I predicted that An Ambush Of Shadows would be the epic journey north to suss out exactly what was doin there. At the end of The Dome In The Forest a band of Shumai appeared on the Isso River. They had been living in the 'Icelands' in the north. Seems they were hiding out there because their Axeman Uchman had 'accidentally' started a fire that killed a bunch of people. Apparently a millennium from now when you take it on the lam, you head for Canada where you'll freeze your ass off instead of going to Mexico. Anyway after the Axeman dies Disdan brings the remainder of the Band to Shumia Country. He finds no Shumia at all. He does find Stel who tells him that there are no more Running Bands. Disdan sorts of squints his eyes points his fingers at Stel and says 'I find you argument intriguing, but I don't believe you just yet' (may have paraphrased that last part).
He and his band continue to Pelbargian and find that it is indeeed true. Tells his tale to Tor. Remember this is just after he lost his arm in the battle to save the people of The Dome from their own stupidity. Tor becomes intrigued about this unknown territory. He is taking care of Tristal who was orphaned in a fire at the begining of 'Dome' and decides to take him with for some company/education.
At the very end of 'Dome' Tristal is spurned by Celeste who he thought he had a connection with. Part of the reason Tristal left with Tor was Celeste's rejection. He was so enamored with Celeste he ignores Fahna who is smokin hot apparently. She's used to guys falling all over themselves when she's around. Tristal doesn't. So Fahna decides to get him to promise her to marry. He does it then sets out promising to return within seven years.
All that happens in the final chapter of The Dome In The Forest. It has nothing much to do with the events of 'Dome' but rather was more of tease for the next book. In other words I haven't spoiled anything yet.
So that sets the scene for The Song Of The Axe. The timeline of this book spans more than seven years from start to finish. Tor and Tristal travel across Southern Canada together meeting people and enjoying good times/adventures.
First he meets a group of outcast Shumia. If I understand it properly they were forced out of their own bands because they were 'manlovers'. Does that mean they were gay homosexuals? I don't know. The Shumia seem like the descendants of American Indians, well to me anyway. I'm not exactly sure about this but I'm nearly certain gays were held in reverence. They were believed to have two spirits and mystic powers and things n' stuff n' junk. Unlike American Indians however, Shumia don't take too kindly to them and they are forced out. One of the cast outs is a Shumia Axeman. These are people who are not only highly skilled fighters but are psychic to a small extent. Tor and Tristal of course blunder right into he middle of their camp. Tristal is captured and tortured and Tor is there for the recourse.
They continue their travels and meet The Soarers. This group of people are held in trall by priests. The priests have some sort of mind control ability. They use the ability to rule. It took me five and half books but it looks like I've finally found the 'Super Science' that links this series of book to the Thundarr cartoon. The Priests are wizards of some type. Tor and Tristal don't stick around very long and make an escape over the ice.
After 50 days of travel on the ice they find a valley. It is being kept free of ice by some hot springs. Only problem is that once in the valley they have a very difficult time getting out. It takes five years and a bit of ingenious planning on Tor's part but they are finally free to continue the journey.
They don't have to go far until they reach the next group of people. These call themselves Carvers. They seem to be the descendants of Eskimos. Pretty generous group as well. They not only let a couple of fairly tough lookin guys live in their village awhile but carve them a canoe as well.
When the boat is done Tristal and Tor set out again. This where thier paths split. Tristal awakens one morning to find Tor gone and the axe in his pack. Tor goes north. Tristal continues back home to make good his promise to Fahna. Before he gets there he makes the acquaintance of one more group of people.
The Shagrock are slavers. They are as bad or worse than the Tantal. It is during this time that Tristal has an epiphany. After all the teaching of his uncle and all of his deny he's an axeman, he becomes one. A truly epic battle ensues. All the action of a Rambo movie.
So Tristal escapes. Goes back home. Fights the suitor of his bequeathed. That's it.
I have started the last of the Pelbar Books, The Sword of Forbearance. At the end of 'Ambush' the Pelbar are joining together to make a Heart River Federation. They send an ambassador to ask the people of the Eastern Cities and Innanigan in particular to either join or at least tell the Heart Federation the western boarder of their territory. The Innanigans tell the Pelbar to pound sand they have a better plan.
I have started The Sword of Forbearance. So for it looks as though the Pelbar are a bit pissed.
More updates as events warrant.