Read The High King of Montival: A Novel of the Change Online

Authors: S. M. Stirling

Tags: #Fiction - Science Fiction, #Alternative histories (Fiction), #American Science Fiction And Fantasy, #Alternative History, #General, #Regression (Civilization), #Science Fiction, #Science Fiction - General, #Dystopias, #Fiction

The High King of Montival: A Novel of the Change

BOOK: The High King of Montival: A Novel of the Change
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Table of Contents
 
 
NOVELS OF THE CHANGE
ISLAND IN THE SEA OF TIME
AGAINST THE TIDE OF YEARS
ON THE OCEANS OF ETERNITY
 
DIES THE FIRE
THE PROTECTOR’S WAR
A MEETING AT CORVALLIS
 
THE SUNRISE LANDS
THE SCOURGE OF GOD
THE SWORD OF THE LADY
OTHER NOVELS BY S. M. STIRLING
THE PESHAWAR LANCERS
CONQUISTADOR
A TAINT IN THE BLOOD
ROC
Published by New American Library, a division of
Penguin Group (USA) Inc., 375 Hudson Street,
New York, New York 10014, USA
Penguin Group (Canada), 90 Eglinton Avenue East, Suite 700, Toronto,
Ontario M4P 2Y3, Canada (a division of Pearson Penguin Canada Inc.)
Penguin Books Ltd., 80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
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Ireland (a division of Penguin Books Ltd.)
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Penguin Books Ltd., Registered Offices:
80 Strand, London WC2R 0RL, England
 
First published by Roc, an imprint of New American Library, a division of Penguin Group (USA) Inc.
 
First Printing, September 2010
 
Copyright © Steven M. Stirling, 2010
Map by Courtney Skinner
All rights reserved
 
REGISTERED TRADEMARK—MARCAREGISTRADA
 
LIBRARY OF CONGRESS CATALOGING-IN-PUBLICATION DATA:
 
Stirling, S. M.
The High King of Montival: a novel of the change/S. M. Stirling.
p. cm.
eISBN : 978-1-101-46006-1
1. Regression (Civilization)—Fiction. I. Title.
PS3569.T543H54 2010
813’.54—dc22
2010016068
 
 
 
Without limiting the rights under copyright reserved above, no part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in or introduced into a retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form, or by any means (electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise), without the prior written permission of both the copyright owner and the above publisher of this book.
 
PUBLISHER’S NOTE
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
The publisher does not have any control over and does not assume any responsibility for author or third-party Web sites or their content.
 
The scanning, uploading, and distribution of this book via the Internet or via any other means without the permission of the publisher is illegal and punishable by law. Please purchase only authorized electronic editions, and do not participate in or encourage electronic piracy of copyrighted materials. Your support of the author’s rights is appreciated.

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To Diana Paxson, fellow bard
ACKNOWLEDGMENTS
Yet more!
Thanks to my friends who are also first readers:
To Steve Brady, for assistance with dialects and British background, and also natural history of all sorts.
Thanks also to Kier Salmon, for once again helping with the beautiful complexities of the Old Religion, and with . . . well, all sorts of stuff!
To Diana L. Paxson, for help and advice, and for writing the beautiful Westria books, among many others. If you like the Change novels, you’ll probably enjoy the hell out of the Westria books—I certainly did, and they were one of the inspirations for this series; and her
Essential Asatru
and recommendation of
Our Troth
were extremely helpful . . . and fascinating reading.
To Dale Price, for help with Catholic organization, theology and praxis; and for his entertaining blog, Dyspeptic Mutterings, which can be read at
http://dprice.blogspot.com/
.
To Brenda Sutton, for multitudinous advice.
To Melinda Snodgrass, Emily Mah, Terry England, George R. R. Martin, Walter Jon Williams, Vic Milan, Jan Stirling and Ian Tregellis of Critical Mass, for constant help and advice as the book was under construction.
Thanks to John Miller, good friend, writer and scholar, for many useful discussions, for loaning me some great books, and for some really, really cool old movies.
Special thanks to Heather Alexander, bard and balladeer, for permission to use the lyrics from her beautiful songs which can be—and should be!—ordered at
www.heatherlands.com
. Run, do not walk, to do so.
Thanks again to William Pint and Felicia Dale for permission to use their music, which can be found at
http://members.aol.com/pintndale/
and should be, for anyone with an ear and salt water in their veins.
And to Three Weird Sisters—Gwen Knighton, Mary Crowell, Brenda Sutton and Teresa Powell—whose alternately funny and beautiful music can be found at
www.threeweirdsisters.com/
.
And to Heather Dale for permission to quote the lyrics of her songs, whose beautiful (and strangely appropriate!) music can be found at
www.HeatherDale.com
and is highly recommended. The lyrics are wonderful and the tunes make it even better. Thanks to S. J. “Sooj” Tucker for permission to use the lyrics of her beautiful songs, which can be found at
www.skinnywhitechick.com
, and should be.
Thanks again to Russell Galen, my agent, who has been an invaluable help and friend for a decade now, and never more than in these difficult times.
All mistakes, infelicities and errors are of course my own.
CHAPTER ONE
NANTUCKET ISLAND
IMBOLC, FEBRUARY 18,
CHANGE YEAR 24/2023 AD
 
 
 
“W
here did it all
go
?” Mathilda Arminger said. “There were roads and houses! Now it’s just trees. They’re
old
trees too; you can see that, even if the sea-wind has stunted them.”
“Why are you asking me?” Rudi Mackenzie said, with studied reason in his tones.
The which always drives you crazy and makes your eyes sparkle fetchingly,
anamchara
mine
, he thought.
“You’re the one with the magic sword!”
Mathilda caught the twinkle in his own eye and stuck out her tongue at him. They laughed, a quiet, relieved sound; it was
good
to have nothing but a mystery troubling them, as opposed to homicidal strangers. Rudi let his hand fall to the hilt of the weapon slung at his right hip. The pommel shaped of moon-crystal held in antlers gave him a slight cool shock as his calloused palm touched it, less a physical sensation than a mental one . . . or possibly spiritual.
BOOK: The High King of Montival: A Novel of the Change
6.22Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
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