Non Born King
Julian May
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Non Born King (Saga of the Pliocene Exile #3)

4.13 of 5 stars 4.13  ·  rating details  ·  2,716 ratings  ·  36 reviews
The story began with a group of talented misfits from the Galactic Milieu of 2110 A.D. who passed through a time portal, hoping to find an idyllic world six million years ago in Earth's Pliocene Epoch. Instead, they encountered two exiled alien races--the knightly Tanu, who had made slaves of the time travelers, and the dwarfish Firvulag, fierce rivals of the Tanu. At the...more
ebook, 362 pages
Published February 18th 1983 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt (HMH) (first published 1983)
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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...more
This series is amazing. The writer's canvas is huge - there are so many plots and so many characters, but I was never confused about who was doing what. Their plotting and machinations are as intricate as those at any royal court, and the double-crosses abound.
Simon Mcleish
Originally published on my blog here in September 1998.

The third of May's Saga of the Exiles follows on from the climactic events of Golden Torc, which ended with the Atlantic flooding in past Gibraltar to begin the creation of the modern Mediterranean. The three communities, Tanu, human and Firvulag, are all seeking to rebuild in various ways, the different factions among them trying to use the chaos - coming more from the deaths of a large proportion of the Tanu ruling class than from the othe...more
Jan 18, 2008 Mark rated it 5 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: everyone
This trilogy was amazing. May's ability to blend such a wide range of characters into the story was flawless, and the overarching story was dramatic as well. Watching each character grow as the story continued was great too. I laughed, I cried, etc.;)
this one was harder to get through. The first two I read cover to cover in a two or three days.
James Ausmus
Great book - now I have to go get the next one!
Die Tetralogie wird schwächer

Verglichen mit den ersten beiden Bänden des vierteiligen Pliozänzyklus, steht hier der eindeutig schwächste Band zur Diskussion. Den Überblick über den gesamten Handlungsbogen des Zyklus habe ich beim ersten Band (Das vielfarbige Land) gegeben, um diese Rezension nicht weiter aufzublähen verweise ich hier nur auf dieses Werk.

Wiederum gibt es am Anfang des Buches eine sehr ausführliche Zusammenfassung der bisherigen Ereignisse, die es durchaus erlauben würde, erst hie...more
Timothy Boyd
Good 3rd book in the series. Alot of the buildup that the first 2 books spent doing gets resolved in this book. Still a slow story for action. Nice different SiFi Read. Recommended
Ward Bond

On Earth, six million B.C., two species of alien ruled, the graceful humanoid Tanu and their twisted brethren, the Firvulag. Then men from twenty-second century Earth arrived through a one-way time tunnel � and soon the aliens were locked in a battle to the death, for the humans had upset the precarious balance of power that existed between them.
But when the tides of combat had receded, no one group held firm control, though Aiken Drum, man of no woman born, had declared himself the Nonborn King

A fantastic third book in the series. The adventure continues as Aiken tries to consolidate his power as King of the Pliocene, the Firvulags turn on their human allies, old enemies from across the Atlantic make themselves known and someone comes back from the dead. I am really enjoying this series; one of the best SF/fantasy mix I have read in a long, long time. Everything feels slightly familiar, as if this really is a history of our oldest myths and legends. Can't wait to read the last book in...more
Sharon Reamer
This was my least-favorite book of the series. It was bogged down in the accumulation by certain characters (mainly Aiken Drum but also others) accumulating and manifesting their telepathic powers and asserting them over others. The internal politics of the Tanu race overshadowed the relationships to the other races, but I found that mostly enjoyable. Although many of the characters engender some sympathy, I found it hard to identify with most of them - good or bad or as was often the case, in b...more
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.
Neal Schlegel
I believe I began identifying more with the tanu from the end of the manycolored land and find aiken drum to be a detestable little worm who brought an end to a noble grand beautiful culture with his guns and super powers now I think I know how the Iroquoise or the Aztec felt when the white man came to their lands they invited them in and showed them how to survive and the white man repaid them with destruction.
A great story expanding on the fortunes of the time travellers in the Pliocene era, in this volume you also get to meet some important key figures that are obviously going to impact on the later novels in the series. The story centres on the Nodonn / Aiken Drum power struggle for supremacy that leads to a climactic battle for the rule of the Many coloured land.
Powerful and rich in detail.
Alan Denham
This is the third in the Saga of the Exiles. The whole story in Julian May's universe exists as a double set of four volumes each - Saga is the first four volumes, which are not standalones. The first volume is The Many-Coloured Land - please see my review of that book, it wouldn't make sense to review this separately
Re-reading the Saga of the Pliocene Exiles after 25 years always ran the risk that the books wouldn't be as brilliant as I thought they were way back then. I needn't have worried. The Non Born King has a little more action than the previous two books, as Aiken's bid for power on elder earth really kicks off. A brilliant book, but you need to start with The Many-Coloured Land.
Am enjoying this series of books again. This third book has the political intrigue, 'magic', big monsters, bad guys, good guys, a dragon, Abaddon, gold, more gold, betrayal, love turning to ashes, intelligence, Wagner, Celtic myths, ancient geology, and fishing. Oh, and aliens. Such a lot of fun. So glad these didn't go into the 'charity shop' pile.
Angela Bull Radoff
Typos! Search and replace madness!
I read this years ago when it was first published. After that, I would wait avidly for the next to arrive at the local bookshop. These books made an impact somehow. I sold them at a garage sale in the '90's then re-bought the set recently. Fantasy + science fiction + metas + in depth character development = excellent read.
Ann Thomas
Re-read all these books every few years with great pleasure. Aiken Drum becomes king, fulfilling a prophecy, as he was grown in vitro and not born. He fights to win the loyalty of the people and defeats his enemies.
This book introduced a new depth to the story, with the members of the Metaphysic Rebellion who entered exile taking a role. The book has some very interesting ideas.
Dirk Lapere
Gave up on this one. Too many characters and 140pp in still waiting to see what the story will be. That's it for me on this series even though there is also a 4th
A thrilling penultimate episode, tying off a few loose ends and building the anticipation towards the closing of the story.
My favorite of the Pliocene Exile epic from Julian May. Perhaps the best 'readable story' in the series.
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Michael R.
Not enjoying the series as much. Storyline dragging on. Characters becoming dull.
Gareth Jones
Entirely my favorite book series. I've reread more times than I care to admit.
Politics, magic, giants, prehistory, sci-fi, romance, all drawn together
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Pseudonym Ian Thorne, J.C. May, Lee N. Falconer.
More about Julian May...
The Many-Coloured Land (Saga of Pliocene Exile, #1) The Golden Torc (Saga of the Pliocene Exile, #2) The Adversary (Saga of Pliocene Exile, #4) Jack the Bodiless Diamond Mask (Galactic Milieu Trilogy, #2)

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