|Morgan Llywelyn: The Elementals|
Tor (Trade Paperback) ISBN 0-765-30697-2
An outsider in her culture, Kesair steps forward during a climatological crisis and takes control of the remnants of her people's civilization. The seas rise, and Kesair assumes a Noah-like role, overseeing the construction of a boat. She loads the last of the people on it as the waters rise enough to float it. They drift for days, eventually coming to a new land. Despite being the leader, Kesair remains somewhat separated from her people, for Kesair hears the voice of water, first in the ocean, then in the streams and lakes in their new home.
In ancient Crete, Meriones lives a semi-content life. He enjoys his work as a musician at the palace and he loves his wife, even though she berates him frequently for not aspiring to a higher social status. He befriends everyone -- goldsmiths, the nobility and slaves taken from the Isle of Mist. But problems brew in Crete. The summers stretch on too long and become too hot. Finally, nature balances things out, destroying Crete and almost everything familiar to Meriones.
Across the sea and centuries later, Annie Murphy lives the typical life of a New Hampshire housewife. She cares for her husband and children, tending house and cleaning and cooking. But she ultimately becomes the source of the family's prosperity after a strange encounter with a local landmark where an Indian chief died a horrible death and, with his dying words, leveled a curse on the local population.
In a not-too-distant future, our planet dies a painful death. The ozone layer dwindles, decimating the forests, and humanity nears extinction through skin cancer and a failing oxygen supply. George Burningfeather -- half Irish, half Native American -- seeks out fellow Native Americans and moves to a nearby reservation. Everyone figures that civilization will die, and soon. But an old man on the reservation sees a vision that a healing dance could change everything.
Morgan Llywelyn's book reads more like four related short stories. However, several strong threads bind the stories together. The main characters all descend from one another, and the theme of living in harmony with nature ties the tales together. What starts as a sequence of historical stories ends up as a cautionary tale of environmental destruction. The characters come across as very believable, strong-willed but with human foibles as well. A quick and intriguing read.
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