While providing a page-turning action novel on a grand scale, ''Runes of Iona'' is also an idea-driven work of literature. Following the traditions of George Orwell's ''Nineteen Eighty-Four'' and Aldous Huxley's ''Brave New World,'' the work is set in a dystopian near-future. The second novel in a planned quartet called ''The Blessings of Gaia,'' ''Runes of Iona'' continues where the first book, ''September Snow,'' left off, but while continuing the saga, stands alone as a complete work. Iona, daughter of a rebel, martyred mother and an illustrious scientist, follows the classic hero's journey. Using a female lead adds a refreshing note. The central dilemma concerns a war-ravaged, environmentally damaged world. Iona's task is nothing less than fighting a totalitarian world government with a force of ragtag, battle-weary rebels. And the stakes are nothing less than saving our ailing planet from further destruction brought on by environmental recklessness. Balmanno touches on questions such as religion and politics, giving satisfied readers both a provocative thinking person s story and simultaneously a thriller. ''Runes of Iona'' is a treat to read and savor.
Used availability for Robert Balmanno's Runes of Iona
October 2010 : USA Paperback