"A thoughtful, magisterial alternate history from one of science fiction's most important writers."--The New York Times Book Review
It is the fourteenth century and one of the most apocalyptic events in human history is set to occur--the coming of the Black Death. History teaches us that a third of Europe's population was destroyed. But what if the plague had killed 99 percent of the population instead? How would the world have changed? This is a look at the history that could have been--one that stretches across centuries, sees dynasties and nations rise and crumble, and spans horrible famine and magnificent innovation.
Through the eyes of soldiers and kings, explorers and philosophers, slaves and scholars, Robinson navigates a world where Buddhism and Islam are the most influential and practiced religions, while Christianity is merely a historical footnote. Probing the most profound questions as only he can, Robinson shines his extraordinary light on the place of religion, culture, power--and even love--in this bold New World.
"Exceptional and engrossing."--New York Post
"Ambitious . . . ingenious."--Newsday