Blue Sky, the farmer's son who led the rebellion in the first book, and Wandering Star, the young hunter who became his lover, realize they and their peoples will suffer for the high treason they knowingly commit every moment they spend together, "consorting with the enemy." They, along with the others among their peoples most curious about their "eternal" enemies and most willing to treat them as their equals, nevertheless set the stage for what they've feared more than anything else: another horrifying war.
Reader Views: "It is the story's prehistoric setting that provides the basis for the intellectual question which binds the Promised Valley books together: 'Could civilization and history, with their countless heaven-sanctioned wars and genocides, have begun differently?' With that as his touchstone, Fritsch thoughtfully and compassionately offers answers through the story and its characters. In writing this multi-faceted novel, Fritsch masterfully layers and blends several literary devices-intellectual twists and turns, enigma, allegory and parable-to create a story rendered in both intricate detail and simple wisdom. Even through the vivid telling of epic war and death, Fritsch employs both fantasy and genuineness to connect with and uplift the reader. While Promised Valley War is an adventurous tale on its surface, it is not what it seems to be; it is much more. For me it was a book of revelations. For anyone who has never lost their child's heart and imagination, Promised Valley War will compel them to consider all that the book has to say to them. That's what unforgettable books do."
Kirkus Indie Reviews: "The author's well-rendered descriptions of the creeping onslaught of war and winter give the reader a visceral feel for the endangered paradise that can occur despite the best intentions of the best people, and readers will be surprised by the twists he gives his tale. Alongside the careful plotting and natural-sounding dialogue, there's a refreshing amount of deeper resonances in the Promised Valley series, a steady undercurrent of commentary of the present day. The treatment of the young hero Blue Sky's attraction to other men, for instance, is straightforward but nonconfrontational, and characters at several points grapple with their society's primitive theology. 'Could gods who were good-hearted allow humans to go to war with one another?' the narrative at one point asks. '[I]f they, like humans, had no choice in the matter, why did humans call them gods?'"
Feathered Quill Book Reviews: "Promised Valley War is an imaginative and well-crafted piece of fiction. The plot features plenty of action and unexpected twists and turns. The balance of suspenseful battles, sweeping scenery, and interpersonal drama would undoubtedly be a satisfying mix on the big screen. Are you listening, Hollywood?"
The US Review of Books: "With lyrical description, historical era awareness and an understanding of human motivation, Fritsch brings to life a prehistoric world. Written with tenderness and vivid detail, this prehistoric Romeo and Juliet tale adds complexity and variety to the bard's tale as well as to the author's first novel in the series, Promised Valley Rebellion."
Promised Valley War was the first-place winner in the Gay/Lesbian Fiction category of the 2011 Reader Views Awards competition, the winner of the bronze medal in the Literary Fiction category of the 2011 eLit Book Awards competition, the winner of a finalist medal in Gay/Lesbian/Bisexual/Transgender Fiction category of the 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Awards competition, the winner of the silver medal in the Action Fiction category of the 2012 Readers Favorite Awards competition, and a finalist in the Gay and Lesbian and Transgender Fiction category of the 2012 National Indie Excellence Awards competition.
|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.52(d)|
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
Promised Valley War is the much-anticipated sequel to the award-winning Promised Valley Rebellion, and the second book in a four-book series.Prehistoric farmers inhabit a fertile river valley that their gods promised them in return for good behavior and obedience. Their enemies, the hill people, also believe they are entitled to the valley, and so an ongoing battle absorbs and consumes those who inhabit the land and sets the stage for yet another horrific war. You don't need to be a lover of books like Clan of The Cave Bear and The Land of Painted Caves to be drawn into the world Fritsch creates. He achieves this with believable, detailed characters who effectively engage us as if we were there with them.Readers will also enjoy the portrayal of societies, how they organize themselves and how rules and laws bring order to communities. And Fritsch cleverly incorporates modern day issues into these prehistoric times.Promised Valley War will no doubt follow on the heels of its predecessor with awards to its credit.
Promised Valley War is the much-anticipated sequel to the award-winning Promised Valley Rebellion, and the second book in a four-book series. Prehistoric farmers inhabit a fertile river valley that their gods promised them in return for good behavior and obedience. Their enemies, the hill people, also believe they are entitled to the valley, and so an ongoing battle absorbs and consumes those who inhabit the land and sets the stage for yet another horrific war. You don't need to be a lover of books like Clan of The Cave Bear and The Land of Painted Caves to be drawn into the world Fritsch creates. He achieves this with believable, detailed characters who effectively engage us as if we were there with them. Readers will also enjoy the portrayal of societies, how they organize themselves and how rules and laws bring order to communities. And Fritsch cleverly incorporates modern day issues into these prehistoric times. Promised Valley War will no doubt follow on the heels of its predecessor with awards to its credit.
Reviewed by Anne B. for Readers Favorite "Promised Valley War" transports readers back in time to a much earlier era. In this series we meet two prehistoric tribes at war for a beautiful fertile valley. Both tribes claimed the land as their own stating that their God promised it to them. Previously a farmer saved the king's life, but the king refused to allow the prince to marry the farmer’s daughter leading to the young people rebelling against what they felt was an unjust decision. The peasant farmers hated the rulers and respected the prince and his fidelity. Once again war breaks out between the Farmers and Hunters. This is book two in what promises to be a four book series. I highly recommend reading these books in order. I have not read book 1 and felt I would have had a better appreciation of the plot if I had. The description of the valley was impressive; it felt peaceful and almost holy. The struggle of the young people against the king and counselor reminded me a bit of "Romeo and Juliet" or the Hatfields and McCoys. The author slowly leads the reader into the upcoming war. The reader can see it sneaking up on the land with no way of warning the inhabitants. I came to care for the people; they came to life on the pages of this book. The plot was multidimensional and will have the readers comparing the dynamics of today’s world with the world of the farmers and hunters. This is a great tale, one to which the author lent his own unique perspective. I consider this book highbrow and classic with the use of symbolism and folktales. This is a series you won’t want to miss.
In Ron Fritsch’s sequel to Promised Valley Rebellion, the generations-old hostility between the agricultural valley dwellers and the hunter-gatherers of the hills has escalated. Valley-born Blue Sky and his hill-born companion Wandering Star know they must bring an end to the violent destruction before it tears them apart - but how? Like Promised Valley Rebellion, Promised Valley War is an imaginative and well-crafted piece of fiction. The plot features plenty of action and unexpected twists and turns. The prose is streamlined yet expressive, the perfect compliment to the subject matter and feel of the story. Additionally, Fritsch has the good judgment to recognize that his most intriguing characters are the conflicted ones, and the storyline brings these characters to the foreground and looks to understand them in greater depth, while eliminating many of the more one-dimensional personalities that populated the promised valley in the first book. Promised Valley War is even more ambitious than Promised Valley Rebellion in that the focus has expanded from exploring individual differences to exploring differences between societies and how the one affects the other. Do human differences really outweigh universal concerns like safety, sustenance and survival? Can cultures with different values learn to live peacefully as neighbors? How accountable are we to the beliefs of previous generations? And is it possible that some of them could be...wrong? To his credit, Fritsch does not attempt to offer simple answers to these questions - only the hope that answers can be found, and a reminder that it’s the individual bonds between people that form the foundation of society-wide bonds of understanding. In other words: worldwide peace is created one human being at a time. Quill says: Ambitious and enjoyable historical fiction with an appealing mix of thoughtful allegory and unpredictable action.
I picked up Promised Valley War immediately after finishing the first book in the series, Promised Valley Rebellion. I was thrilled that the second book kept up with the pace of the first and was just as addictive. If you are a fan of books like Clan of The Cave Bear, you have to read the Promised Valley series. I am anxiously awaiting the release of books number three and four!
Reviewed by: Brandon Nolta, Pacific Book Review Picking up where the first volume of Ron Fritch’s Promised Valley series left off, Promised Valley War leaps immediately from court intrigue into a broader set of conflicts. Blue Sky, the hero of the first volume, returns from the standoff in the first book to meet up again with Wandering Star, his lover and the point of first contact, so to speak, among the hill people. Before things can get too cozy, however, trouble arrives: Morning Sun, the valley people’s prince, and Rose Leaf, his intended wife-to-be, have been kidnapped by the hill people. Tall Oak, the valley people’s king, negotiates for their release, but the hill people’s terms are too steep, and the valley people prepare for war, a course Blue Sky and Wandering Star counsel against. As preparations for battle continue, events take a horrific turn, and before long, Blue Sky and his many friends among both the valley and hill peoples find themselves struggling to keep both peoples from destruction. While some of the writing issues from the first book remain – namely, the tortuous lengths the author goes to in order to avoid anachronism and the sometimes-distant voice used throughout the book – Fritsch has clearly grown more comfortable with his characters and his story, trusting in the groundwork laid in the first book while not streamlining too much. As befitting the title, there’s a lot more violence here, and while Fritsch makes it clear what’s happening at all times, he never dips too far into graphic depictions, maintaining a light touch with sex and violence without shying away from it. As a result, the narrative moves fluidly and well, never overstaying its welcome with any single plot point or development. Fritsch also displays a well-honed sense of character placement within the narrative, adroitly focusing on some characters and giving others graceful and relevant exits. With the word “war” in the title, a reader can expect characters to go out in bloody ways, and many of the first book’s large cast are winnowed by spear and knife, yet none of the deaths feel like convenience; each has a role to play in the narrative, and Fritsch does an excellent job balancing character dispatch with growth and change. Every character, even the antagonists, is shown to have some redeeming trait or belief, and even the brave and optimistic Blue Sky displays a measure of darkness and, when pushed, a willingness to kill. This willingness to accentuate the positive while admitting the negative helps ground the entire cast in an emotional realism that gives the narrative a sense of weight and consequence. With a strong second entry in the series, Fritsch continues to make the Promised Valley a rich and complex narrative universe.