Monday, May 16, 2011

Promised Valley Rebellion by Ron Fritsch

In this novel, Ron Fritsch recreates what he imagines a prehistoric society to have been like.  The characters in this society are farmers and lead an agrarian live, raising crops and dependant on the season's cycles.  Life is simple except for the hill dwellers.

The hill dwellers are envious of the valley farmers, and periodically mount forays in which they attempt to conquer the more affluent society.  The farmers, in turn, consider the hill people to be little more than animals.

While life seems bucolic, the society is strictly set up by caste.  The king and his family are absolute rulers.  He has friends among the farmers he rules, especially those who fought at his side during the wars against the hill people, but friendship only goes so far.  Although his son is friends with their children, there is a strict dividing line.  When he falls in love with a farmer's daughter, their love and marriage is forbidden.  This eventually leads to a rebellion against the strictures that confine these people.

This book is recommended for readers who loved books such as Clan Of The Cave Bear.  The same imaginative recreation of life that cannot be realistically known is seen in Promised Valley Rebellion.   Fritsch explores how societies organize themselves and how they use rules and laws to order life.  There are an interesting array of characters, and readers will be engrossed with his vision.

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