Roc, April 2002, 6.99, 416 pp.
At the height of Rome's power, the Benefactors landed on an alternate Earth and went to war with Julius Caesar's legions. Unable to defeat the Benefactors, the Romans stole their spaceships and flew to a place where they could live. After two millennia, the Romans forget where earth is located, but both the Romans and the humans remain determined to defeat the Benefactors.
The Benefactors took the teachings of Christianity and used it to spread their own message. An underground resistance in North America is giving hope to the people who want to cast off the Benefactor's rule. In Europe, the Prussian Empire is openly at war with the Benefactors and is slowly clearing the land of them. There will come a time of reckoning when the Romans and its conquered people as well as the humans must meet, defy the Benefactors, and reach some kind of accommodation with each other.
Scott Mackay can always be counted on to create a work that is original in design, yet absorbing and populated with a cast of characters that unite for a common goal. The ethics of the Benefactors is also fascinating because while their plans and battles are malfeasance, their morality is not. They do what they must to survive which is the natural order of a sentient species. If they were not on Earth, would humans be so quick to condemn them.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner