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Reviewed by Johnny Masiulewicz for Readers' Favorite
In "Promised Valley Conspiracy", the third in the innovative series, Ron Fritsch continues to chronicle the social and political turmoil of the unique prehistoric world he has created. Tensions remain high between the agrarian Valley People and the hunting-class Hill People, and whatever truces were put in place in the earlier books teeter precariously on the brink of failure as each side looks to gain an edge on the other. Dissension among the Hill People forces a detente on the part of the valley society, and they concede the upper valley to those refugees who want to work toward peace. This act leads to the rise of a threat to both peoples, a threat that can only be defeated by both sides joining together against the common enemy.
As in the other books of the series this plot line is built upon the backdrop of the unique world at the time of the dawn of mankind. Sustaining this world is Fritsch’s particular forte, and he practices it so seamlessly as to make almost necessary occasional references to period topics such as the first domestication of the horse, the invention of the wheel, and the first use of permanent housing, to remind the reader that it is indeed a period piece. These topics also add an intelligence and insight to the narrative and serve as a perfect framework on which to structure the main plot elements. Woven through these elements are themes that possess a universality that has resonated through the entire span of human existence on the planet. There is war and peace, racism and class unrest, scientific and educational developments, social cooperation and the effects on the social order when that cooperation breaks down. These themes not only subscribe to the classic literary aspects of conflict and resolution, but, through Fritsch’s deft craftsmanship, do so in a way that is pertinent even when read in the context of today’s world.