The Fires of Paratime by L. E. Modessit, Jr. (1982)

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The Fires of Paratime
by L. E. Modessit, Jr.

Publisher:  Pocket Books / A Timescape Book
Copyright:  1982

Book Club Edition

On of the planet Query, immortality is universal and the ability to time-dive -- to swim through the currents of time and history -- is common.  Those whose talents are developed enough join the Temporal Guard.  Formed millennia ago, after the devastating war with the malevolent, time-traveling Frost Giants, the elite Guard serves Query as protectors and suppliers, roaming the cosmos and time continuum to deal with races that might threaten Query and to bring back from technologically advanced civilizations the equipment they need, for Query has lost all ability to create its own technology.  In actuality, the Guard acts, as well, as the rulers of the planet, and their rule has stood unchallenged for thousands of years . . .

. . . Until Loki comes along.  Even among the Guards, Loki is something special.  The grandson of the great Ragnorak, Loki demonstrated extraordinary time-diving abilities even as a child.  Now, as an adult and a member of the Guard, his powers are still growing.  He can penetrate the past deeper than the legendary Odinthor; he can outperform his senior officers in speed and accuracy; he can dip millions of years through the undertime and kill an enemy with his bare hands.  When there is trouble that other Guards cannot handle, they call on Loki.  He has become almost a legend himself as a rescuer of lost time-divers and as the hero who single-handedly destroyed the sinister "shark" people.  Mostly, Loki would prefer to be left along in the unglamorous Maintenance section, where he studies the secrets of technology in the hope that someday Query might once again be free of the need to steal from other cultures.

But great men earn powerful enemies, and Loki's is the influential and unscrupulous Heimdall.  Hating the undisciplined young time-diver, Heimdall will stop at nothing to rid the Guard of Loki . . . Drawn unwillingly into the web of intrigue woven by Heimdall, Loki is forced to recognize the corruption and evil of a Temporal Guard that destroys entire civilizations with its time-manipulation and must steal from others in order to exist.  He knows he must act -- an act that will require nothing less than becoming a god . . .

Condition:  Used.  Hardcover.  Dust cover is lightly discolored and shows scuffing, a bit of edge creases and small tears.  Pages may be tanning from age.  Previous owner's "Library Of" stamp is on the front endpaper.


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