The Sterkarm Handshake
Carnegie Medal finalist and winner of the Guardian Fiction Prize: Beware of shaking hands with a Sterkarm . . . The sixteenth-century Sterkarms are tough, determined, and brave. They are also vicious, violent, and dirty, and spend most of their time warring with neighbors and stealing livestock. But what they lack in charm, they make up for in pristine land. Scotland in the sixteenth century is teeming with natural resources and fossil fuels that the twenty-first century lacks. FUP, a modern-day corporation, intends to make billions by mining the past with an industrial secret: a time machine. To facilitate their plunder, they send Andrea Mitchell, an anthropologist with a knack for languages, through the Time Tube to the sixteenth century to study the community. There, she meets Per Sterkarm, a handsome young warrior, and despite their differences, the two fall in love. When Per learns of FUP's intentions, he vows to protect his land and destroy the invaders. In the bloody battle that follows, Andrea will have to choose not only to which side she belongs, but also which century . . . Perfect for fans of Outlander, The Sterkarm Handshake is a rich historical portrait about the clashing of cultures, finding home, and falling in love. "Enthralling . . . a brilliantly imagined novel." -Philip Pullman, The Guardian "[This] gripping time-travel adventure, a Carnegie Medal finalist, cleverly imagines a startling collision of 21st-century technology and 16th-century mores. . . . Price does a masterly job of blending fact and fiction, straddling two time periods and rotating through several characters' points of view. Readers will be engrossed, unable to rest until they know how the author resolves the seemingly insoluble conflicts." -Publishers Weekly, starred review "[This] prize-winning English novel combines convincing historical detail, smart, engaging storytelling, and a simple science-fiction premise to produce an exciting, highly readable, and morally complex tale. . . . Along with romance, adventure, and the wonderfully rendered picture of life in the 16th century-you can smell and hear it as well as see it-adults and more sophisticated teens will appreciate the ambiguities of cultural values in conflict." -Kirkus Reviews "A staggeringly brilliant story." -The Denver Post "Fusing the best sci-fi and history!" -The Times (London) Susan Price is the author of the Sterkarm series. Born in Dudley, West Midlands, in England, she went on to write the Guardian Fiction Prize-winning The Sterkarm Handshake (1998) after visiting reiver country on the borders of Scotland. To help her imagine the Sterkarm's world, she drew on lifelong interests in history, folklore, and old ballads, as well as her hobbies of shooting with a longbow and traveling to the Scottish hills with her partner. Price continued the series with A Sterkarm Kiss (2004) and A Sterkarm Tryst (2017). Her other works include the novel The Ghost Drum, which won the prestigious Carnegie Medal. Price lives in the Black Country, in West Midlands, England.