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In the Courts of the Crimson Kings (Unabridged)
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In the Courts of the Crimson Kings (Unabridged) [Audio Download]

by S. M. Stirling (Author), Todd McLaren (Narrator)
3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Product details

  • Audio Download
  • Listening Length: 11 hours and 28 minutes
  • Program Type: Audiobook
  • Version: Unabridged
  • Publisher: Tantor Audio
  • Audible.co.uk Release Date: 1 Mar 2008
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B002SQ80GK
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
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Product Description

In the parallel world first introduced in S. M. Stirling's The Sky People, aliens terraformed Mars (and Venus) 200 million years ago, seeding them with life-forms from Earth. Humans didn't suspect this until the 20th century, but when the first probes landed on our sister worlds and found life - intelligent life, at that - things changed with a vengeance. By the year 2000, America, Russia, and the other great powers of Earth were all contending for influence and power amid the newly discovered inhabitants of our sister planets.

Venus is a primitive world. But on Mars, early hominids evolved civilization earlier than their earthly cousins, driven by the needs of a harsh world growing still harsher as the initial terraforming ran down. Without coal, oil, or uranium, their technology was forced onto different paths, and the genetic wizardry of the Crimson Dynasty united a world for more than 20,000 years.

Now, in a new stand-alone adventure set in this world's AD 2000, Jeremy Wainman is an archaeologist who has achieved a lifelong dream: to travel to Mars and explore the dead cities of the Deep Beyond, searching for the secrets of the Kings Beneath the Mountain and the fallen empire they ruled.

Teyud Zha-Zhalt is the Martian mercenary the Terrans hire as guide and captain of the landship Intrepid Traveller. A secret links her to the deadly intrigues of Dvor il-Adazar, the City That Is a Mountain, where the last aging descendant of the Tollamune Emperors clings to the remnants of his power...and secrets that may trace their origin to the enigmatic Ancients, the Lords of Creation who reshaped the Solar System in the time of the dinosaurs.

When these three meet, the foundations of reality will be shaken - from the lost city of Rema-Dza to the courts of the Crimson Kings.

©2008 S. M. Stirling; (P)2008 Tantor

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A modern princess of mars 19 July 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This is an enjoyable sequel to the "Sky People". Set in the same universe where Deux ex Machina aliens have transported hominids to other planets in the solar system, it is modernised homage to Burrough's swashbuckling Barsoom.
The author has crafted a believable Martian culture, where the biological sciences have been crafted to provide humankind with the resources to survive on an arid dying planet. The main Earth protagonist is a fish in a desert Burrough's, but manages to win through on skill, pluck and the odd bit of humour. Finally, the author casts nods to various other adventure books, especially in the appearance of ROUSes.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very 50's sci fi 11 Oct 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
A loosely linked sequel Sky People set in the same universe, on a dying Mars populated by an ancient branch of the human race. In the background there is a dead race of all powerful ancients who humanity have discovered to meddled with evolution.

The hero is an American archaeologist, he teams up with a mercenary who turns out to be Martian princess to investigate an ancient ruins belonging to the heroine's ancestors. A mysterious device and teams of murderers set the adventure running.

The well thought out technology and resulting culture are very much in the 50's sci-fi style and good fun, the only downside is that some of the characterisation is from the same genre.

Very enjoyable.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars GOOD NOT GREAT 4 April 2008
A follow-up to Stirling's 'THE SKY PEOPLE' but this time set on Mars.The hero becomes the consort of a martian princess-warrior in disguise who is on a quest to become the heir of the ancient emperors of Mars.Unfortunately Leigh Brackett,from whose visions of ancient Mars Mr Stirling's Mars is clearly derived,did this sort of thing much better Even ERB's Barsoom had more life and energy in it.
A passable effort,and enjoyable in its own way,but not up to the standard of 'THE SKY PEOPLE'.
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Zuendedenker 26 April 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
For Kline-Brackett-Barsoom fanatics this is a must read. The old stories just could not be true. Not in the real world. So Stirling creates a universe in which they could be true and are. For those who did not grow up with the classics this is a 3-star. For us oldies it is a 5-star. Therefore 4-stars.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Lost Opportunity of Mars 2 Feb 2012
By Jason
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I really wanted to like this book. It has a great idea, updating the Edgar Rice Burroughs/Leigh Brackett vision of Mars, full of ancient ruins, decadent civilisations and mystery. And it does this...sort of.

It's a follow on to 'The Sky People', follows the same basic template. Earth explorers have gone to Mars and find life has been transported there from Earth by the 'Lords of Creation' 200 million years before present.

First the good. I liked the Martian civilisation SM Stirling created here, particularly the language he used for the Martians, very formal, very precise, and very funny in places. It gave them real character and marked them out as difference from 'Wet Worlders', humans from Earth. You felt they were an ancient civilisation, and you could understand their distain for the upstart humans.

Now the bad. The prologue is incredibly corny, and only serves to point up some of the writers this is a homage to. Er, we know that already!

The Martian use of bio-technology didn't ring true for me. I had no problems with their eugenics, or even breeding animals for specific functions, to produce medical applications to fight disease, alter conciousness, etc. But he went too far in having some kind of genetic modification resulting in creatures designed for power and weapons. It was explained, but didn't feel right and was unnecessary, the Martians could have got around lack of resources in other ways.

When the plot does finally kick it, it's all a bit humdrum and pedestrian. It has been done better before - particarly Leigh Brackett's version of Mars. He obviously decided to reverse the stereotype and have a helpless Earthman that has to be rescued by his Martian lover, but I never understood why Jeremy Wainman was so helpless.
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