The Many-Colored Land, the first volume in Julian May's dazzling series of science fiction-fantasy novels, began with a des perate act of exile. A group of talented misfits from a future society chose to pass through a time-portal into the unknown dangers of a world six million years past, the world of the Pliocene. They emerged in a proto-Kurope inhabited by two extraterrestrial races — the chivalric Tanu and the dwarfish, forest-dwelling Tirvulag. both of which possessed far-reaching psychic powers. The humans soon became in volved in the age-old struggle between the two.
The Golden Tore picks up the story as one group of captured humans is brought to Muriah. the stately capital of the Tanu kingdom. Among them is Elizabeth Orme. who was once, in her own world, a Grand Master Metapsychic. In spite of Tanu ha rassment, she begins to recover her lost powers. Also in this group is Bryan Gren-fell. an anthropologist seeking his lost love. And there is Aiken Drum, an adventurer, schemer, and trickster who has the talent and ambition to become a ruler in this strange new-old world.
The other human group, which has managed to overcome its Tanu guards and escape into the northern forests, includes Chief Burke, an American Indian, and Felice Uindry, an athlete gifted with certain psychic powers of her own. This group, wi t h t he ambiguous aid of the Firvu-lag. determines to launch an attack against the very heart of Tanu dominance. At the end of the Grand Combat tournament between Tanu and Kirvulag comes the astonishing climax to this astonishing novel.
Fritz Lciber says the series is "altogether enchanting and engrossing." Vonda Mc-Intyre comments, "It's action-oriented and vivid"; and Joe W. I laldeman says. "It's one of the best-thought-out futures ever encountered in science fiction."