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The Adversary

(Saga of the Pliocene Exile #4)

4.22  ·  Rating details ·  4,918 ratings  ·  72 reviews
Until the arrival of Aiken Drum, the 100,000 humans who had fled backward in time to Pliocene exile on Earth knew little but slavery to the Tanu, the humanoid aliens who came from another galaxy. But King Aiken's rule is precarious, for the Tanu's twisted brethren are secretly maneuvering to bring about his downfall. Worse, Aiken is about to confront a man of incredibly po ...more
Paperback, 472 pages
Published September 12th 1987 by Del Rey Books (first published January 1st 1984)
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4.22  · 
Rating details
 ·  4,918 ratings  ·  72 reviews

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My least favourite of the 4 Pliocene Exile books. It took me a while to get into this one, although eventually I found myself back into the flow. I have to admire the intricate nature of May’s plot and how it all ties together eventually. I did find that the sheer number of characters (not all of whom I remembered well) was part of the reason that it was slow going in the beginning. Also, the involvement of Marc Remillard was tiring to me—I was much more interested in the other humans, the Tanu ...more
Jan 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
George R.R. Martin can suck it. Ten years before Martin started his yet unfinished Song of Ice and Fire, May's four Pliocene Exile books were published at a rate of one every year between 1981 and 1984. And they are epic. Dense and filled with grand world-building concepts and vocabulary (although tinged with a bit of anachronism in places, mostly in some out-of-date ethnic clichés), The Adversary was a solid ending to a science fiction story set six million years ago. Rest in peace, Ms. May - y ...more
Feb 12, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
7/10. Media de los 7 libros leídos de la autora : 8/10

Las siete novelas que he leído suyas se agrupan en dos series. La de La Intervención (3 libros) y esta Saga del exilio en el Plioceno (4 libros). Autora poco conocida pero que se lee (o que leí) con auténtico frenesí.

Recomiendo ambas, tal vez esta del Plioceno baja un poco en los dos últimos, pero ambas son joyas que tiene Ultramar en su colección de Grandes éxitos de Bolsillo (Ciencia Ficción).
Lewis Cunningham
This whole series is awesome. I would love to see a movie, even an animated movie, of the many colored land and the galactic milieu.
Roddy Williams
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Sharon Reamer
May 14, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
The overall series deserves four stars, even though I've given the third and fourth book three stars. I enjoyed the continuity, the exquisite world-building, enhanced by the cool geological descriptions. The detail of the survival of the humans in the Pliocene and their various trades and specialties was also rendered more than believable. I sometimes felt I was there, with them, in the Pliocene Exile.

However, the telepathic powers plot device overshadowed all of the good things, pushing my ove
Nov 01, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: ciencia-ficcion
Sólo me ha costado UN AÑO terminarme el último de esta saga porque era del todo necesario escribir un PUTO LIBRO MÁS del asunto este. Y mira que el final ha sido bastante satisfactorio pero la paja hasta llegar ahí, dios mío, LA PAJA. El último y el penúltimo libro podrían haberse fusionado en uno y habría sido fantástico y no este chicle gastado y repartido por las suelas de todos los zapatos de Plioceno.

Me enfada que los autores no sepan terminar sus sagas, pero me enfada todavía más que inten
David Meiklejohn
The conclusion of the saga. Felice has been zapped, but she seems to have d-jumped to fry Marc in the final milliseconds of her life. As Marc recovers he tries the obscure manoeuvre himself. Aiken faces and subsumes Mercy and then Nodonn, leaving himself in a vulnerable state as the grand tourney approaches and the Firvulag plan for Nightfall. Elizabeth tries to help but doesn't know what her destiny should be.

A fantastic finale! I can't recommend this series enough, the writing is immense, cha
Michel Meijer
Jul 01, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Great end to a fantastic series. The last part of the book felt slightly rushed, but all individual storlines concluded. For any fantasy/sci-fi lover, the Saga of Pliocene Exile is a recommended read. I fell for it long long time ago, and still do.
Mar 22, 2019 rated it liked it
Needs more Creyn.
Charles Gull
Jan 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Each installment just keeps getting better.
Nov 18, 2017 rated it liked it
It's good, but not as good as the rest of the series.
Great Series!
Aug 27, 2017 rated it really liked it
The weakest of the four books, but still enjoyable enough. I guess I just don't like Marc's character as much as most of the others.
jacob delrie
Dec 14, 2017 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Love this series!

Thrilling series like all Julian books. Great characters doing lots of fun, scary stuff. Read the whole set of Galactic Pliocene stories
Oct 12, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: october-2018
3.5 stars.
Charlie Devlin
Aug 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
A satisfying ending to the best space opera I've ever read.
Dec 30, 2010 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Simon Mcleish
Mar 19, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: owned
Originally published on my blog here in October 1998.

In the final book of the Saga of the Exiles series, the rebel metapsychic Marc Remeillard plays a large part; the title of the novel itself is one of his nicknames. His children, and the others of their generation, inhabiting the small settlement set up by the rebels, have gone to Europe, with the intention of setting up a copy of the time gate at the Pleistocene end so that they can return to the future. They were too young to have been invol
Mar 27, 2011 rated it it was amazing
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
Sara Daigle
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Yum....finished a long time favorite!
Storyline: 2/5
Characters: 2/5
Writing Style: 2/5
World: 2/5

This series has the distinction of making every subsequent volume worse than the one before.

Despite having 1,748 pages in which to develop the Pliocene, I never felt that I got to know the Many-Colored Land. We were immersed in politics and war, distracted with minor romances and side-quests, and pelted with PK technobabble, Latin and French, but the only feeling I got for the land was that the mountains were taller and the fauna more sau
Aug 13, 2014 rated it it was amazing
I have re-read these for the first time in 20 years and am still in love with them. Now I know where those half-remembered characters that have haunted me for years came from.

May is a brilliant story spinner and devotes her entire talent to dialogue and tension, while the action seems to take a second place. At times May uses a very few words to leave a blistering image in your mind for all time. Be prepared re-read some passages many times to pick out all the detail and implications. Marc's att
I enjoyed this book, and thought the Pliocene Series was wonderful overall, but I definitely thought this book was the weakest of the four. In addition to losing so many interesting characters, I really wanted the book to end a different way. In fact, I had the ending I wanted to read all worked out in my head half-way through the second book (The Golden Torc), based on something early on in the first book (The Many-Coloured Land).



Craig McMahon
Nov 11, 2015 rated it really liked it
Julian May is a genius.

A genius with words: every other page has me reaching for a dictionary. Caracoles, anyone? Taboret? Gimcrack? Breechclout? What education produced such a voluminous vocabulary?

A genius at world-building. I gave up on the first book in the series after some flowery medieval-sounding language that sounded a little too "fantasy" for me (I've always thought myself the hard sci-fi fan) and yet here I am a couple of months after picking it up again in desperation, just finished
Sep 02, 2012 rated it it was ok
(view spoiler) ...more
Chris Branch
Dec 22, 2011 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
I was surprised at how much I had forgotten about this book. I have to admit that the lengthy subplots involving the misadventures of Tony Wayland and the climb up Monte Rosa were probably the least interesting part of the series for me, which may have contributed to its forgettableness. But this also may have made it even more enjoyable as a reread - for example, I didn't remember what happened to Basil when he reached the top of the mountain, so that was a nice surprise. And to be honest I did ...more
Jan 30, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
The series' epic conclusion, everything takes on a grander scale. Characters enjoy more power, and near their goals. I was left with questions, intentionally I believe, that make me want to continue to the sub-series that prequels this one.

My favorite part of this book, and the series to be honest, is the characters. May's genius seems most apparent in the plot and the fantastic science fictional ideas, but as the series progressed I found myself loving the diversity among and within the charact
Everything comes to a head in this book. Aiken is consolidating his power as King, bringing together the Howlers, Lowlives and surviving Tanu. The Firvulag are keen to bring about the Nightfall war, but on their own terms, and the North American 'children' only want to return to the future. But Marc is a threat to them all and with powerful machines on his side, he may get exactly what he wants. This is the last book in the Saga and almost as enjoyable as the others. I was slightly let down by ...more
Dec 23, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Oh, I am so pleased I didn't chuck these books out. The Marc Remillard - Elizabeth - Aiken - Creyn relationships were written fantastically, the tension between Marc and Cloud and Hagan provided an interesting backdrop to the rebuilding of the Guderian device, the urbane calmness of Basil, the anachronistic Native American charm of Burke, the tragic love story of Tony Wayland and Rowane (well, I say tragic....), magic, science, language (where did Julian May get Anatoly's phrases from)
A rollicki
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Julian May was an American science fiction, fantasy, horror, science and children's writer who also used several pseudonyms including Ian Thorne, Lee N. Falconer and many others.

Other books in the series

Saga of the Pliocene Exile (4 books)
  • The Many-Coloured Land (Saga of Pliocene Exile, #1)
  • The Golden Torc (Saga of the Pliocene Exile, #2)
  • The Nonborn King (Saga of the Pliocene Exile, #3)