Several million years ago, two factions of a dimorphic alien race took shelter on the most compatible planet: earth. Fast-forward to the 22nd century, where not all humans are happy with the speed of progress and intergalactic relations with various “exotic” races. Several “misfit” humans portal back to Pliocene Europe to escape their own time. Ironically, these time-traveling refugees of the future must now battle aliens for their very lives in the past, instead of living in peace and harmony with them in their own time. The saga of the human and alien refugees continues in this second book of the Pliocene Exile. Adult science fiction, Published 1982. Book I was nominated for the Nebula award in 1981 and a Hugo Award in 1982. It won the 1982 Locus Award for Best Science Fiction Novel.What I Liked: The plot. The plot of book I, The Many Colored Land, is split between setup for the time warp (from “intergalactic age earth” to “Pliocene earth”) and the events following the warp—a short plot of political rebellion that takes place in the world of the Pliocene itself.But book II is all Pliocene politics, baby, and the power struggles center on racial survival.The Tanu, the dominant exotic race due to their strong mental powers, continually battle their rivals and sister-race, the Firvulag, who lack the technology and mental powers of the Tanu.And humans are the slaves.Because the Tanu struggle to procreate due to earth’s radiation levels (unlike the Firvulag, who are far more numerous), they seek humans with strong mental abilities as mates to carry on their bloodlines and rule the Pliocene empire. 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.So, basically the premise rocks. The author pulls it off with style and it’s a lot of fun.What I Didn’t Like: (1) My lack of connection with the characters was such that whenever they endured some terrible plot twist of fate, my reaction, instead of crying with the characters, was continually, "HAH! Clever twist, author, I gotta hand it to you." It’s not that the characters were bad; not at all. 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. The main reason is, I think, (2) that as with book I, I would have preferred fewer perspectives. I like reading from the perspective of a small cast anyway, but these books aren’t 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. Hatred, madness and power-lust drive the plot, but love (almost) never does. Pliocene lovers (who have no chemistry, btw) tend to find comfort in their love only until they go mad or die. Love is almost never a powerful plot motivation. Mental powers are the main “force,” in this world.Which brings me to (4) my fourth and final complaint: I don’t find the speculative element all that...magical. I know, I know, this is sci-fi, not fantasy; but I still like to find myself wishing I could have a go with the superpowers or whatever. I didn't feel that way about the five great “mental guilds” or “metaphysic clans” that make up a large portion of the speculative element, in this series: Farsensors, Creators, Coercers, psychokinetics (PK), and Redactors. The mindspeak is almost nauseating, at times. It sounds like baby talk:“Atleast they no make Aiken dance their tune viceversa if anything. Not toy like Raimobooby.Nor I Sukeylove if you help.”I happen to enjoy whimsy more than MIND CRUSHING POWERS! But a different reader might really enjoy the complexity of the mental gymnastics involved. Overall: Julian May knows how to tell a good story. This review may have sounded negative, but I’m really just elucidating my own personal reasons for keeping this book at 3.5 stars, despite the incredible thought put into the premise and pageantry. Recommended To: Male readers of fantasy and sci-fi at my library seem to love this series. Any plot- or milieu-driven readers would eat this up. I recommend it to teen and adult readers of sci-fi. It will appeal to some fantasy readers, but more to sci-fi readers, I think.Book III?: I think I'll give it a shot. The plot sounds interesting and I like the direction things are going with Aiken Drum...If you liked this review, you can read more of my speculative fiction reviews on my blog, here.

  • Roddy Williams
    2019-06-26 13:41

    ‘Book Two in the Saga of the ExilesExiled beyond the time-portal into a world of six million years before, the misfits of the 22nd century are enmeshed in the age-old war of two alien races.In this strange world, each year brings the ritual Grand Comabt between the Firvulag and the Tanu, possessors of the invincible mind-armouring necklet…THE GOLDEN TORC’Blurb to the 1982 Pan paperback editionThe second episode of The Saga of The Exiles takes us deeper into May’s bizarre, cruel and beautiful Pliocene civilisation. Bryan, who travelled to the past to find his lost lover, Mercy, discovers her to be the wife of Nodonn, pureblood Tanu, leader of The Host of Nontusvel (i.e. the innumerable Tanu children of the Queen and King Thagdal) and, via her golden torc, one of the most powerful Creators in the Elder Earth.Bryan little realises that his sociological survey of Tanu society will throw the world into turmoil, since it shows that the effect of human interaction with the Tanu will spell their doom.Meanwhile, Elizabeth meets Brede, the prescient bride of the living ship in which the Tanu and Firvulag came to Earth. She is neither Tanu nor Firvulag, but a mixture of both, coming from a separate world in the Tanu galaxy where the split between Tanu and Firvulag did not occur.Madame Guderian and Claude manage to seal the Time Portal to prevent more humans coming through, but Aiken Drum betrays the rest of his fellows who plan to attack the Torc factory.Felice, tortured by Culluket the Interrogator, is forced into operancy, but driven insane.The time of the Great Combat approaches but it seems that even within the Tanu and Firvulag ranks there are those who are tiring of the old traditions.Brede, having foreseen what is to come, rescues the rebels from their dungeon. Elizabeth was to have escaped with Sukie and and Stein in her balloon, but Brede also brings along the unconscious Felice, Elizabeth gives up her place in the balloon and remains behind.Felice, awakening in the balloon, draws Stein into her plan to revenge herself and with her psychokinesis and Stein’s geology skills they crack the already weak barrier holding back the Atlantic ocean, allowing the ocean to pour into the dry basin of the Mediterranean, the basin in which the Tanu and Firvulag are gathered to celebrate the Grand Combat.One of the surprises of this series is that May manages to combine the medieval with the futuristic, the comic with the cruel and tragic, the serious realism of some characters with the caricatured and grotesque, the past and the future, as if many of the themes were aspects of the original duality of the Tanu and Firvulag (whose home planet, incidentally, is called Duat)It becomes clear to the reader that the Tanu and Firvulag did not escape our Earth of six million years ago, leaving the ramapithecines to evolve into humanity.In an intriguing moment, Nodonn, who was criticised for taking a human wife, tells his brothers that he had Mercy’s genes examined, the result of which was that she was almost pure Tanu, leaving the readers to work out for themselves that we are the descendants of aliens who mated with their far future grandchildren.It's impressive, addictive and just wonderful.

  • Mark Hodder
    2019-06-17 12:50

    As with the first book in the Saga of Exiles series, this—the second—is remarkable for its meticulous and absorbing world-building. I did feel, however, that all the detail rather obscured the plot, which was slow to unfold and not sufficiently signposted. Often, I found myself enjoying the scenery without knowing where I was going. There are a lot of characters—a LOT—which made it difficult to remember who was who and tough to feel any sense of engagement. These quibbles aside, THE GOLDEN TORC does come together in the final quarter and the pay off is worth it. Definitely, I enjoyed it more than THE MANY COLOURED LAND (which I also enjoyed) and am sufficiently hooked to continue on to the third book, THE NON BORN KING.

  • Timothy Boyd
    2019-06-12 18:46

    Good 2nd book in the series. The story to me picks up and flows somewhat better than the first book. Nice SiFi and fantasy blend. Recommended

  • Michel Meijer
    2019-06-03 18:26

    Rereading this since years and it has become clear that part 1 and 2 of the Saga of the Pliocene Exile belong to the same story and could have been published in 1 part. So if you are interested in this, just read 1 and 2 after each other. Part 1 (the many colored land) describes the Exiles and the technicalities of the journey to the past, while part 2 gives more background on the aliens, their habits and the symbiosys between Men and Tanu/Firvulag. There is no need to give an synopsis with a fanatasy hero like this one. Many story lines take place in parallel and it is just waiting for the big clash to happen that seals the deal of the 2 books. Basically you expect something big as a result of the disturbance in the balance the Exiles brought with them. In book 1 the raid of Finiah is just foreplay, in the concluding Chapters of book 2 the real deal happens.I just love this series. The story is origional, the subplot and politics nicely interwoven with fantasy magic and personal development. All on a canvas of great descriptions of the Pliocenic European world. I think the first book is better than the second, but it is very close. 4 stars.

  • Kim
    2019-06-04 11:23

    A disappointing read after the first book. I am not sure if I want to read a third although I am curious about what happens next. The first book was a goodread, but this one lacks cohesion, has too many bizaare & confusing characters & the plot gets lost.

  • Ohenrypacey
    2019-06-07 15:51

    So much good world building, with attention to the mythical detail that made it so clever. One series I always enjoy re-reading. RIP Julian May

  • Charlie Devlin
    2019-06-02 18:40

    One of the best parts of the Pliocene space opera with a great ending.

  • M
    2019-05-27 14:34

    Me ha gustado menos que el anterior, pero era de esperar cuando no hay el elemento sorpresa.Esta vez se ha centrado más en acción fantástica típica y menos en la amalgama de consecuencias temporales, mucho más interesantes que no la típica super batalla de final de libro.No me acaba de gustar lo que hace con ciertos personajes, especialmente lo de volver inútiles a unos mientras otros se vuelven super poderosisisimos de las maneras más incómodas. Y a ver si para el 3o ya abandona a los cansinos de Stein y Sukey, que no le interesan a nadie, coñe.

  • Amanda
    2019-06-06 11:49

    This entry feels more fantastical than the first, although science definitely still factors in. It is richer in action and intrigue and perhaps a bit less focused on character development.This is a difficult book to sum up, since so very much happens. It’s an action-packed chunkster, providing the reader with information and new settings without ever feeling like an info-dump. The medieval-like flare of the Tanu and the goblin/fairie/shapeshifter qualities of the Firvulag are stronger in this entry, and it is delightful. 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 brain’s abilities. May has created and weaved a complex, fascinating world that manages to also be easy enough to follow and understand.The intrigue is so complex that it is almost impossible to summarize, and yet it was easy to follow while reading it. Surprises lurk around every corner, and May is definitely not afraid to kill her darlings, following both William Faulkner’s and Stephen King’s writing advice. A lot happens in the book, the characters are tested, and enough change happens that I am excited there are still two more books, as opposed to wondering how the author could possibly tell more story. 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.The book is full of characters but every single one of them manages to come across as a unique person, even the ones who are not on-screen long enough to be fully three-dimensional. The cast continues to be diverse, similarly to the first book, with a variety of races, ages, and sexual preferences represented. I was surprised by the addition of a transwoman character. She is treated with a mix of acceptance and transphobia. I think, certainly for the 1980s when this was published, it is overall a progressive presentation of her. She is a doctor who is well-respected in Tanu society. However, she also is presented as a bit crazy (not because of being trans but in addition to being trans), and it is stated by one character that she runs the fertility clinic because it is the one part of being a woman that will always be out of her grasp. I am glad at her inclusion in the story but readers should be aware that some aspects of the writing of her and how other characters interact with her could be considered problematic or triggering. I would be interested to hear a transperson’s analysis of her character.Overall, this entry in the series ramps up the action and more thoroughly investigates the world of the Pliocene Exile. Readers disappointed by the lack of information on the half of the group heading to the capital city in the first book will be pleased that their story is told in this one. 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. Recommended to fans of fantasy who want a touch of science in their stories and who are interested in the idea of medieval aliens.Check out my full review.

  • Reinhold
    2019-06-22 19:49

    Die Revolution geht weiterDieses Buch stellt den zweiten von vier Bänden des Pliozän-Zyklus von Julian May dar. Einen Überblick über den Inhalt des Zyklus und die Reihenfolge der Bücher habe ich bei meiner Rezension zum ersten Band "Das vielfarbene Land" gegeben. Um diese Rezension kürzer zu halten verweise ich an dieser Stelle auf diese Rezension.Am Beginn des Romans gibt es eine sehr gute und ausführliche Zusammenfassung, diese kann die Lektüre des ersten Teil natürlich nicht ersetzen, wenngleich man tatsächlich über alle wesentlichen Punkte Informationen bekommt. Nun also zu diesem Roman:Anders als im ersten Teil wird hier nun auch die andere Seite nämlich die der Tanu erzählt, dennoch kommen die Protagonisten des ersten Teiles nicht zu kurz. Zum Inhalt: Nachdem im ersten Teil eine der wichtigsten Festungen der Tanu zerstört wurde, blasen nun die "Geringen" zum Angriff auf die Tanuhauptstadt und das Zeitportal. Ehe es jedoch dazu kommt wird die innere Konstellation der Tanugesellschaft durchleuchtet und das Bild der Aliens deutlich differenzierter gezeichnet als noch im ersten Teil. Plötzlich treten sehr unterschiedliche Strömungen ins Sichtfeld des Lesers. Kurz gesagt eine weitere Verbesserung der soziokulturellen Betrachtugen des ersten Bandes der Tetralogie.Besonders hervorzuheben ist die weitergehende Charakterentwicklung und die weiterhin sehr tiefe Zeichnung von neuen Charakteren - auch wenn diese Antagonisten sind, werden sie mit viel Liebe zum Detail dargestellt. May scheut sich daher auch nicht einige der liebgewonnen Protagonisten den Weg alles Endlichen gehen zu lassen.Sehr Interessant ist auch die Erzählung der Geschichte der Aliens, die ebenfalls die Liebe zum Detail erkennen lässt. Es ist keine billige Geschichte, sondern sehr gut entwickelt, leicht fassbar und dennoch nicht seicht.Vergleicht man mit dem ersten Teil, so muss man hier nun auch Kritikpunkte anbringen. Diese beziehen sich vor allem auf einige sehr langatmige Stellen, die für den weiteren Verlauf der Geschichte nicht notwendig sind und kaum neue Details entwickeln. Sprachlich ist Julian May fast die ganze Zeit über wiederum der große Stil des ersten Bandes gelungen - allerdings nur fast. Tatsächlich erlaubt sie sich an einigen Stellen schwere Patzer und die Sprache verflacht. Man möchte fast meinen, ein anderer Schriftsteller hätte diese Stellen geschaffen. Eine ganz besondere Herausforderung für den Leser stellt in diesem Band auch der laufende Wechsel der Erzählperspektive innerhalb einer Unzahl von Handlungssträngen dar. Literarisch hoch interessant, verlangt es vom Leser jedoch sehr viel Arbeit immer alle Handlungsstränge abrufbereit zu haben.Insgesamt kann man sagen, dass das Buch natürlich weiterhin eine Empfehlung bleibt, schließlich empfehle ich ja den ganzen Zyklus, man muss sich allerdings an einigen Stellen auf mühsame Strecken einstellen. Größtenteils aber wird die Geschichte interessant erzählt und nennenswert weitergetrieben. Fazit: Mit dem vielfarbigen Land beginnen und weiterlesen.

  • Kevin
    2019-06-24 18:41

    If you have gotten this far, you will know what the setting is to the Saga of the Pliocene Exile. You may also be wondering what, exactly, is going on with the four characters that went to the Tanu capital of Muriah. And that is where the book picks up.So, the reader finds themselves backwards in time before the rebel uprising at the end of The Many-Colored Land to catch up with Bryan, Aiken Drum, Elizabeth, and the 'Viking' Stein. Theirs is a much more politically driven story, as they maneuver the conniving of various factions that strive for dominance of the Many-Colored Land. As an anthropologist, Bryan embarks to complete a survey of human-Tanu relations that the King hopes to use to support is breeding program. Elizabeth, as the *cough* first fully meta-functional operant is key to that breeding program and a target for those who wish for a pure-blooded Tanu race. Aiken, meanwhile, decides that he is going to throw his hat into this game of throne and attempt to overthrow the King's heir and the King in the ritual Grand Combat so that he can be ruler over the Many-Colored Land... and Stein is caught up in Aiken's story.These characters are followed until the beginning of the Grand Truce, after which we are reunited with our other intrepid time-travelers as they prepare to carry out the final phases of their revolution to free humankind from Tanu control. And of course, in the end, we have the Grand Combat, which Julian May utilizes to grand effect to (view spoiler)[clear the board (hide spoiler)], as it were. Julian May writes political intrigue right. It is fun, suspenseful, and irritating. Most of all, it is not overdone. There is a good balance between the political plot of some of the characters and the adventure plots of our intrepid rebels. Furthermore, in what might seem to be revolutionary to modern readers, most of the story threads are wrapped up! *gasp!* Satisfactorily! *Wha-wha-whaaaat?*Kinda makes you wonder what the second half of the saga is going to be about.... *goes to read prologue to The Non-Born King* Well... they're boned.

  • Fran
    2019-05-27 11:51

    I wanted to give this second volume in the series a better rating but I just couldn't do so. The story itself is more involved and entertaining than the first volume but May manages to manhandle the European lore motif until it's less like reading a sci-fi/fantasy novel and more like a college level mythology class. Potentially interesting characters in which the reader might have vested empathy are abstracted and stereotyped until no one really cares about what will happen to them. The remaining characters have no redeeming characteristics, not even a heroic grace to balance out the fatal flaw. Of those not being used in her mythological motif, she leaves no one to encourage the reader to read the next volume and completely ruins them past any human identification with their problems.I don't like any of these people. I don't care what happens to them or what happens next. I will only finish the series because I continued on recommendation of a dear friend. I want to truthfully be able to say I did read the series.So much more could have been done with this story-rich environment! I wanted to see more of the society created, how it melded with the epoch's natural denizens and one another. I expected to see something about the rama culture and the impact of the torcs and slavery on them. I had hoped to hear more of the Howlers, to see how Claude's advise helped or hindered. Instead, I got boring politics, needless graphic descriptions of killings, and an odd admixture of ancient geology and plate tectonic theory.

  • Simon Mcleish
    2019-06-17 18:27

    Originally published on my blog here in August 1998.The second of May's Pliocene-set Saga of the Exiles series, The Golden Torc continues from where The Many-Coloured Land left off. The humans from the group focused upon in the first novel are continuing to make a large contribution to the alien society they have found themselves in. Aiken Drum is insinuating himself into the highest echelons of society; Elizabeth is trying not to let the Tanu take advantage of her newly recovered mental capacity; Richard is still seeking Mercy (who in fact has married one of the Tanu aristocracy); Claude and Felice are with the rebel "Low-Lifes".The novel builds to a climax at the annual battle between the Tanu and Firvulag; a variety of schemes involving the different members of the group are set to come to fruition at the tournament. They are all upstaged by the actions of Felice, who causes an earthquake which breaches the straits of Gibraltar and floods the Mediterranean with water from the Atlantic (the Mediterranean being a series of salt water marshes and lagoons at around this period, apparently), sweeping away the city of Muriah where the battle is taking place.The book is well put together, and the climax is in the best traditions of science fiction.

  • Penny
    2019-06-10 18:31

    I've read these quite a lot - I can zip through 'em. I sort of do love them.

  • Chris
    2019-06-25 19:41

    Finished this a while back as part of my summer commitment to read more SFF. It's good for the brain. Julian May really caught me by surprise--I hadn't heard of her until I read Chabon's paean to tricksters and SFF in Maps and Legends (which I also recommend). The Many-Colored Land took me a while to get into, but by the time I got a third of the way through I just devoured it and then chowed my way through Golden Torc. This book starts to weave back together the fates of Group Green, and if you're even half-attentive to Irish myth, you'll enjoy the character work. A good mix of SF with the major fantasy elements, and well-plotted, even if I found myself having to work to keep track of some of the Tanu character names in a few spots. Lots of subplots to keep your eyes on, but I think May does a nice job of keeping them all grounded in the main action of the book. Also, I now sort of want a gold jumpsuit covered in pockets...Friends, if you really loved me, you'd cruise used bookstores and find me the next two in the series, because our Half-Price only had this one and the first.

  • Dark-Draco
    2019-05-31 17:37

    These are the first books I have read by this author and I absolutely loved it. In the future, a time portal is discovered that can transport people back to the Pliocene era. A lot of people choose this exile rather than continue living as they have, but a surprise awaits them. 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. Torcs control the populace and enhance physic power, creating a world of slavery and magic.In the first book, a group of humans are taken by the aliens and begin discover their own limitations and powers. Some side with the Tanu, some with the Firvalug, some fight to be independent. In the second book, the same group are drawn into ever more complicated intrigues and the fight for humanity begins.I loved the style, the plot, the characters. A really enjoyable read. The premise that our racial myths of fairies and trolls descend from primitive memories of these aliens is just great. I can't wait to read the next two books, which are ready and waiting on my bedside table.

  • Chris Branch
    2019-06-16 16:50

    The Pliocene Exile/Galactic Milieu saga is a masterpiece of SF/F, and this second book in the series stands out as one of the most brilliantly constructed volumes of the series. With the stage set and the preliminaries out of the way in The Many-Colored Land, here May is free to follow the implications of the human group's arrival in the past to its surprising but entirely logical conclusions on multiple fronts. We get to see how the machinations of individuals and factions play out against the backdrop of the intertwined goals of human and hybrid, Tanu and Firvulag.The end result is a supremely polished effort that's dramatic, humorous, exciting, and just plain fun to read. The amazingly varied cast of characters is wonderfully well-drawn; the categories of hero and villain are often deliciously ambiguous, but the characterizations are always sharp and engaging.Another enjoyable re-read, to be continued with the next volume soon.

  • Malapata
    2019-06-20 12:34

    4,5. Una vez dispuestas la piezas en el primer libro de la serie, May se dedica a moverlas camino de un final aplastante. Retomamos el rastro de la mitad del grupo verde que se dirigió hacia Muriah, la capital de los exóticos. Allí se convertirán sin quererlo en parte de las luchas de poder entre las diferentes facción de Tanu. Mientras los hombres libres del norte preparan la siguiente fase de su plan. Y todo ello con el Gran Combate cada vez más cercano.Un relato que transcurre en una senda donde se solapan ciencia ficción y fantasía, con cada vez un mayor predominio de la última: grandes héroes, búsquedas, manifestación de poderes o combates de campeones se suceden en la tercera parte del libro, la más interesante y que conduce a un final épico.

  • David Meiklejohn
    2019-06-07 16:33

    The first book in the Saga of the Exiles finished with the attack on Finniah. In this book we follow the two parts of Group Green as one lot integrate with the Tanu overlords in the capital city, Muriah, and the others travel there with the hope of wrecking the Tanus' infrastructure. It all culminates in the Grand Combat on the White Silver Plain.Julian May's characters are terrific, each with a depth that's unusual in such a large cast. The descriptions of the mind powers and the mental battles are imaginative but strangely convincing. I've read this several times before and really enjoyed reading it again.My only gripe about the Kindle version is that there are quite a few scanning errors (fight instead of light) throughout the book.

  • Chak
    2019-06-02 18:38

    The only reason I did not review this was because I was too busy trying to get through the next book, so I am writing this quickly, months later. The Golden Torc was AMAZING. I loved it and became a big fan of Aiken Drum. Overall, I loved the four books in this series, and if I had to rank them, I'd say the Golden Torc was the best, The Many Coloured Land was second, The Non Born King was third and the last book, The Adversary, was my least favorite. The Adversary was still good, however, and it did complete the story, so really, if you've read the other three, you absolutely must read it. But don't read past the spoiler space of my review of The Adversary until you're done reading it, because I talk about something I wanted incorporated into the end of the book.

  • Natalie
    2019-06-19 19:27

    In general I give all series two volumes to entice me to read further—in this case, May has failed utterly. Somehow she has taken a good concept and serviceable storytelling and written a book almost entirely devoid of interest. The few sympathetic characters she presents have so minor a role that finding out what happens to them has next to no appeal. I've watched all people and events become slowly more sterile and cold, and in the end I had to push myself to read the last hundred pages. I'm left with absolutely no desire to finish the series—it's a waste of time. I should have gone with my instinct after finishing the first book.

  • Graham
    2019-06-24 11:38

    Exotic aliens with mind numbing and creative psychic powers enslave humans who have time travelled six million years into the past. And this book (2/4) describes the buildup to the great combat that takes place on silver plains between effectively elves and goblins. Shape shifting, fireballs, betrayal, love, prophecy, challenge, score sheets and pesky humans combine with a great inundation that washes many characters clean away. Pulling on Celtic myths, playing fast and loose with geology, and generating Machiavellian plots means that this book is a lot of fun to read, and sets things up nicely for book three of the series.

  • Sandra Bard
    2019-06-22 16:32

    I liked the first book in the series and so started the second book. I finished it.However, my main problems are,there are so many side characters introduced and I didn't feel a connection to most of them. Most of the fav from the first book do not appear or are brushed aside and the style of the first book, which was more of a quest, gives way to page after page of political bickering.It is not my style but I encourage anyone who wants to read this book to go ahead. There are good points, the other reviews will list them.

  • Keith
    2019-05-31 14:21

    I first heard the plot of this book described during lunch in the cafeteria of my high school. I'm very happy to finally have read it for myself. It does not disappoint, although knowing what was going to happen probably dulled the shock of the ending a bit. In any case, really like how the author wove the fantastical elements of the story together with scientific speculation on possibly actual geologic events. I'm looking forward to the next two books in the series to see how this saga plays out.

  • Ward Bond
    2019-06-04 17:27

    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 . . . .

  • Christopher
    2019-06-09 13:51

    Characters run the gamut of achieving their dreams, only to have them crash down, ridiculously insane battles of psychic power/illusion, tragedy befalls, and lives and the status quo are threatened to go nova. May really created a weird mix of brassy/salt of the earth (sometimes veering on antagonistic archetype, but also reminding of David Eddings fantasy series characters) character types clashing in X-Men style battles, Celtic myth strewn through Star Trek aliens, with a clinical biologist/geologists prism of landscape.