Great Britan and much of the Northern Hemisphere is hit by a comet in the Victorian Era. The British Royal Family, nobility and military move en-masse to India where the novel is set in the early 21st Century.
This report prepared by Doon
In the Victorian Era, Earth is struck by a comet. When the dust settles, Imperial Britain, relocated from frozen London to temperate Delhi, emerges as a dominant political and cultural power. The story takes place in the middle of the 21st century but the technological level is that of the late 19th or early 20th.
The protagonist, Athelstane King, is a cavalry officer and the head of a minor artistocratic family. An evil Russian cannibal mystic wants him dead and King goes through a predictable series of crisis and perils as he unfolds the mystery of who is after him and why.
The story is a good idea. I like the way Stirling married the Empire and the Raj. However, character development is a little disappointing. It is typical Great White Testosterone Bearer saves the day stuff. King even has a faithful swarthy sidekick. It might as well be the Lone Ranger and Tonto.
An entertaining read but not Stirling's best work.
This report prepared by Greg Careaga
Roc, Jan 2002, 23.95, 432 pp.
In 1878, comets strike the earth broadside. The debris in the atmosphere causes a seemingly endless winter while the oceans flood the coasts. The civilizations of the Northern Hemisphere collapse. English Prime Minister Disraeili and Queen Victoria lead a mass migration to the Indian subcontinent.
In 2025 the world contains two superpowers and several other smaller empires struggling for global domination. The Angrezi Raj, as the British Empire is now known, is centered in Delhi, India. It primarily vies with the Russians for supremacy. Though the empire includes numerous races and religions, most live in harmony with one another, but the world as a whole is as dangerous as it ever has been.
Two independent assaults occur on twins Peshawar Lancer Athelstane King and astronomer Cassandra King. Neither understands why someone would want them dead, but another attempt occurs. Based on the vision of a true dreamer, Russian Count Vladimir Ignatieff has foretold that the deaths of the Kings would begin the end of the British Empire. However, Athelstane will not sit idly by and just wait for his assassin to succeed.
THE PESHAWAR LANCERS is vivid detailed look at the late nineteenth century Indian subcontinent. The story line is deep and provides much insight, but fans of alternate history must understand that the plot reads more like a Victorian historical novel than a rewriting of history leading to a different future. SM Stirling shows his ability to paint quite a vivid tale of intrigue that will excite historical novel readers and those alternate history aficionados who relish a twenty-first century Victorian age.
This report prepared by Harriet Klausner