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The Sterkarm Handshake

     by Price, Susan

The Sterkarm Handshake

In this novel scientists have created a "Time Tube" that connects the 21st century with the 16th century. A corporation known as F.U.P. has big plans for the 16th century and its abundant natural resources. Passing themselves off as elves possessing all kinds of inexplicable elf-magic, employees of F.U.P. are set to put their plans in gear. Their only problem is the Sterkarms, a border clan given to thieving, fighting, and general merriment at F.U.P.'s expense. The Sterkarms are impressed by the wealth of the elves but not especially afraid of them. Young anthropologist and F.U.P. employee Andrea Mitchell has taken up residence as a guest of the Sterkarms. At first she can't believe her luck, since life with the Sterkarms is providing her with primary source material that will certainly give her a ticket into the graduate program of her choice. Not to mention the fact that Per, the handsome only son of the Sterkarms' leader, has fallen in love with her, declaring her his "Elf-May," the girl he wants to marry. When Per is critically injured during a border skirmish, Andrea brings him to the 21st century so that modern medicine can save his life. By doing so, she unknowingly sets in motion a chain of events that could lead to disaster in both centuries. 

This excellent award-winning novel was published as a young adult title. However, adult readers, especially fans of such books as Diana Gabaldon's Outlander, might also enjoy it. It offers a wonderful combination of romance, historical detail, science fiction, and adventure, all written in fluid, sensuous prose.

Reviewed by mh, 1/01. Other reviews by mh.