5,000 years in the future, as an aftermath of the Death which happened long ago, mutations have run amok. Some benefit mankind and some are creepy-crawly creatures that actively hunt humans. Telepathy between men and some animals is now possible. I myself love the “morse” which is a super-sized moose that doubles as a horse and companion.
But before The Death, things most rapidly were changing, yes, and for the worst. The entire world as well as simply here in what was once called North-america, was dying. It was being choked, strangled in artificially made filth and its own sickly refuse. He pointed a lean hand at the ring of ruined towers glaring across the lagoon.
See there! The whole planet, the good round Earth, was being covered by these things! Giant buildings blotted out the sun. The ground was overlain with stone and other hard substances, so that it could not breathe. Vast man-made structures were built everywhere, to make yet more vast structures, and the smoke and stench of the engines and devices used fouled the world’s air in great clouds of poison. He paused for a moment and looked sad.
If science fiction/fantasy is your genre of literature, do yourself a favor and take a weekend to read this excellent story by Lanier.
His lead character, Per Hiero Desteen is an instantly likeable warrior/priest who must undertake a critical mission in unknown and forbidden territory in a post-apocalyptic North America 5,000 years in the future. The story is a real page-turner with dozens of believable plot twists and supporting ideas that make for a fun and fantastic read. The typical good vs. evil sub plot takes a fresh approach in Laniers world with many diverse characters including dozens of grotesque, nuclear-spawned mutations, some intelligent and allied to humans..others maelevelant but equally intelligent aligned with evil humans known as the Unclean. This unholy alliance is dedicated to the resurrection of the nuclear technology that decimated the Earth 5 millenia in the past, as well as the total subjigation of normal humankind.
All these things become quite plausible thanks to Laniers excellent literary style and flair for creating believable, likeable characters. He is a master storyteller with a gift that so few authors have. Ultimately, this book is pure fantasy that is extremely fun! The sequel, Unforsaken Hiero is equally entertaining and a must-read once you gobble up this first book.
Sadly, Mr. Lanier has never written the third and final book in the trilogy and it appears he may never do so. For the many Hiero fans left waiting, we can only hope Lanier may someday rekindle his passion for this series and finish the story. Or perhaps authorize a third book by a young upcoming writer in the sci fi/fantasy industry. I’ve been waiting for book three for over ten years.
Regardless, please take Hiero’s Journey.
You won’t be sorry.