The Winter of the World - Poul Anderson

A corpse in Arvanneth was nothing except food for stray dogs. That’s why adventurer Josserek Derrain was so cautious as he slipped across the city’s limits under cover of darkness. By now even the lowliest guard in the Southern Empire was looking to slit his throat for the reward. Josserak’s intention was to see that no one ever collected that money.

As he moved quickly onward looking for shelter, the wary traveler saw a naked child at play in the street. The boy was rolling a human skull around for sport. How Arvanneth had changed since the days of its great glory — before the Ice came! Those were the times — many thousands of years past — when men could fly, when myth says they went to the moon and beyond, and this city, under whatever name, stood as a shining monument to a long-forgotten civilization.

But now the time for reveries was over… some menacing words had just cut the still air. “Stand quiet,” said a gruff voice — a voice not of the Empire.

Donya of Hervar surveyed the captive with keen interest. He was quite unlike the other male specimens she’d seen in Arvanneth. This was someone to reckon with — a man with strong, challenging features similar to members of her own tribe, the Rogaviki, who roamed the North on the edge of the retreating ice caps. A proud and peaceful race, the Rogaviki hated and feared only one thing: invasion of their beloved hunting grounds. And this fear would shortly become a reality if the Empire moved ahead with its plans to invade and assimilate the Northern territories — slaughtering both animals and people as they advanced.

Donya knew that her tribe might soon have to fight for their survival. And if anyone could organize the Rogaviki into a defending army, this man called Josserek was the one who might do it!

And so begins one of the most compelling science fiction adventures of the decade. Poul Anderson, the celebrated author of A Knight of Ghosts and Shadows, Fire Time and The Day of Their Return, has created a spellbinding novel of Earth's far future. It is a world where the beautiful Donya and courageous Josserek brave countless perils — including their stormy love for each other — to save the Rogaviki from extinction.

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Release date: 1976
Genres: science fiction
Updated: April 11, 2011