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Alternative history maestro Turtledove deals a tad heavy-handedly with the issue of slavery in his third Crosstime Traffic novel after 's Curious Notions. In one alternative time line, the Black Death continued far longer than it did in the "home" time line with the result that Muslims occupy much of Europe, which is made up of small, insular principalities and kingdoms. When bandits in this medieval world capture year-old Annette Klein aka Khadija the oil merchant's daughter , she's separated from her parents, with no way to return to the home time line from which she and her family originate.
Worse, the bandits are slavers who send people into another alternate time line where they're forced to work in miserable conditions. Turtledove convincingly portrays the conflict between Christians and Muslims, but takes less care in depicting male-and-female relationships. Didactic pronouncements on slavery notwithstanding, the book should satisfy its target audience of younger readers. During the Covid crisis, Publishers Weekly is providing free digital access to our magazine, archive, and website.
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In High Places: Crosstime Traffic—Book Three
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Crosstime Traffic Series
Crosstime Traffic , Tor , is a six-volume series of alternate history novels aimed at young adults. Set in the late 21st century, the series details the adventures of the employees of Crosstime Traffic , an organization which makes its money by sending traders to various timelines. Each work is set in a different timeline, and effectively acts as a standalone novel. The protagonists in each story are teenagers, usually one boy and one girl, and usually with at least one POV from the home timeline. Sometime in the twenty-first century, the home timeline which is probably meant to be our world , having tapped out its resources and facing economic ruin, discovered the secret of traveling across timelines.