Mitchell Smith is the author of "Snowfall "and "Kingdom River," two
previous books in this loosely-connected trilogy of an Earth
gripped by a new Ice Age. His other books include the
critically-acclaimed" Due North" and the suspense novels,
"Reprisal," " Sacrifice," and "Karma." He lives in Washington
In Smith's gritty conclusion to his trilogy (Snowfall; Kingdom River) set during an ice age 600 years from now, young Prince "Baj" Bajazet, formerly the adopted scion of the royal clan that rules the lower Mississippi Valley, is on the run. His foster parents have been murdered in a bloody regicide committed by local turncoats but engineered by the evil genetic engineers of New England's Boston. Bostonians have for years kidnapped women from various primitive tribes throughout the continent and bred them to produce half-human, half-animal chimeras for use as slave labor. The chimeras call themselves Moonrisers, and the Bostonians secure their loyalty by holding their mothers hostage in gulag-like breeding pens within the city. Patience, an escaped Pen-mother, joins the prince and others in an effort to overthrow Boston's regime of mad science and sordid apartheid. Smith's elided future-speak prose is often lyrical, but at times becomes convoluted to the point of obscurity-especially when combined with his frequent use of extended scene-setting flashbacks. Nevertheless, he manages to evoke a feeling of alien otherness in this American landscape weirdly transformed by a fall from technological grace. With echoes of Hoban's Ridley Walker and Miller's A Canticle for Leibowitz, this one should appeal to readers who like their post-apocalypse tales brutal and poetic. Agent, Ann Sebald at Janklow & Nesbitt Associates. (Apr. 21) Copyright 2004 Reed Business Information.