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The Shield Of Time (1991)

The Shield of Time (1991)
3.65 of 5 Votes: 3
0812510003 (ISBN13: 9780812510003)
tor/tom doherty associates, inc.
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The Shield Of Time (1991)
The Shield Of Time (1991)

About book: three novellas plus connecting materials ( as six strangely titled parts jumping time. Excerpt has dated Sections. The Time Patrol travels time to set up outposts for study and protection of history. Strings of dates, times, wars, conquerors. Detail of costume and habits recreate old cultures. Names warp mouths - Chandrakumar, Euthydemus, Antiochus. What if a past event changed enough to alter the present? Based in 1987 New York City, Manse Everard, Unattached Agent with "broad discretion" p5, tracks down errors and restores balance, referencing (elsewhen runaway Spanish Conquistador and Phoenician conspirators p55) showdowns against an Exaltationist guerrilla gang including pheremone-gale courtesan Theosis 209 BC, and twice hiccups involving otherwise brave knight Lorenzo 1146 AD. My hope for their solution was recruitment, not to be, so no spoiler. In Beringia 13,210 BC, his protégée Wanda Tamberly feels sorry for friendly aboriginal Aryuk's tribe We/Us, taxed by invading Red Wolf's AmerIndians. Section 2 title 'Women and Horses and Power and War' is from Rudyard Kipling, perhaps because the two plot themes are the growing romance between experienced Everard and novice Wanda amid forgotten battles I skim and forget fast. I found the depth of detail discouraging, impeding; others might like the complexity. X-rating for cracked heads, sliced guts, and scooped out eyeballs - undoubtedly true to the times, and the only action in a plodding mish-mash of alternative time-lines. Most surprising contradiction, not found in newer fiction, is the narcotic habit, never in the aspect of a nicotine drug addiction- now chemical patches, gum, spry - always the Patrolman stuffing and sucking his pipe, others imbibing on cigarettes, no fancy cigars, cigarillos, or home-rolled, somehow standard package issue. "The end product of his labors was the story of it, deep and wide-ranging but never seen except by a handful of interested individuals within the corps or up in the far distant future. When he took furlough in his native country and century, he must lie to family and friends about what he did for a living. Surely no monk had ever accepted an existence harder, lonelier, or more devoted." p44 (How about TV Stargate SG-1, Primeval and Warehouse 13 teams?)Typo: missing word(s)?p145 brighten the dark months ahead.[7 spaces] [new line] came when a sorrow and a fear lay over Us.
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