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Subject:  Lion's Blood Date:  5/15/2002  12:58 PM
Author:  mapletree3 Number:  724 of 3375

I mentioned Stephen Barnes' new book Lion's Blood a few days ago. I reserved it at the library and it came back this weekend. I've finished it already and it was GOOD! Interesting premise, skillful execution. It take real skill to set up a situation that has me crying within the first 20 pages of a book, without seeming fake or exploitative.

Lion's Blood explores an alternate history where the relative technological advancement and power of the races is reversed. Barnes chose as his 'turning point' ancient Greece. Socrates doesn't drink the hemlock - instead he flees to Alexandria where he draws the mainstream of Greek philosophy. Alexander survives his bout with pneumonia, returns to Egypt, and rules as Pharoah with an Ethiopian princess as his queen. In the 1800's, a young Irish boy is taken from his village when it is raided by Vikings. He's taken across the ocean to Bilaliland and sold to an important government offical and landowner. Lion's Blood is the story of the friendship that develops between him and a young black man, his owner's son, as they grow up and apart into their different roles.

Damn, it was good.

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