Science has never been Norton's strong suit, so when the action shifts to an alternate Earth where life never began, don't quibble over the presence of a breathable atmosphere. Breathe in, breathe out, and follow Blake Walker as he attempts to track down a missing telepathic twin, with the help of her similarly-gifted sister.
"Quest Crosstime" is a wildly scenic adventure through alternate Earths. One of my favorites---a jewel-like vignette to the main plot---is ruled by turtles whose brainy heads are too large to pull back into their shells.
E6525, the alternate Earth where much of the action takes place, had a couple of twists to its history as compared to our own time line:
* Richard III won the Battle of Boswell and the Plantagenets continued to rule in England;
* Cortez was killed in his final battle with the Aztecs, and the Spanish never established an Empire in the New World.
Norton expends a great deal of imagination and verve in creating a successor Aztec Empire that rules North America west of the Mississippi. The action never falters as Blake in his disguise as a trader from New Britain continues his search for the missing twin.
I believe the author may have originally planned to write a sequel to "Quest Crosstime," as the action ends rather abruptly with some of the Time Wardens still stranded on E6525, and only a handful of the bad guys accounted for. I've checked Andre Norton's web site and no sequel is listed, so if any of her fans know of one, please drop me a line.
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