Author(s): Susan Price
From Publishers Weekly Price's (The Ghost Drum) gripping time-travel adventure, a 1999 Carnegie Medal finalist, cleverly imagines a startling collision of 21st-century technology and 16th-century mores. A British corporation called FUP has built a time machine, planning to mine pre-industrialized land for gold and oil and eventually turn it into a resort. But the Sterkarms, one of the warring families inhabiting the Scottish and English border "16th side," won't cooperate; they keep robbing FUP survey teams. Tensions escalate when FUP's power-hungry boss, Windsor, kidnaps Per, the only son of a Sterkarm lord. Making matters even more complicated, Per and Andrea, an FUP employee sent back in time to live with the Sterkarms, have fallen in love. Both parties question her loyalty, and she faces the impossible task of choosing with whom to side. While Price builds the drama well, her story lags at certain points; adults should know there's some sexual banter. These caveats aside, Price does a masterly job of blending fact and fiction, straddling two time periods and rotating through several characters' points of view. Readers will be engrossed, unable to rest until they know how the author resolves the seemingly insoluble conflicts.