Hemning Sternberg (moonshadow) wrote,
Hemning Sternberg

The Peshawar Lancers by SM Stirling

Title: The Peshawar Lancers (I can't see this title without thinking of my favorite naan, which is actually sort of horrible - to reduce a whole area and its culture and history to coconut flatbread?)
Author: SM Stirling
Genre: Alternate history with fantasy elements.
Setting: An India ruled by Britain - the capital of the Empire since comets changed Earth's climate rendering the Isles mostly uninhabitable - in a twenty-first century that seems more like the time of Victoria.
Reason for Reading: It seemed like the Change novels but set in a more Victorian world, and I found that very appealing.
Finished In: Days
Pages: 458, plus three appendices which I didn't choose to read.
Copyright Date: 2002
Cover: A man in cavalry dress looks out of a huge window toward the city before him. There is a dirigible on the horizon. Behind him, a woman rises from bed, showing a generous amount of leg. An excessively ornate clock sits on a small table between them.
First line: "Captain Athelstane King rinsed out his mouth with a swig from the goatskin water bag slung at his saddlebow."
Best part: I really enjoyed the female characters in this book.
Worst part: I knew already that Stirling thinks that cannibalism is the one unforgivable sin, and many of his villains and barbarians eat human flesh. I agree that killing people to eat them is wrong, and would not want it to happen to me. But, eating someone who's already dead just doesn't seem to horrible to me. As I said when reviewing Dies the Fire, if the technopocalypse comes and I die of natural causes, y'all have permission to eat me. So, statements like cannibalism being the one unforgivable sin just don't ring true to me. Surely rape and murder and human sacrifice are worse than just eating someone who's already dead?
Imaginary Theme Song: An upbeat track from the Tantra Lounge, though I don't have a particular one in mind.
Grade: C
Recommended for: Alternate history buffs.
Related Reads: Dies the Fire by the same author, of course. Anno Dracula by Kim Newman. Works by Harry Turtledove.
Tags: books 2010, fiction
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