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The Builder

Volume 6 of The Interregnum
A Novel of the Timestream
Copyright December 2012

by R. Sutcliffe

see also
Volume 1 -- The Peace
Volume 2 -- The Friends
Volume 3 -- The Exile
Volume 4 -- The General
Volume 5 -- The Nexus

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Many thanks to all the proofreaders and editors. Your suggestions were all considered and almost all were adopted. Remaining errors are entirely my fault.


Plot Summary

The Builder is book six in the Christian sf (alternate history) series The Interregnum, set on Ortho-Earth (Greater Hibernia) during the sixty-year ban on the throne following the 1941 deposition of James IV, High King over two of the six Timestream earth then known. The action of this volume takes place on Hibernia, (ortho), Tirdia (Prime), and Builder's World (Meta) with arcs of the story cycle rotating among accounts of Mara Meathe, Roger Hyland, Eric Foster, Ben Kenan (all on Hibernia), those of Ruel and the elders of Meta, and a few chapters set with Tiffany Friesen on Tirdia and Hibernia.

Mara: On cloud nine after her engagement to be mmarried, she crashes to the depths after Rhiannon is murdered, and she is blamed for both that and the worse crime of financial mismanagement (breach of trust). She defects to the MacCarthys, where Philip Desmond treats her as his own daughter. Through Sheila Desmond, who is the ex-bishop's real daughter, she lerns the fate the MacCarthy's have planned for Tara.

Roger:We follow Roger from a precocious boy to a grown man, as he interacts with friends and family, and becomes the "Builder of Tara"--not to mention of railroads across land, sea, and sky. But, there is something mysterious in his background, and unravelling that, and the plot to destroy Tara is tied in with his father's murder. Can he find disarm the plot and find himself, before it is too late?

Eric: A friend of Roger and Mike as a boy, he leads a tortured life after the attack on Killatchie. His past too has dark secrets, one of which is unravelled by Philip Desmond, another of which he must work out for himself after a trip to Tirdia as a near corpse.

Ruel: The son of Hemon is restored in body to his father Hemon of Meta, but all is not well. He too must confront something terrible from his past. Hemon forces him to face the Drakonta in the jungle, and that helps, but it seems there is a tougher battle yet to fight within his own mind. Can he survive it and regain himself?

Ben Kenan: It is the early eleventh century on Meta, and the Builder's precocious daughter Myst winkles out her father's deep secrets. It turns out he is much older than most people know, and has stories to tell about the first through third nexi that explain something of the worlds of the timestream.

Hibernia's deposed King, James IV, continues to influence events from behind the scenes as various of his allies and enemies try to determine what became of him after the 1941 deposition, or who will take on the throne when the ban runs out in 2001. Scholars, students, soldiers, loyalists, rebels, and athletes--among them Christians, agnostics, sceptics, and hardened sinners--populate the history of his interregnum. He and Clan MacCarthy's leaders continue pursuing incompatible visions of Tara's throne--a symbol of justice, honour, and individual dignity for James and his allies, of violent racist oppression, brutal savagry, and casual human experimentation for his opponents.


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