Andrea Mitchell has never felt as if she belongs in the 21st century. She's too fat, too clumsy, and too plain. So when she's offered the chance to take the Time Tube back to the 16th century -- and back to Per, the young Sterkarm warrior she fell in love with once before -- she doesn't hesitate. The lovely, boisterous, and crude Sterkarms have always made her feel welcome and at home. Maybe this time she'll even stay for good.
But things on the 16th side are not what Andrea expected them to be. Per doesn't know who she is, and a wedding between the Sterkarms and their enemies, the Grannams, ends in bloodshed and confusion. Even when Andrea discovers it's the Elves who have betrayed them all, no one wants to believe her. She may have made the biggest -- and the deadliest -- mistake of her life.
In this blistering sequel to her award-winning the sterkarm handshake, Susan Price weaves a riveting tale of revenge, deceit, and love, set against a backdrop of warring clans and brutal passions.
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Susan Price has always loved reading and telling stories. At the age of sixteen she published her first book, The Devil's Piper. Since then she's written more than thirty books, including The Ghost Drum, winner of the 1987 Carnegie Medal. Ms. Price lives in the Black Country in the heart of England.From School Library Journal:
Grade 9 Up–Andrea Mitchell returns to the past, only it's not exactly the past she visited in The Sterkarm Handshake (HarperCollins, 2000). Her nasty ex-boss at FUP asks once again for her translating services, and Andrea agrees to go back through the Time Tube to the 16th century–against her better judgment–hoping she will be reunited with her lover, Per. Andrea departs and learns that she's been sent to a wholly different dimension, in which the people she lovingly remembers exist but do not recognize her. Instead of buying the loyalty of the Sterkarms, the company she works for initiates a violent overthrow by pitting them against their enemy clan, the Grannams. When an ill-fated wedding draws to its inevitable conclusion, the company's plans are set in motion, and Andrea must unravel them. Though Price re-explains the setup from book one, familiarity with that novel gives this one greater emotional resonance. The plot moves quickly, and there's as much or more violence than in the previous book. The idea of a past that's actually a part of another dimension gets a bit confusing (16-A, 16-B), but it effectively comes together in a cliff-hanger ending. The impersonal, inhuman violence of the 21st-siders is subtly, effectively juxtaposed with the brutality and anger of the 16th-siders. Andrea again faces an impossible but emotionally engaging situation: choosing between her murderous 16th-century lover and her destructive 21st-side counterparts. Like Connie Willis's Doomsday Book (Bantam, 1993), this is perfect for sophisticated YA readers.–Sarah Couri, New York Public Library
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