Ron Fritsch has written and published four novels set at the end of prehistory. Agriculture and the settled living of humans in villages and towns were new to the world. Humans were about to invent writing. Humanity was on the brink of what we call “civilization” and “history.”
The titles in this epic, allegorical adventure (and the years of their publication) are: Promised Valley Rebellion (2010), Promised Valley War (2011), Promised Valley Conspiracy (2012), and Promised Valley Peace (2013).
When the stories begin, prehistoric farmers inhabit a fertile river valley they believe their gods promised them in return for their good behavior and obedience. Their enemies, hunters roaming the mostly barren hills beyond the mountains enclosing the valley, believe their gods gave it to them.
Then one farmer who’s just come of age chooses not to kill, with his well-aimed arrow, a young hunter. The always curious son of farmers figures out how to cross over the border unseen and “go with” his equally adventuresome adversary instead.
Although both of their peoples welcome men who “go with” men, as well as women who wish to live with women, the youthful farmer and hunter are “eternal” enemies who know they’re committing treason every moment they’re together.
The four Promised Valley novels ask whether civilization and history, with their countless heaven-sanctioned wars and genocides, could’ve begun differently.
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