Navigator: Time's Tapestry, Book Three

By Stephen Baxter

As William the Conqueror's males try to stamp out the flames of uprising, a prophecy is uttered. A bedraggled lady in a ruined chapel speaks of civilizations in clash, armed via the engines of God...

And that prophecy proves to be precise because the fearsome conflict among Christianity and Islam leaves its mark around the land. In Spain, a rogue priest desires of the ultimate defeat of Islam, for he has discovered a hire within the tapestry of time, some degree the place brokers from the longer term used diabolical guns of destruction to alter heritage. Centuries later, in 1492, as males of imaginative and prescient weary of the strife and are interested in the unknown West, one such explorer seeks the investment for his voyage- whereas a mysterious Weaver plots to solve the strands of time and prevent him.

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XXIV Ibn Hafsun, Robert and Moraima slipped out of Cordoba. They rode down the Guadalquivir in the direction of Seville, a much bigger urban the place, Ibn Hafsun stated, it might be more straightforward for them to lose themselves, whereas the fuss died down. Ibn Hafsun used to be imprecise approximately why he had kept them. ‘I introduced you throughout Spain, Robert, for a expense. i guess I’ve regularly felt accountable for you. I didn’t suggest to guide you into such peril - and nor did I suggest to play a component within the deaths of Sihtric and Orm. ’ ‘It wasn’t your fault,’ Robert acknowledged. ‘Perhaps now not. yet I’m a muwallad, Robert. A Muslim, yet with a hearty dose of ancestral Christian guilt left in my bloodstream. ’ As they journeyed alongside the process the good river, Robert used to be distracted by means of the altering panorama. Al-Andalus may have declined because the finish of the nice days of the caliphate and the fitnah, yet there has been prosperity right here. large ships sailed the size of the river, encumbered with items. close to Seville the land used to be seriously farmed. Plantations of sugar cane sprawled amid ranches and stud farms the place large herds of horses flowed. As they travelled, every one morning Moraima used to be sick. the 2 of them spoke little. Moraima used to be immersed in her loss and the churning of the recent lifestyles inside of her physique. And Robert, brooding on Orm’s loss of life, his head filled with the strict energy of his new religion, came across he had not anything to assert to her. within the evenings, in taverns or camped out within the open, Ibn Hafsun watched them sitting aside in silence, and sighed, and rolled over in his blanket to sleep. Seville itself used to be bustling, filthy rich below the Abbadids, the ruling relations. Ibn Hafsun acknowledged that the river used to be navigable from the ocean up to now, making Seville a traditional port. there has been a fort the following, equipped centuries in the past via Cordoban governors. Now it used to be being prolonged by way of the Abbadids right into a palace to be known as al-Murawak - ‘the Blessed’. If Cordoba’s nice days have been over, it seemed that Seville’s nonetheless lay forward. They got here to a spot a bit approach to the north and west of the fort partitions, the place a small mosque stood. Ibn Hafsun stated, ‘You say Sihtric said an excellent mosque to be inbuilt Seville. whether it is to be equipped at any place, I pass judgement on will probably be simply the following, for the location, with regards to the palace, is perfect. ’ He glanced round on the just a little shabby mosque, the tangled streets. ‘It’s unprepossessing now. however it will be attention-grabbing again in a century or , and notice what time has made up of this position. ’ Robert glanced at Moraima. ‘We may still make plans,’ he stated. ‘Ibn Hafsun has introduced us this a ways. Now it’s as much as us. ’ ‘I have kin within the urban, on my mother’s side,’ Moraima acknowledged. ‘The aunt who might have raised me. shall we stick with her. She wouldn’t betray us. She by no means loved grandfather a lot. ’ ‘Or—’ ‘Yes? ’ ‘Or shall we take a boat for England. ’ They eyed one another. Moraima’s face was once jam-packed with her loss, of her father and grandfather. A loss that, might be, she blamed him for, in a few oblique means. And Robert observed her from a distance, as though via a window of stained glass.

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