by Theodore Judson
Category: Fiction / Fantasy
464 pages; ISBN: 0756401968
Rating: 9/10 (Ratings explained)
Reviewer: Harriet Klausner
Daw, August 2004, $23.95, 464 pp.
Much of the population was destroyed in the storm times of the twenty first century and the world is without electricity, depending on steam for fuel. The Confederation of the Yukon, flying the flag of the Union Jack is the most powerful country in the world, assimilating Canada, the United States and Australia. It is a feudal age in which Lords and commoners have assigned roles in society and the history books laud Isaac Prophet Fitzpatrick, Consul and Supreme Commander as the heroic leader of his time.
A book surfaces written by Sir Robert Mayfair Bruce, one of Fitzpatrick’s closest and trusted friends, that the ruling elites do everything in their power to discredit. It paints Fitzpatrick as a megalomaniac who killed his own father in order to become the next consul; according to Sir Bruce, he declared war on China and Turkey, killing millions in his quest to rule the world; and his thirst for more power led those in his inner circle to turn against him. The Fitzpatrick portrayed in this book was no hero but a tyrant who craved, like his hero Alexander the Great, ruling the world.
The victors rewrite history and it is up to the audience to choose whether to believe Sir Robert or the many history books that make Fitzpatrick out to be a heroic leader. One factor in Sir Robert’s favor is that he doesn’t spare himself in the narrative. He freely admits he took part in the genocide ordered by the consul and betrayed the vows he took as a soldier. Theodore Judson has created a thought provoking science fiction tale that will leave readers pondering what a fact is.
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