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"Lands of Red and Gold" (aka LORAG) is one of the stories that turned alternate history from an interest of mine to a passion. Jared Kavanagh has shown incredible imagination, creating numerous societies, cultures, and religions, all of which are still recognizably Aboriginal. This was the first timeline I ever read to incorporate biology in a major way, with the flora and fauna of Australia shaping their civilization just as wheat, cows, and horses shaped the West. Beyond his creativity, Jared might also be the single best wordsmith I've seen in the alternate history genre. He turns what could be dry descriptions of botany and zoology into something almost like poetry.
LORAG is one of the finest works of timeline-based alternate history I have ever read, and has been an incredible inspiration for my own writings. I cannot recommend this series enough.
This tome gives a meticulous depiction of how the Australian Aborigines would have developed if they had had an Agricultural Revolution millennia ago. The Butterfly Effect would have changed the rest of the world as well, but that would have made the book unwritable and unreadable, so it is best history overseas stays the same until First Contact with Western Civilization. The first half of the book depicts Aururian (Australian) history until 1618, the second half depicts the next twenty years. I look forward to Lands of Red and Gold Book 2.
This book is a great read for people that likes alternative history. Even though it is fiction, it grounded in believable possibilities. I would have like timeline to be more linear but it was not to difficult to follow.
Groundbreaking alternate history from Jared Kavanagh, author of the seminal "Decades of Darkness". What if Australian Aborigines had developed agricultural civilisations and entered the Iron Age before European first contact in the 1600s? A wonderfully detailed account of prehistory and the - often tragic - results of encounters between different civilisations. As in all the best alternate histories, in reading something about a different world, we learn something about our own. Highly recommended.
What I think works best in the book is the slow build, block upon block, of the alternate Australia (known to the timeline of the book as Aururia), the plants, the first agriculturists, the cities, the rise and fall of the first civilisations, etc. It's abundantly clear that this is well-researched, but this is also backed up by some very clever world-building. I also like the little reminders of what makes the Aururian cultures so different - the continent-wide use of head-shaking to indicate agreement, the interminable complexities of the Yadji language, the Plirite maxims.