Joe Colsco boarded a flight from San Francisco to Chicago to attend a national chemistry meeting. Through a freak accident, he never sets foot on Earth again. He is unaware he has been poured into a crucible, where time and trials will transform him in ways unimagined, and that will send him and his descendants to a destiny beyond one planet.
Book I: Cast Under an Alien Sun
On planet Anyar, Joe was found unconscious on a beach of a large island (Caedellium) inhabited by humans where the level of technology is similar to Earth circa 1700. He awoke amidst strangers speaking an unintelligible language, and despaired losing his previous life. He used knowledge of chemistry to introduce new knowledge—but not too advanced of the planet’s technology to avoid being labelled a demon. He found a place in the society and developed new friendships, male and female.
But all was not idyllic. Joe was dropped into a clash between the people who cared for him, and a military power from elsewhere on the planet, a power with designs on conquest. Joe survived his first experience in deadly conflict but knows it was only a foretaste of what was coming.
Book II: Pen and the Sword
The Narthani, a militant realm who believe their manifest destiny is to rule the entire planet, Anyar, plan to absorb Caedellium into their empire and crush any resistance. Yozef Kolsko (aka Joe Colsco) works to find ways to increase the chances of his, and the society which has accepted him, ability to resist the Narthani’s planned conquest.
Complicating his life is attraction to a brilliant daughter of an island leader, and his uncertainty of his own mind, hers, or intricacies of Caedellium customs.
Despite his desire to devote himself to introducing new knowledge Yozef is drawn more and more into developing weapons and giving tactical and strategic advice—things he knows he’s unqualified to give. The enemy is coming. The odds seem overwhelming, and it will take all Yozef can do, the courage of his new people, and luck, to survive.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Past two days, I was oblivious to the world, immersed as I was in this author's storytelling. I'm kinda proud of myself. I read his two books - Cast Under an Alien Sun and The Pen and the Sword - in 48 hours; nothing could distract me, I was so into it. I tend to eat up this sci-fi conceit. Olan Thorensen's Destiny's Crucible series doesn't apply time travel, but it's close enough for government work. It's within hailing distance of Flint's 1632, Stirling's Island in the Sea of Time, Leo Frankowski's Cross-Time Engineer, or, if you want to go old school, H. Beam Piper's Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen and the granddaddy of them all, Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court.
The Pen and the Sword picks up a month - or 36 days, Anyar time - past the events in Cast Under an Alien Sun. Fact is, I liked it even better than Cast Under... Timeline check: It's been four years now since an alien spacecraft accidentally collided with Flight 4382 and griveously injured chemistry...
Great example of a man from a more advanced culture improving the society under threat where he finds himself. Usual making tools to make tools (infrastructure) issues, but well handled. Unlike many examples of the genre, the hero is not always successful and he suffers emotionally from his experiences. He's not a warrior, just a student using his knowledge to protect himself and those he cares about.
Space version of A Connecticut Yankee In King Arthur's Court. Recommended!
Fairly interesting story when it focuses on the main character. This story continues book one and covers the struggles of a modern earthman transported to another world where the humans are not as technologically advanced. The author does a great job explaining how this happens and what the ramifications are. He misses quite a few easy technology items which would be right up there for the main character to "invent" Matches? though he does thing of a few good basic items... Toilet Paper.
What I hated was the 40 percent of the book which is told from the foes point of view... who cares. I skimmed over these quickly to get back on story.
If authors feel the need to write other viewpoints release those as a separate book taking place concurrently and spare the reader just looking for a tight story.
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