Stone Spring (Northland Trilogy, Book 1)
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Praised as "one of the most inventive writers that science fiction has ever produced" (SF Site), national bestselling author Stephen Baxter presents a new saga of a world that could have become our own....
Ten thousand years ago, a vast and fertile plain existed that linked the British Isles to Europe. Home to a tribe of simple hunter-gatherers, Northland teems with nature's bounty, but is also subject to its whims.
Fourteen-year-old Ana calls Northland home, but her world is changing. The air is warming, the ice is melting, and the seas are rising. One day Ana meets a traveler from a far-distant city called Jericho—a town that is protected by a wall. And she starts to imagine the impossible....
was a blanket of stars, frost coated the ground, and a sliver of moon offered a little light. Her breath steamed before her mouth, catching the colorless moonlight, and she pulled her skin wrap tighter around her shoulders. She could really have done with a thicker layer, but she didn’t want to go back into the house to face more of Zesi’s glares. A spiderweb stretched from the center pole of the house down its flank; it was heavy with dew that had frozen in the cold snap, so that its threads
to live, by not giving in, by keeping going. Perhaps others could have taken that first step. Her father if he had lived. Perhaps you, if you had been here, Zesi. But it was Ana. We remember that. And you should show her respect.” Zesi snorted, the breath streaming from her nostrils. “Respect? For her? Don’t make me laugh.” And she turned on her heel and walked away, along the ridge of the dune. Ana sighed. “Come on, Matu. Let’s get back in the warm.” 53 The next day dawned clear and
dropped him in the water, cut the tether with a slice of his knife, and turned to run on. Me and the others had no choice but to follow. He knew he would never think of the boy again. They approached one of the larger islands. There were grounders living here. Me could see houses, squat cones plastered with dried reeds, with smoke seeping out. A bigger fire burned in an open hearth, and there were stands where fish and eels were drying. Boats clustered, broad, flat-bottomed, some dragged up
looked around. “It’s a rich place to live. You can see it. They hunt in the forest, where there’s deer and aurochs and boar, and then there’s the river itself. Fish, the river, it’s everything to these people, you know. They bury their dead with their heads pointing downstream, so the river can take their spirits away. And, of course, anybody coming this way, like me, has to pass this point. So old Cardum and his friends can just sit here and let the food and the wealth flow by, and trap it in
Tried in a way that lacked honor.” “The Leafy Boys attacked her.” “They were drawn by her wound. The cast stone caused the wound.” “I did not cast the stone.” “The priest is your creature. It is as if you cast the stone yourself. You shame yourself if you deny it.” The Root shrugged. “I do not deny it. Why do you care if the Etxelur woman lives or dies?” “Because I lay with her. Because she carries my baby.” The hunters gasped. Zesi saw the mother cast her a look of pure hatred. “And