It took me a bit to really put my finger on what memory this series of books calls to mind. I think I finally did about half way through this book. I started thinking it sort of a cross between Thundarr the Barbarian and The Dark Tower Series. That wasn't quite right though and towards the end I changed my mind. The series is more of a mix of Thundarr the Barbarian (pt. 2 pt. 3) and Kung Fu. I left The Dark Tower Series out of the mix because TDT isn't apocalyptic. I may or may not write about my reasons for this ... they are many and varied.
The second book in The Pelbar Cycle, The Ends Of The Circle is a book I had read before. I don't remember anything about it from my first reading. I'm thinking that perhaps I may have started and then noticed it was the second book in a series of which I had but that one book and so put it aside.
This book was primarily about two characters. Ahroe a guardsman (ironic in a matriarchal society) and her husband Stel , a stone cutter/wood worker. Stel marries into the Dahmen family. They find him too rebellious, he finds them far too strict. Stel decides that he'll work under any yoke they place on him with a smile. When the Dahmen can't make him knuckle under they attempt killing him. The failure is the straw that breaks the camels back and Stel flees after making The Dahmen think he killed himself. Ahroe is shocked and shamed to discover that he faked death and precedes to track him.
All that in the first two chapters! Wow. As the book continues Ahroe is pretty reminiscent of Neo in the first Matrix where he fights Morpheus. She has quite a bit of technique down from 'book learnin' bit, however when she gets into real trouble she's just plain outmatched.
It's Stel that makes me think of Kwai Chang Caine. He as well is a seemingly weak protagonist. Stel shows his true colors when he is challenged. Gentleness and kindness only get you so far. In the world of the far future (and substitute teachers) it still holds that nice guys finish last.
This book being more focused on journey (this time just as far away as he, Stel, can get) has more descriptions of the ruins of our modern society, called The Ancients. Since they found more 'ancient relics' it started making me think of The Dark Tower Series, but the way Stel and Ahroe describe the items they find made me supplant that theory and replace it with the world of Thundarr the Barbarian. The difference is there is no Magic and Super-Science and also no ancient scientists locked in a bottle for two thousand years.
Total off topic here: I found a book a bit more than a year ago called Thundar Man of Two Worlds. I may read it after I finish the Pelbar Cycle and discover if has more than just the title in common.
Alright. Final thought and one SPOILER LINK, The Ends Of The Circle was a great read. I liked The Ozars and their God the best. Fantastic post apocalyptic fiction.
I've started The Dome in the Forest. Stel and Ahroe make a brief appearance but it looks like Celeste and Tristal are going to be the main characters in this volume.