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David Moles' Seven Cities of Gold will be published by PS Publishing in May 2010.

Here's a description of Seven Cites of Gold from the publisher's website:

A gem of alternate history by one of SF's brightest rising stars; a searing journey into a very different yet strangely familiar North America...

In anno domini 714, seven Catholic bishops fleeing the Muslim invasion of Spain set sail across the Western Ocean. There, in a new world, they founded seven legendary cities – and a legendary Christian empire.

Now, twelve centuries later, war rages across that new world: a culture war, a clash of civilizations, as the armies of the Caliphate of al-Andalus invade a failed state become a terrorist safe haven, a breeding ground for global reconquistadores.

Doctor-Lieutenant Chië Nakada is a physician with the Relief Ministry of the Regency of Japan. In the war of Muslims and Christians, Buddhist Japan is officially neutral. But when a mysterious weapon of mass destruction razes the Muslim-occupied city of Espírito Santo, Nakada is tasked to travel up the great river Acuamagna, seek out the messianic leader of the Christian resistance, and put a permanent end to that leader's apocalyptic delusions.

But the burnt-out, opium-addicted Nakada has her own delusions to contend with. And as she proceeds upriver, witness to spectacles dreadful and magnificent, ominously authentic and luridly misleading, Nakada learns that she is only another pawn in a savage game of Belief played across the millennia and across all the permutations of history.

Drawing on the enigmatic legend of Cibola, the mirage that lured baffled conquistadors into the heart of America five centuries ago, Seven Cities of Gold is deft, finely written, full of emblematic violence and acute symbolism, a meditation on 9/11, the War on Terror, Iraq, Hurricane Katrina, and much besides. Novel in scope and universal in impact, it is the first masterpiece by David Moles, and surely not the last.

A REVIEW OF DAVID MOLES' SEVEN CITIES OF GOLD

Seven Cities of Gold is a fascinating and well written alternate history novella.

Seven Cities of Gold is one of the best alternate history stories I've read during the last couple of years. I usually try to avoid alternate history, because I haven't been impressed with certain books, so it was nice to read a good and complex story for a change. To be honest, PS Publishing's alternate history novellas have made a big impression on me (Beth Bernobich's Ars Memoriae was a great novella and now David Moles' Seven Cities of Gold is another excellent novella).

David Moles shows an interesting vision of a different kind of world in his novella. The world is a bit similar to our world, but different, because certain things didn't happen in our world. The story begins when Chië Nakada is told to put an end to the delusions of Clara Dos Orsos, who is believed to control Antilian insurgents. In my opinion this is a good beginning, because it makes you want to keep on reading. Then, gradually, the story becomes even more intriguing and complex.

The main character, Chië Nakada, is an interesting character, because she's a Doctor-Lieutenant and an opium addict. The short extracts from her pillow book reveal her feelings to the reader and make her a real person.

If you're interested in alternate history, you'll probably like Seven Cities of Gold very much. It's a fascinating alternate history story, because David Moles' prose is good and the story is genuinely fascinating.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars.

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