For Kivrin Engle, preparing an on-site study of one of the deadliest eras in humanity's history was as simple as receiving inoculations against the diseases of the fourteenth century and inventing an alibi for a woman traveling alone. For her instructors in the twenty-first century, it meant painstaking calculations and careful monitoring of the ...Read MoreFor Kivrin Engle, preparing an on-site study of one of the deadliest eras in humanity's history was as simple as receiving inoculations against the diseases of the fourteenth century and inventing an alibi for a woman traveling alone. For her instructors in the twenty-first century, it meant painstaking calculations and careful monitoring of the rendezvous location where Kivrin would be received. But a crisis strangely linking past and future strands Kivrin in a bygone age as her fellows try desperately to rescue her. In a time of superstition and fear, Kivrin - barely of age herself - finds she has become an unlikely angel of hope during one of history's darkest hours. Winner of the Hugo Award 1993 Winner of the Nebula Award 1993 "A tour de force" - New York Times Book Review "Ambitious, finely detailed and compulsivly readable" - Locus "It is a book that feels fundamentally true; it is a book to live in" - Washington PostRead Less
One of the best books I have read in a long time, historical, factual, suspensful, wonderful. Transports you back in a close encounter with the black plague in all its horror.
Dec 30, 2010
I so wanted it to be better!
I had a few weeks off from nursing school, and I thought that this would be a great way to unwind. Not so much. For me, there wasn't enough historical input or interesting science fiction. Both seemed lackluster to me. Overall, a very unsatisfying read.
Oct 7, 2010
Have been slightly busy to read the entire book. Have a lot of books to read right now. But, However I will find this one very interesting. William
Jul 9, 2009
Nebula award winner!
Time travel book with a good twist. Two story lines diverge early in the book and connect by the end. Very descriptive book, with good characters. Recommended for those who enjoy a full story that doesn't rush it's way through the plot.
Jul 4, 2009
Married! Science fiction & History
This book's appeal is the melding of science fiction with an interesting take on history in England in the 14th century. Willis has a style of writing that engagingly pulls one in and holds one's interest.
The science fiction part really is just the device she uses to get us believably into the 14th century and to provide some tension between the past and the present. And there is a modern medical mystery tied in to that. Her descriptive powers blossom as she describes life in a small English village in the 1300s during the disaster that we know as the plague. The plot manages to fuse events of the past and present in a way that has all the action happening now.
This is a really good read for anyone who enjoys a good story. I am not a writer or a decent reviewer, so this review does not do Willis credit. She is a fine writer!
Publishers Weekly, 1992-05-04 This new book by Hugo- and Nebula-award-winning author Willis ( Lincoln's Dreams ) is an intelligent and satisfying blend of classic science fiction and historical reconstruction. Kivrin, a history student at Oxford in 2048, travels back in time to a 14th-century English village, despite a host of misgivings on the part of her unofficial tutor. When the technician responsible for the procedure falls prey to a 21st-century epidemic, he accidentally sends Kivrin back not to 1320 but to 1348--right into the path of the Black Death. Unaware at first of the error, Kivrin becomes deeply involved in the life of the family that takes her in. But before long she learns the truth and comes face to face with the horrible, unending suffering of the plague that would wipe out half the population of Europe. Meanwhile, back in the future, modern science shows itself infinitely superior in its response to epidemics, but human nature evidences no similar evolution, and scapegoating is still alive and well in a campaign against ``infected foreigners.''p. 204 This book finds villains and heroes in all ages, and love, too, which Kivrin hears in the revealing and quietly touching deathbed confession of a village priest. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved
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