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A Meeting at Corvallis by S.M.  Stirling
Review by Bill Lawhorn
Roc Hardcover Hardcover  ISBN/ITEM#: 0451461118
Date: 05 September, 2006 List Price $25.95 Amazon US / Amazon UK / Show Official Info /

The Lord Protector, Norman Arminger, is on the move again. He invades the lands held by Lord Bear, the Coven, and sieges the monastery at Mount Angel. With more professional troops and his ruthlessly cunning wife Sandra available, the Portland Protective Association (PPA) seems poised to finally bring the whole of the Willamette Valley into the fold.

Astrid Larsson and Eilir Mackenzie have solidified their Ranger's place as one of the Valley's important groups. The capture of one of the Protector's lords on a raid leads the Rangers to Corvallis, the university town. Corvallis is preparing to vote on their relationship with the PPA. Plots and plans are everywhere as all the concerned groups try to rally Corvallis to their cause. The aftermath of the meeting brings another season of war to the Willamette Valley.

Finally finding love, Juniper Mackenzie prepares her clan and coven for the future. She raises her children while caring for Arminger's daughter. Unfortunately, peace is not in the cards. The lover of a dead foe will complicate everyone's plans.

Michael "Lord Bear" Havel has found unexpected joy in his life as a clan chief and father. The latest invasion is a testing ground for "new" weapon systems. Although better individual warriors, they are greatly outnumbered by the PPA forces.

Before the end, war will cross the Willamette Valley. All of the major groups, old and new, will be pulled into the final battle. Only one thing is sure, not everyone will survive.

Set in a world where much has gone wrong, with strong characters and a fast pace, A Meeting at Corvallis doesn't disappoint. The battles and skirmishes lead to the final confrontation that readers of this series have been waiting for since the first book. Although it does not tie up all of the loose ends, this book is entertaining and fulfilling.

This is, as stated previously, the third book of a trilogy. To fully enjoy and understand this reality, you need to read the first two books of the series; Dies the Fire and The Protector's War. This reality is based on the world that was left behind when the island of Nantucket was transported back in time, related in the Island in the Sea of Time trilogy. Good news for fans of these series is that the adventures will continue in a new trilogy set 25 years in the future called The Sunrise Lands.

I have enjoyed the whole trilogy and intricate development of this reality. If you have read the earlier books in this trilogy, don't stop now. If you haven't, and like to explore "what if", pick them up and give them a whirl. This is one of the few realities where the Elvin language has become a living language without the benefit of any elves.

I know some readers may have trouble with the basic premise of "the change". If you can't suspend belief or accept a radical shift in how the universe operates, look elsewhere. There is an explanation in the second book, The Protector's War. If you can handle it, there are strong characters who act in seemingly reasonable ways throughout.

I, personally, eagerly await the next trilogy set in this reality. I hope that at some point Mr. Stirling takes time to share the impact of the change on the Asian continent. A short story would be fine. He has wonderful detail about post-change Europe on his website.

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