Household Gods

Judith Tarr and Harry Turtledove

Tor Books

Two of today's masters of historical fantasy team up to tell a compelling story: a modern woman transported to the second-century Roman frontier.
Nicole Gunther Perrin is a modern young professional, proud of her skills but weary of childcare, sexist law partners, and her deadbeat ex-husband. Following a ghastly day of dealing with all three, she falls into bed asleep--and awakens the next morning to find herself in a different life, that of a a widowed tavernkeeper in the Roman frontier town of Carnuntum around 170 A.D.

Delighted at first to be away from modern America, she quickly begins to realize that her new world is as complicated as her old one. Violence, dirt, and pain are everywhere--and yet many of the people she comes to know are as happy as those she knew in 20th-century Los Angeles. Slavery is a commonplace, gladiators kill for sport, and drunkenness is taken for granted--but everyday people somehow manage to face life with humor and good will.

No quitter, Nicole manages to adapt to her new life, despite endless worry about the fate of her children "back" in the twentieth century. Then plague sweeps through Carnuntum, followed by brutal war. Amidst pain and loss on a level she had never imagined, Nicole finds reserves of strength she had never known.

In the great tradition of novels like Mark Twain's A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, Household Gods is more than a time-travel adventure: it is a tale of a woman's strength and self-discovery, and of the real differences--and similarities--between life in our era and life in days gone by.

At the publisher's request, this title is being sold without Digital Rights Management software (DRM) applied.


Read an Excerpt


NICOLE GUNTHER-PERRIN ROLLED over to turn off the alarm clock and found herself nose to nose with two Roman gods. She nodded a familiar good morning to Liber and his consort Libera, whose votive plaque had stood on the nightstand since her honeymoon in Vienna. Maybe they nodded back. Maybe she was still half asleep.As she dragged herself up to wake the children and get them ready for daycare, her mouth twisted. Liber and Libera were still with her. Frank Perrin, however ..."Bastard," she said. Liber and Libera didn't look surprised. They'd heard it every morning


Praise for Household Gods

"I believed it all--the torchlit streets and pungent taverns, the cool marble courtyards, the filthy, verminous beds, the wine as thick and sweet as syrup. All this and a fascinating protagonist as well. Nicole Perrin manages to be vulnerable and intrepid at the same time. She's a real person. Thanks to the skills of Tarr and Turtledove, the two worlds she inhabits are just as real."--Morgan Llywelyn
"Drawing on a wealth of fascinating historical material and fleshing it out with snappy dialogue, superb characterizations and a genuinely appealing heroine, Tarr and Turtledove genially prove how much fun it can be to go back to Oz."
--Publishers Weekly
"Seamless and completely believable."
"Veteran fantasy author Tarr and alternative-history specialist Turtledove ... combine their considerable talents in a tale of time travel that recalls such classics as A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur's Court, yet emphasizes the human qualities that transcend the limitations of history."
--Library Journal

Reviews from Goodreads



  • Judith Tarr and Harry Turtledove

  • Judith Tarr is the author of more than twenty widely praised novels, including The Throne of Isis, White Mare's Daughter, and Queen of Swords, as well as five previous volumes in the Avaryan Chronicles: The Hall of the Mountain King, The Lady of Han-Gilen and A Fall of Princes (collected in one volume as Avaryan Rising), Arrows of the Sun, and Spear of Heaven. A graduate of Yale and Cambridge University, Judith Tarr holds degrees in ancient and medieval history, and breeds Lipizzan horses at Dancing Horse Farm, her home in Vail, Arizona.

    Harry Turtledove is the Hugo-winning author of many SF and fantasy novels. His alternate-history novels, include the bestselling The Guns of the South, How Few Remain, the Worldwar series, and the recent Ruled Britannia. He lives with his wife and daughters in Los Angeles.
  • Harry Turtledove





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    Household Gods

    Judith Tarr and Harry Turtledove



    Tor Books