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The Shadows of God


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About the Author

Greg Keyes was born in Meridian, Mississippi. He received degrees in anthropology from Mississippi State University and the University of Georgia before becoming a full-time writer. He is the author of the Star Wars `New Jedi Order' novels, `The Age of Unreason' and `The Kingdoms of Thorn and Bone' tetralogy. He lives in Savannah, Georgia.


In the fourth and final volume in his Age of Unreason series (Newton's Cannon, etc.), Keyes brings his multi-threaded yarn to a thrilling conclusion. Based on the premise that Sir Isaac Newton devised a theory of alchemy that led to the industrial use of demons, the book builds to a climactic confrontation to see who will reshape the universe. Chief among Newton's apprentices are wizard/scientist Benjamin Franklin, South Carolina's ambassador to the court of New Paris (Mobile), and Adrienne de Montchevreuil, sorceress and heir to a secret tradition. Against them is Adrienne's son, Nicolas (aka the Sun Boy), with his army of Russians, Mongols and Coweta natives that sweeps over the Great Plains. Such imaginative devices as demon-levitated airships and aetherschreibers (wireless sets) lend interest to the author's alternate 18th-century world, as do revelations behind certain historical events, like the identity of who helped Louis XIV drop a comet on London. Keyes entertains both with details of everyday life and with the conversations of people who may not have met but should have. He produces a fine pastiche of the formal writing of Voltaire (who appears as Franklin's friend and rival), marred only by a more modern "crash cut" narrative, which occasionally jumps mid-scene or reverses chronology, diffusing the suspense. Still, with the unfolding of secrets and past deeds, Keyes brings a welcome level of character uncertainty to the deterministic Newtonian novel. (July 3) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

Inventive and exciting, filled with clever details and high adventure, this brings to a close a sequence that seems likely to establish Keyes as one of the more significant and original new fantasy writers to appear in recent years' Science Fiction Chronicle 'Thrilling... The book builds to a climactic confrontation to see who will reshape the universe' Publishers Weekly

The universe lies on the verge of destruction as demons and angels use mortal wizards and scientists as their agents in a war that pits the forces of a devastated Europe against a handful of American colonists struggling for freedom and survival. In Keyes's heady conclusion to his epic sf tetralogy (which includes Newton's Cannon, A Calculus of Angels, and Empire of Unreason) alchemical wizard Benjamin Franklin uses magic and diplomacy to unite warring factions in a grand alliance to save humanity. Spicing his alternate historical fantasy with Swedenborgian metaphysics and Newtonian physics, Keyes peoples his story with a cast of unforgettable fictional and historical characters. Though dependent on the earlier books, this vivid story of a world in the throes of revolution is highly recommended for all collections. Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.

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