Asa of the Alcheringians is a young seventeen year old on his first raid. Approved by the tribal elders and sanctioned by the gods it is a rite of passage for all young men. The raid is a success and many woman are taken including his future wife Persis. He also earns the enmity of Garm for humiliating him and leaving him bound. Life is good for Asa but things are changing. The young of the tribe are rebelling against the old ways. They want to change and stop the nomadic lifestyle. Start domesticating animals and planting crops. This is in direct violation to the Tabuly that was ordained by the gods.
The gods are actually a group of scientists and scholars on the island chain of Yggdrasil. Before the nuclear war destroyed civilization a group was formed and sheltered on these islands. There mission was to find a way for man to live in harmony with nature. So they formed the Project which keeps the tribes on the mainland a primitive society through the tribal traditions they instituted. Now to stop the Alcheringians they must consider wiping out the tribe to stabilize the Project.
The first book in The Erthring Cycle trilogy. This was by a Canadian author who is an English high school teacher. He didn’t write much and this was his only foray into science fiction. He is a very good writer. This post-apocalyptic society of some intellectuals determined to save the human race from itself is a unique idea with enjoyable characters and settings. It is a sad book as the Alcheringians are destroyed by manipulating the surrounding tribes to attack. So here we have this group that states life is precious but willing to wipe out a people to preserve their goofy project. At the end Asa is the only survivor and his wife is taken by Garm who organized the attack. He ends with Asa going to join the Yggdasilians at the end. I found it fascinating read.