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Book Title: Wraiths of Time|
Date of issue: December 15th 1992
ISBN 13: 9780812547528
The author of the book: Andre Norton
Format files: PDF
The size of the: 35.15 MB
Edition: Tor Books
Read full description of the books Wraiths of Time:This book is one of the reasons I kept reading Norton even after I began to realize her (not particularly thickly disguised) cruelty.
I had never heard of Meroe before I read this book, and it led me to further research on the subject. I've always had great respect for Norton's knowledge of the back alleys and culdesacs of history.
She's also a good storyteller, and good at extrapolation. The society of the Empire of Amun (and its predecessors, Meroe and 'Khem' (Egypt) is well developed (at first). The descent into the sewers and secret passages isn't quite so disorienting as in other Norton books. The machinations of Khasti and the titular 'wraiths' aren't very plausible, but court intrigues are well developed, and the material elements are nicely realized. More later, as I reread, and am reminded of faded elements.
Not particularly well-managed sewers, come to that. If the city of New Napata has been sited for hundreds of years over sewers which are essentially no more than underground canals draining who knows where, I would expect that there must be an area outside the city that was heavily polluted, and the city's drinking water must be badly compromised. Furthermore, I seriously doubt whether crocodiles could live in such a noisome environment.
If the wraiths aren't particularly personalized (only one is known by name), the citizens of New Napata (with the exception of a very few) are almost as faceless. There are a few mentions of Guilds and suchlike (and one merchant who lost a donkey in an intruiguing way)--otherwise, mostly not even the shadows of a city full of ordinary people living their lives are to be seen.
The most incredible part to me is the fact that a competent, professional woman from our society easily accepts the notion of an anointed caste-based society. In the prologue, she is a sophisticated member of a cosmopolitan society, eating Chinese food, discussing developements in other lands. Very soon after arriving in Amun, she accepts the basic premises of a xenophopic society, even to the point of scornfully rejecting the religious beliefs of the 'southern barbarians'. Of course, she's entered the society as a princess and priestess. Maybe a little trip through the sewers could prove a useful lesson after all--IF she learned anything from it.
Read information about the authorAlice Mary Norton always had an affinity to the humanities. She started writing in her teens, inspired by a charismatic high school teacher. First contacts with the publishing world led her, as many other contemporary female writers targeting a male-dominated market, to choose a literary pseudonym. In 1934 she legally changed her name to Andre Alice. The androgynous Andre doesn't really say "male" to English speaking readers, even though it is a man's name in other languages (i.e. Norwegian). She also used the names Andrew North and Allen Weston as pseudonyms.
Andre Norton published her first novel in 1934, and was the first woman to receive the Gandalf Grand Master Award from the World Science Fiction Society in 1977, and won the Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master Award from the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) association in 1983.
Norton was twice nominated for the Hugo Award, in 1964 for the novel Witch World and in 1967 for the novelette "Wizard's World." She was nominated three times for the World Fantasy Award for lifetime achievement, winning the award in 1998. Norton won a number of other genre awards, and regularly had works appear in the Locus annual "best of year" polls.
On February 20, 2005, the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, which had earlier honored her with its Grand Master Award in 1983, announced the creation of the Andre Norton Award, to be given each year for an outstanding work of fantasy or science fiction for the young adult literature market, beginning in 2006.
Often called the Grande Dame of Science Fiction and Fantasy by biographers such as J. M. Cornwell and organizations such as Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America, Publishers Weekly, and Time, Andre Norton wrote novels for over 70 years. She had a profound influence on the entire genre, having over 300 published titles read by at least four generations of science fiction and fantasy readers and writers.
Notable authors who cite her influence include Greg Bear, Lois McMaster Bujold, C. J. Cherryh, Cecilia Dart-Thornton, Tanya Huff, Mercedes Lackey, Charles de Lint, Joan D. Vinge, David Weber, K. D. Wentworth, and Catherine Asaro.
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