Promised Valley Peace is the fourth and last novel in Ron Fritsch's Promised Valley series.
Blue Sky and Wandering Star and the other conspirators and their allies from the first three novels give up on the gods, whose existence many of them doubt, and discover how to use horses in warfare. They prepare to employ them in a last battle against the die-hards led by the brutal War Cloud. The purpose of the allies is to bring the prehistoric enemy hunters and farmers together as one people in a "new kingdom" and end warfare between them forever. Individuals who partner with persons of the same gender are once again in the front lines, risking their lives for their peoples.
The US Review of Books: "This story ties up all the loose ends and leaves the reader with closure and satisfaction as they turn the last page, assuring devotees of this tale a pleasing ending. The friendship and affection between these youths is heartwarming, the sweeping action of the battles and combat is breathtaking, and the pacing is rapid-fire and wastes none of the readers' time."
Kirkus Indie Reviews: "The novel convincingly depicts a society in which homosexual relationships are conducted openly with no lessening of public esteem, and Fritsch handles the theme with a no-fuss skill reminiscent of Mary Renault's. Blue Sky, Wandering Star, and their various allies and enemies also contend with the introduction of horses as beasts of war in the valley's latest conflagration. Fritsch tells a very detailed, very human story. . . . Some of the book's younger characters admirably seek to forge a real, lasting peace in their lifetimes, and the interminable threat of war allows Fritsch to make the conflict an allegory for every human conflict to come. There's a sad moment of irony when a character late in the book hopes that their peoples will 'never go to war again.' A wise, bittersweet conclusion to a sprawling tale of prehistoric war and peace."
Reader Views: "While this story is set at the end of prehistoric times, it made me reflect on how we share many of the same issues even today. For the people of this valley, they had horses to go to war, in our modern times we have weapons of mass destruction. Yet we share a common issue of having to deal with people that are greedy and manipulative for their own gain. In the story and in real life, people from different backgrounds will go against each other because of perceived differences, yet at our core we all come from the same origin. I found Ron Fritsch's Promised Valley Peace very thought-provoking and I enjoyed being able to return to see what was happening in the lives of these people. Even though they were created in the author's mind, he writes in such a way that the land and the people are very real and the readers who have been following this series will be happy to see how it concludes."
Feathered Quill Book Reviews: "Upon finishing Promised Valley Peace, my take away from this body of work is a strong sense of having experienced an incredibly interesting epic tale of "what if" had the beginnings of time played out as Mr. Fritsch had so adeptly written across the pages of his series. I applaud him for not only staying true to his audience, but for maintaining the patience and wherewithal to feed the story to his audience in palatable, bite-sized pieces. His signature style of writing several subplots, twists and turns in the early pages delivers an intrinsic feeling of being at the starting line of a champion race that is about to begin. Indeed, Mr. Fritsch has accomplished fantastic closure to his epic series in book four, Promised Valley Peace. Quill says: The answer to the question of peace is delivered and then some in Promised Valley Peace. Book four stays true to the author's intent in that it is genuinely thought-provoking with an epic ending that complements this intriguing civilization of people."
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About the Author
In the epic Promised Valley adventure, prehistoric farmers inhabit a fertile river valley they believe their gods promised them in return for their good behavior and obedience. Their enemies, hunters roaming the mostly barren hills beyond the mountains enclosing the valley, believe their gods gave it to them.
Both sides, though, value individuals who partner with persons of their own gender. Because they have no children to raise, they take leadership positions, especially in times of war.
The four Promised Valley novels ask whether civilization and history, with their countless heaven-sanctioned wars and genocides, could've begun differently.
The individuals who live, struggle, revel, die and survive in the novels confront fundamental questions:
How factual are the stories their ancestors handed down to them?
Despite those stories, are they and their enemies equal human beings who deserve to be treated as such?
Are their gods-who appear to be the same deities for the farmers as well as the hunters, even as they exhort both of their supposedly favored peoples to kill the other-truly benevolent gods?
Or do their gods, outside of those ancestral stories that might not be true, simply not exist?
Fritsch grew up in rural northern Illinois. His father and mother were hard-working tenant farmers who loved to read. So did he and his siblings (one older sister, one older brother, one younger sister).
Fritsch obtained a bachelor's degree with honors from the University of Illinois (major: history; minor: English literature) and a law degree cum laude from Harvard Law School.
Fritsch lives in Chicago with his long-term partner, David Darling.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Reviewed by Eileen Johnson for Readers' Favorite Promised Valley Peace by Ron Fritsch is the last volume in the Promised Valley series. In this novel, the characters have moved from rebellion, through war and conspiracy, and are now in a quest to end hostilities between prehistoric neighbors and establish a lasting peace. In the first three novels of the series, a huge number of characters come in and out of the story and the intrigues of these characters leads to this fourth novel. In this novel, the characters are beginning to question their gods as the hunters from the hills and the farmer/gatherers from the valley discover how to work together. As the horse is domesticated and used in warfare, the prehistoric characters discover that there are things in both communities that are important. I started Promised Valley Peace by Ron Fritsch without having read the first three novels in the series. Although this book can stand on its own, I found myself referring to the list of characters often enough that I finally put the book down and read the first three volumes in the series. It turns out that this made the fourth novel MUCH easier to understand! I would highly recommend that you start with the first book of the series and read through to this one. The blurring of gender lines in the series may be disconcerting to some, but this aspect of the story was handled well and was an integral part of the story line without being offensive. Well-written and imaginative, I would highly recommend Promised Valley Peace by Ron Fritsch.
Rebellion, War and Conspiracy, and it all begins with disaffected youth who rise up against the king and his officials when a prince is not allowed to marry the daughter of a mere farmer. Into the boiling pot, you have the classes: farmers, city dwellers, royalty, bureaucracy and you might be mistaken for believing you are reading a dissertation on life today and the risks to society that simmer below the surface until a seemingly innocuous event brings about conflict that has no way to end ie until Peace. We are introduced to the prehistoric people of the fertile river valley and their enemies, the hill people in the first book in the Promised Valley series, Promised Valley Rebellion. While this story is filled with an incredible array of complex, interesting characters like Blue Sky, Early Harvest, Spring Rain, Fair Judge (all aptly named), the author has thoughtfully provided a character list to keep it all in check. As we progress through to Promised Valley War, the second book, we start to see society from an objective viewpoint and although thousands of years may have passed, not a lot has changed – the same structures, division, hierarchy, discrimination, angst yet in spite of it all, there is still some hope. The onslaught of war and the overwhelming threat to life and the beauty of the valley have an effect on the characters that Fritsch delivers with a deep knowing of our humanness. It’s all too real. If you were not already feeling that the story, setting, and characters are epic in every proportion, you certainly know this is true by the end of book three in the series, Promised Valley Conspiracy. Comparisons with Homer’s Iliad are fitting. Other than war mongers, no one believes war is anything other than devastating for everyone involved and its reach extends far beyond those at the forefront. We certainly get that in a heart-felt way from Conspiracy. I for one have always hoped, especially through Promised Valley Conspiracy, that the war would end and peace would once again return to the valley. It was difficult to see how this might happen, but still we hoped, we hoped for a promise of peace. Then Fritsch honored his readers with this satisfying conclusion, which was no easy feat – we were heavily invested in the people and their conflict, and we wanted to see the youths who started it all in Promised Valley Rebellion come into age, and be the ones to achieve what did seem impossible. Congratulations, Ron Fritsch on an epic, multi-award winning series and deservedly so. I’m only sorry that it had to end, but thank you for the incredible journey.