Summary and book reviews of The Sterkarm Handshake by Susan Price

The Sterkarm Handshake

By Susan Price

The Sterkarm Handshake
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  • Hardcover: Sep 2000,
    320 pages.
    Paperback: Jan 2003,
    576 pages.

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Book Summary

The Sterkarms have plundered the border between Scotland and England for generations. Suddenly intruders, calling themselves Elves, want the Sterkarms to stop their violent ways.

The Elves, time travelers from the 21st century, have found a way back to the 16th century and plan to do their own plundering of the land's rich natural resources. Their only mistake is foolishly underestimating the Sterkarms themselves.

For Andrea Mitchell, an anthropologist working among the Sterkarms, none of this matters. In love with Per -- a young Sterkarm warrior -- and feted as a beautiful Elf-May, she's never known such happiness in her own time.

But when Per receives a deadly injury, Andrea's decision to take him into the 21st century to save him has explosive results. Per, seeing how powerful and destructive the Elves truly are, swears to keep them from his land forever. And in the bloody battle that ensues, Andrea must finally choose whose side she is on.

The Sterkarm Handshake is a stirring tale of a clash of two cultures, beautifully told by master storyteller Susan Price.

Chapter One
16th Side: A Robbery

From out of the surrounding hills came a ringing silence that was only deepened by the plodding of the pack ponies' hooves on the turf and the flirting of their tails against their sides. Above, the sky was a clear pale blue, but the breeze was strong.

There were four members of the Geological Survey Team: Malc, Tim, Dave and Caro. They'd left the 21st that morning at eight, coming through the Tube to the 16th, where the plan was to spend four days. None of them had ever been so far from home before, and they often looked back at the Tube. It was their only way back.

It was when they lost sight of the Tube among the folds of the hills that trouble arrived.

Three horses, with riders, picked their way down the hillside toward them. The horses were all black and thickset and shaggy, with manes and tails hanging almost to the ground. The riders' helmets had been blackened with soot and grease, to keep them from rust, or covered with sheepskin ...

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Reviews

Media Reviews
Author Blurb Philip Pullman
Enthralling...A thunderous, driving, unstoppable yarn.

Times of London

Fusing the best sci-fi and history!

Booklist

A gripping story, filled with realistic details of sixteenth-century life.

School Library Journal

This dazzling story combines time travel, romance, and action, along with thought-provoking ideas and memorable characters.

Publishers Weekly

A ripping good tale [Winner of Britain's 1999 Guardian First Book Award]. . . Price's skill with language makes it all so believable.

Reader Reviews
Me

Rubbish
I don't think this book was very good because it goes on and on about the cliffs and how stunning they are compared to the 21st side, but I know, I am a student reading this book and I would say it's ok, but don't make children read it please :(

Kelli

Wow. This book has taken me quite a while to read. Some of the words and language in there caused me to reread certain passages. I think that this book is probably one of the hardest ones that I've ever read in my life, being only 15 years of age. ...   Read More

Cherie Cabrera

This book was a realistic and stirring tale that seemed to realistic. I found myself wrapped in the book for two whole days. I was staggered by the ending and foound that I weeped when the last words were read. I have read many books before but never...   Read More

Sarah F

This is a vibrant book filed with intense characters and plot. Price's descriptive passages and unique interpretations guide the reader smoothly through the narrative which avoids at all times the feeling of disbeleif which can so eaily be associated...   Read More

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