Turtledove's latest is an enjoyable and easy read from one of the reigning masters of alternate history. While it follows a fairly standard plot -- a group of adventurers setting out for parts unknown -- the characterization is superb, and Hamnet Thyssen is a
believable and likable protagonist.

The capital city of Nidaros was founded centuries ago by the edge of the Glacier and is now miles away from the edge, which moves further back every year. Minor noble Hamnet Thyssen has been summoned to the capital by the emperor, who has just received an emissary from the barbarian-like Bizogots, the jarl Trasamund, who comes bearing interesting news about the Glacier.

It seems that a gap has opened in the Glacier, providing passage through to the other side, populated with beasts and people unknown to those in the south. Ancient legends also claim that the Golden Shrine is to the north, and it falls to Hamnet, Trasamund and their companions to explore the new lands and discover the truth. (Tor, Feb., 336 pp., $24.95)
Reviewed by: 
Natalie A. Luhrs