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Culmanic Parts

Book 1 of The Throne
A Novel of the Timestream
Copyright 2015

by R. Sutcliffe

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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

In his award-winning series The Interregnum, author Rick Sutcliffe features (among others) alternate Earth Hibernia, and its struggles over the disposition of the kingdom after the King is banished. But how did Hibernia come to be the superpower which that series found it? Who were the men and women who founded and nurtured the kingdom during the two millenium of its existence? What were their passions, aspirations, successes, and failures? And what role did the exceptionally long-lived Samadeya-Qayin play over his latest centuries? Sutcliffe's new series The Throne tells the story of many of her High Kings and High Queens, whether saints or rogues, wise or fools, from 1014 through the great betrayal that saw uncrowned James IV deposed in 1941 and banished for sixty years, and to the second battle of Glenmorgan in 2001 that determined the fate of the kingship. Some of these events were hinted at or described in accompanying historical notes in the first six Books of The Interregnum, but are here explained in full--and not always as the historians had originally believed, for now, thanks to polymath and sword wizard Lucas Caine, numerous diaries and journals of the eleventh, fourteenth and fifteenth century have been decrypted, and the secrets of the fifteenth century's greatest leaders, including Admiral Amy Rea's "great secret" have been revealed.

Culmanic Parts is book one in the Christian sf (alternate history) series The Throne, set on Ortho-Earth (Greater Hibernia) during the eleventh, fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries, starting with events surrounding the battle of Clontarf in 1014, the survival of Brian Boru, the conclusion of the long nexus, and the establishment of a secure Irish throne, then continuing with the scientific and industrial revolutions in the fourteenth, and fifteenth centuries. Although the stories are in part all those of Samadeya, they are told from the perspective of and/or orbiting about, three remarkable women.

Catherine Ui Niall Meathe: In a memoir discovered through references in the Amy Rea papers, but penend in 1067, a year after she has helped the Kentish lord fight off the Normans in order to ensure England never unites and becomes a threat, Catherine the warrior Druidess tells of her rise from daughter of an obscure local chieftian to great prominence after her arranged marriage to the mysterious Cormac Meathe. But for whom is the diary intended? Later generations of Meath queens, it seems.

Katherine Maynard/Neal/ Meathe: Katie the horse girl grows up as the ward of Horsemaster and retired weaponsmaster Rufus Maynard, who teaches her the new discipline of the Culmanic, along with how to handle arms the superstitious villagers would kill her for touching. But he has a superstition of his own--that every few hundred years Boudicca the woman warrior returns to lead Ireland's armies, and perhaps... But Kate's mettle is sorely tested when Maynard is murdered, and she discovers she has another family--one whose head has until now disavowed her. When Ahern Neal takes her in, she turns her culmanic skills to the destruction of the "fever" virus that killed her first adoptive parents, and her military ones to helping, then fighting at the side of Grandfather Ahern, who is on a mission to re-unite a fractured Ireland before the barbarian English tribes invade. However, Cullin Meathe, king of Munster, and co-inventor with Maynard of the Culmanic, has the same idea. Ireland can have only one High King however, and when Ahern dies fighting those English invaders, Katherine faces having to fight the man she has for years respected for supremacy.

Amy Grace Rea: Born in 1315 as daughter to the blacksmith of Tara, four-year-old Amelia McGowan is well known as the inquisitor of the streets of Tara. But Mother Melaine spills just enough of a great and deadly secret while dying of cancer to attract thieves, and her father Fergus is killed. Taken in as his daughter Amy by the city's begger Carlan Rea, who is also proprietor of the Pipe and Harp--a music store that is front for his third career as security lord to the king, the talented Amy first learns the business, then when a little older, earns a scholarship to the prestigious Royal (Military) Academy just along Queen Catherine Avenue from the store. There, she forges an unlikely partnership with nine other talented students, and they take the school by storm.

She becomes her generation's mistress of the Culmanic, renames it "Science" and both competes with and begins to love the budding young mathematician and tactician Thomas Rourke, the troubled (and unbelieving) son of Carlan's oldest friend. And, trouble is brewing in the form of Frederick Monde, who thirsts after the throne, and his younger cousin Marcie Caine, who first befriends Amy, then cruelly betrays her. After graduation, the king dies and the city erupts in staged violence, Monde installs his puppet on the throne, and the friends are split up, as two are from those very hostile families. To escape the turmoil, Amy and the other seven take assignments in the Royal Army that lead them in many directions--in Amy's case as Third Officer aboard the frigate HMS Boudicca, heading out on a routine patrol far from Ireland and Monde's clutches. But there are three contracts on her life, one from an ambitious Spanish Grandee. Why?

Amy's story will continue in the subsequent novel Navy Girl or Rea's Blood. The tale of her era concludes in Book 3, Tara's Mother, and the rest of the history of The Throne, with the concluding battle of Glenmorgan is told in the fourth Book The Paladin, which also serves as the seventh Book of Rick's other series, The Interregnum.

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