The Course of the Empire Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Course of the Empire

Eric Flint, K. D. Wentworth
Baen, Sep 2003, 22.00, 506 pp.
ISBN: 0743471547
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Two decades have passed since the Jao conquered the Earth, but the victors still debate what to do with the defeated humans. Many Jao believe extermination by total destruction of the planet is the solution. Some like newly arrived Commander Aille believes winning the hearts of the humans is the best long term solution.

Before the Jao can resolve the human problem, they have to contend with the deadly Ekhat, who plan to commit solar system genocidal eradicating human and Jao without a second thought. The Ekhat turned the Jao into sentient beings, but expected loyal servitude bonds instead of ungrateful rebellion. For Human and Jao to vanquish the Ekhat they must forge more than an alliance. They need a consensus that is much greater than a simple summing of the parts. Only leaders like Aille and the human Stockwells have the foresight to see what must be done, but each race has xenophobics sitting in key positions.

This futuristic tale works on several levels as readers will believe that the Jao and Ekhat exist as well as the conquering of the planet has occurred. The action is fast and furious so that this work will appeal to military science fiction buffs. However, the strength of the tale resides in the social, anthropologic, technological, and political make-up of the Jao and the Humans. Readers will observe the difficulty of blending the best of the conquered and the conqueror into a seamless oneness that might prove capable of surviving the Ekhat. Eric Flint and K.D. Wentworth provide a triumphant story that is as much cerebral as it is action-packed.

Harriet Klausner

The review of this Book prepared by Harriet Klausner

Chapter Analysis of The Course of the Empire

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Plot & Themes

Composition of Book Descript. of chases or violence 10%planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 40%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 30%Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places 20% Tone of book    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?    -   science fiction story Is this an adult or child's book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Cultural problems, alien culture    -   Yes Culture clash-    -   one culture tries to impose its culture on another group Intense exploration of society's culture?    -   Yes

Main Character

Identity:    -   Male Alien Profession/status:    -   politician/elected ruler Age:    -   20's-30's


Earth setting:    -   medium future 22-24th century Takes place on Earth?    -   Yes

Writing Style

Accounts of torture and death?    -   generic/vague references to death/punishment scientific jargon? (SF only)    -   some scientific explanation How much dialogue?    -   significantly more dialog than descript

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Eric Flint and K.D. Wentworth Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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