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The Golden Torc (Saga of the Pliocene Exile #2)

4.1  ·  Rating Details ·  5,519 Ratings  ·  97 Reviews
By A.D. 2110 nearly 100,000 humans had fled the civilized strictures of the Galactic Milieu for the freedom they thought existed at the end of the one-way time tunnel to Earth, six million B.C.
But all of them had fallen into the hands of the Tanu, a humanoid race who'd fled their own galaxy to avoid punishment for their barbarous ways.
And now the humans had made the Tanu s
Paperback, 383 pages
Published 1983 by Pan Books (first published January 1st 1982)
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Lots of nice twists & turns in this second installment of the Saga of the Pliocene Exile. The worm turns, when humans turn out to be nastier and craftier than their Tanu overlords ever imagined. For one thing, humans are willing to fight dirty. It’s reminiscent of the British facing Native Americans, two different codes of conduct ending in unexpected victories for the less-well-armed side of the conflict. Honour means different things to different cultures and May exploits those differences ...more
Mar 27, 2011 Andreas rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
The scope of this saga spanning eight novels is staggering. A gate is opened to the past, specifically the Pliocene era. But it is a one-way trip. Adventurous souls travel back, and find a world unlike any they could imagine. Epic conflict rages between ancient races, and the future destiny of man is decided. The initial four books make up The Saga of Pliocene Exile.

* The Many-Coloured Land
* The Golden Torc
* The Nonborn King
* The Adversary

These can be read as a standalone series, but who wou
Christaaay - Christy Luis Reviews
Three races fight for dominance in Pliocene Europe.

Premise : Several million years ago, two factions of a dimorphic alien race took shelter on the most compatible planet: earth.

Fast-forward to the 22nd century, where not all humans are happy with the speed of progress and intergalactic relations with various “exotic” races. Several “misfit” humans portal back to Pliocene Europe to escape their own time. Ironically, these time-traveling refugees of the future must now battle aliens for their v
Roddy Williams
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Storyline: 3/5
Characters: 2/5
Writing Style: 3/5
World: 3/5

I really enjoyed the series first, The Many-Colored Land, and looked with anticipation to reading this one. The Golden Torc dropped many features that I liked and adopted many devices whose absence I had valued. The writing was not as pleasing and selective as it was in the first. The pacing, likewise, carried forward with momentum this time instead of with choice steps. The first one had a unique identity - not just with the mishmash of t
Mark Hodder
As with the first book in the Saga of Exiles series, this—the second—is remarkable for its meticulous and absorbing world-building. I did feel, however, that all the detail rather obscured the plot, which was slow to unfold and not sufficiently signposted. Often, I found myself enjoying the scenery without knowing where I was going. There are a lot of characters—a LOT—which made it difficult to remember who was who and tough to feel any sense of engagement. These quibbles aside, THE GOLDEN TORC ...more
Timothy Boyd
Good 2nd book in the series. The story to me picks up and flows somewhat better than the first book. Nice SiFi and fantasy blend. Recommended
Michel Meijer
Jul 01, 2017 Michel Meijer rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rereading this since years and it has become clear that part 1 and 2 of the Saga of the Pliocene Exile belong to the same story and could have been published in 1 part. So if you are interested in this, just read 1 and 2 after each other. Part 1 (the many colored land) describes the Exiles and the technicalities of the journey to the past, while part 2 gives more background on the aliens, their habits and the symbiosys between Men and Tanu/Firvulag. There is no need to give an synopsis with a fa ...more
May 30, 2017 Kim rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
A disappointing read after the first book. I am not sure if I want to read a third although I am curious about what happens next. The first book was a goodread, but this one lacks cohesion, has too many bizaare & confusing characters & the plot gets lost.
Oct 03, 2016 M rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ciencia-ficcion
Me ha gustado menos que el anterior, pero era de esperar cuando no hay el elemento sorpresa.
Esta vez se ha centrado más en acción fantástica típica y menos en la amalgama de consecuencias temporales, mucho más interesantes que no la típica super batalla de final de libro.
No me acaba de gustar lo que hace con ciertos personajes, especialmente lo de volver inútiles a unos mientras otros se vuelven super poderosisisimos de las maneras más incómodas. Y a ver si para el 3o ya abandona a los cansinos
This entry feels more fantastical than the first, although science definitely still factors in. It is richer in action and intrigue and perhaps a bit less focused on character development.

This is a difficult book to sum up, since so very much happens. It’s an action-packed chunkster, providing the reader with information and new settings without ever feeling like an info-dump. The medieval-like flare of the Tanu and the goblin/fairie/shapeshifter qualities of the Firvulag are stronger in this en
Dec 11, 2008 Reinhold rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Die Revolution geht weiter

Dieses Buch stellt den zweiten von vier Bänden des Pliozän-Zyklus von Julian May dar. Einen Überblick über den Inhalt des Zyklus und die Reihenfolge der Bücher habe ich bei meiner Rezension zum ersten Band "Das vielfarbene Land" gegeben. Um diese Rezension kürzer zu halten verweise ich an dieser Stelle auf diese Rezension.

Am Beginn des Romans gibt es eine sehr gute und ausführliche Zusammenfassung, diese kann die Lektüre des ersten Teil natürlich nicht ersetzen, wenngle
Nov 05, 2012 Kevin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
If you have gotten this far, you will know what the setting is to the Saga of the Pliocene Exile. You may also be wondering what, exactly, is going on with the four characters that went to the Tanu capital of Muriah. And that is where the book picks up.

So, the reader finds themselves backwards in time before the rebel uprising at the end of The Many-Colored Land to catch up with Bryan, Aiken Drum, Elizabeth, and the 'Viking' Stein. Theirs is a much more politically driven story, as they maneuver
Aug 12, 2013 Fran rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I wanted to give this second volume in the series a better rating but I just couldn't do so. The story itself is more involved and entertaining than the first volume but May manages to manhandle the European lore motif until it's less like reading a sci-fi/fantasy novel and more like a college level mythology class.

Potentially interesting characters in which the reader might have vested empathy are abstracted and stereotyped until no one really cares about what will happen to them. The remainin
Simon Mcleish
Mar 11, 2012 Simon Mcleish rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Originally published on my blog here in August 1998.

The second of May's Pliocene-set Saga of the Exiles series, The Golden Torc continues from where The Many-Coloured Land left off. The humans from the group focused upon in the first novel are continuing to make a large contribution to the alien society they have found themselves in. Aiken Drum is insinuating himself into the highest echelons of society; Elizabeth is trying not to let the Tanu take advantage of her newly recovered mental capacit
Sep 14, 2016 Penny rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I've read these quite a lot - I can zip through 'em. I sort of do love them.
Jul 26, 2016 Chris rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: poetry
Finished this a while back as part of my summer commitment to read more SFF. It's good for the brain.

Julian May really caught me by surprise--I hadn't heard of her until I read Chabon's paean to tricksters and SFF in Maps and Legends (which I also recommend). The Many-Colored Land took me a while to get into, but by the time I got a third of the way through I just devoured it and then chowed my way through Golden Torc. This book starts to weave back together the fates of Group Green, and if you
These are the first books I have read by this author and I absolutely loved it. In the future, a time portal is discovered that can transport people back to the Pliocene era. A lot of people choose this exile rather than continue living as they have, but a surprise awaits them. A race of aliens crash landed on Earth and dominate the era, using humans in their fight between their two factions, the Tanu and the Firvalug. Torcs control the populace and enhance physic power, creating a world of slav ...more
Chris Branch
Dec 22, 2011 Chris Branch rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
The Pliocene Exile/Galactic Milieu saga is a masterpiece of SF/F, and this second book in the series stands out as one of the most brilliantly constructed volumes of the series.

With the stage set and the preliminaries out of the way in The Many-Colored Land, here May is free to follow the implications of the human group's arrival in the past to its surprising but entirely logical conclusions on multiple fronts. We get to see how the machinations of individuals and factions play out against the
Oct 31, 2016 Malapata rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
4,5. Una vez dispuestas la piezas en el primer libro de la serie, May se dedica a moverlas camino de un final aplastante. Retomamos el rastro de la mitad del grupo verde que se dirigió hacia Muriah, la capital de los exóticos. Allí se convertirán sin quererlo en parte de las luchas de poder entre las diferentes facción de Tanu. Mientras los hombres libres del norte preparan la siguiente fase de su plan. Y todo ello con el Gran Combate cada vez más cercano.

Un relato que transcurre en una senda do
David Meiklejohn
The first book in the Saga of the Exiles finished with the attack on Finniah. In this book we follow the two parts of Group Green as one lot integrate with the Tanu overlords in the capital city, Muriah, and the others travel there with the hope of wrecking the Tanus' infrastructure. It all culminates in the Grand Combat on the White Silver Plain.

Julian May's characters are terrific, each with a depth that's unusual in such a large cast. The descriptions of the mind powers and the mental battles
The only reason I did not review this was because I was too busy trying to get through the next book, so I am writing this quickly, months later. The Golden Torc was AMAZING. I loved it and became a big fan of Aiken Drum. Overall, I loved the four books in this series, and if I had to rank them, I'd say the Golden Torc was the best, The Many Coloured Land was second, The Non Born King was third and the last book, The Adversary, was my least favorite. The Adversary was still good, however, and it ...more
Aug 10, 2008 Natalie rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
In general I give all series two volumes to entice me to read further—in this case, May has failed utterly. Somehow she has taken a good concept and serviceable storytelling and written a book almost entirely devoid of interest. The few sympathetic characters she presents have so minor a role that finding out what happens to them has next to no appeal. I've watched all people and events become slowly more sterile and cold, and in the end I had to push myself to read the last hundred pages. I'm l ...more
Dec 07, 2013 Graham rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Exotic aliens with mind numbing and creative psychic powers enslave humans who have time travelled six million years into the past. And this book (2/4) describes the buildup to the great combat that takes place on silver plains between effectively elves and goblins. Shape shifting, fireballs, betrayal, love, prophecy, challenge, score sheets and pesky humans combine with a great inundation that washes many characters clean away. Pulling on Celtic myths, playing fast and loose with geology, and g ...more
Sandra Bard
I liked the first book in the series and so started the second book.
I finished it.
However, my main problems are,
there are so many side characters introduced and I didn't feel a connection to most of them. Most of the fav from the first book do not appear or are brushed aside and the style of the first book, which was more of a quest, gives way to page after page of political bickering.
It is not my style but I encourage anyone who wants to read this book to go ahead. There are good points, th
Mar 27, 2013 Keith rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, unfinished
I first heard the plot of this book described during lunch in the cafeteria of my high school. I'm very happy to finally have read it for myself. It does not disappoint, although knowing what was going to happen probably dulled the shock of the ending a bit. In any case, really like how the author wove the fantastical elements of the story together with scientific speculation on possibly actual geologic events. I'm looking forward to the next two books in the series to see how this saga plays ou ...more
Ward Bond
Jun 25, 2012 Ward Bond rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

By A.D. 2110 nearly 100,000 humans had fled the civilized strictures of the Galactic Milieu for the freedom they thought existed at the end of the one-way time tunnel to Earth, six million B.C.
But all of them had fallen into the hands of the Tanu, a humanoid race who'd fled their own galaxy to avoid punishment for their barbarous ways.
And now the humans had made the Tanu stronger than the Firvulag, their degenerate brethren and ritual antagonists. Soon the Tanu would reign supreme. Or so they th

Nov 30, 2011 Christopher rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Characters run the gamut of achieving their dreams, only to have them crash down, ridiculously insane battles of psychic power/illusion, tragedy befalls, and lives and the status quo are threatened to go nova. May really created a weird mix of brassy/salt of the earth (sometimes veering on antagonistic archetype, but also reminding of David Eddings fantasy series characters) character types clashing in X-Men style battles, Celtic myth strewn through Star Trek aliens, with a clinical biologist/ge ...more
John Devlin
Mar 20, 2007 John Devlin rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Simply the best space opera, and the best series of novels I've ever read. This is the first of the nine, and while the last three show signs of fatigue, these novels capture a cast of characters, and one in Marc Remillard, that are truly memorable. From the worlds and milieu May imagines to her evocative themes, the novels capture humanity with all its foibles and promise, and if you stick around for #6, you'll get the best plot twist in all of bookdom.
Deborah Bell
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
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Pseudonym Ian Thorne, J.C. May, Lee N. Falconer.
More about Julian May...

Other Books in the Series

Saga of the Pliocene Exile (4 books)
  • The Many-Coloured Land (Saga of Pliocene Exile, #1)
  • The Nonborn King (Saga of the Pliocene Exile, #3)
  • The Adversary (Saga of Pliocene Exile, #4)

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“Aiken nodded. 'I get it. But the King is getting a bit long in the tooth for that kind of adventure. Rogering maidens is more his style these days.” 0 likes
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