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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Stirling Tale
This is an excellent read. It combines elements of the classics of Hope, Kipling and Haggard, into an alternative universe of the 21st Century.
The basic premise is a meteorite strike in the 1870's essentially scoured civilisation from Europe and North America. The remains of the British empire have decamped to the Jewel in the Crown, India. A century latter, the...
Published on 2 Feb 2003 by Patrick Mullane

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant Alternative History; Shame About The Story
'The Peshawar Lancers' is my first S.M. Stirling novel and I'm afraid to say that it's likely to be my last. That sounds a little unfair, writing off an author's entire catalogue of work based on one novel; unfortunately with so many writers out there with whom I feel a natural affinity I don't have time to waste on those who I don't make the same connection with. Based...
Published on 7 Nov 2011 by C. Green


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25 of 27 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Stirling Tale, 2 Feb 2003
By 
Patrick Mullane (Cork, Ireland) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Peshawar Lancers (Mass Market Paperback)
This is an excellent read. It combines elements of the classics of Hope, Kipling and Haggard, into an alternative universe of the 21st Century.
The basic premise is a meteorite strike in the 1870's essentially scoured civilisation from Europe and North America. The remains of the British empire have decamped to the Jewel in the Crown, India. A century latter, the author carefully recreates the world which results from this event, as a backdrop to a trilling adventure story. It was interesting of the author, an American, not to have the US present except as a collection of struggling city states. Also the empire is not an English empire, but more an Indian one, where the former conquerors have been blended and mixed into the gloriously diverse makeup of the subcontinent.
I have not been really a fan of the author, lukewarm to his Drakkan series & finding his Islanders fairly okay. Hopefully, this will the start of a new series.
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11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Great Balls of Fire!, 28 May 2003
By 
JA Fairhurst "johnfair" (Edgeley, Stockport) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Peshawar Lancers (Mass Market Paperback)
After massive cometary impacts in the late 1800s that had made life in the Northern Hemisphere effectively impossible most of the British upper classes and military had been evacuated to British India.

Now, more than a hundred years later, India is the centre of a new Empire holding the subcontinent, Australasia, the coastal areas of North America and even the old Home Islands of the British Isles. However, as ever, the Raj's greatest threat lies to the North in the shape of the Czar of all the Russias with his Seat at fabled Sammerkand. A Czar who worshipped, not Christianity, but the foul Tchernobog who demanded that his followers eat human flesh in remembrance of the time they spent under the Dark.

Although still calling themselves English, and appearing as such on the surface, the rulers of India retain few of their ancestors' ways and have become greatly Indianised in the time spent as the rulers of the vast subcontinent. As Athelstane King and his sister make their way through the twisted threads that make up the attempt of a Russian agent to destroy the ruling dynasty, we get to look at the strange civilisation that is still being formed in this new empire, for just as the Indians had their effects on their foreign rulers, those rulers had had their own effect on those they ruled. _The Peshawar Lancers_ is a great book however you look at it - a brilliant adventure story in the old Imperial style of derring do and great world building, making a truly alien world appear real.
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22 of 25 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A new fascinating alternate history scenario, 30 Jan 2002
This review is from: The Peshawar Lancers (Hardcover)
After the Fall (multiple asteroids or comets impacting the Earth at high speed in 1877) the Western civilization survives in British India and is menaced by a true evil empire, a Czar ruling from Samarkand and worshipping the Black God with human sacrifices. As a character says, the plot has "vile villains, a beautiful princess and a valiant knight" in it, but on the background you can appreciate the meticulous research which led to a successful world building: history, politics, religion, technology, all subtly different from ours. The only flaw lies IMHO in too much clearcut good vs. evil characters, unlike the more ambiguous, but more rich in depth, characters of his former novels, like Eric von Shrakenberg in the Draka trilogy or Isketerol in the Nantucket series.

All in all, another must for AH buffs (and not only for them) from a leading author
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent book...waiting for it sequel(s), 15 Jan 2011
By 
D. Tan "tan1415" (Netherlands) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Peshawar Lancers (Mass Market Paperback)
Hi all,

Don't get me wrong. This is purely a standalone book...with happy ending and all.
To be honest the world described by Stirnling is so interesting....i would like to read more about it.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Hard to put down, 10 Jun 2009
By 
Horrocks "Simon" (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Peshawar Lancers (Mass Market Paperback)
This is a very readable tale of daring heroes, of beautiful and gutsy heroines determined to foil the dastardly plots of abominable and traitorous baddies - believe me you wouldn't want to invite them home for dinner.

I was sorry to reach the last page. As my old English teacher would have said: "Excellent yarn, Stirling. Have several house points and let me know when you write another one".
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Wonderful Book, 6 Jun 2006
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This review is from: The Peshawar Lancers (Mass Market Paperback)
What an excellent read this was! Well written, fast paced and exciting.

The feel of the Indian Army was just right and the playing of "The Great Game" was given a whole new meaning.

I haven't enjoyed a book so much in a long time.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Top quality cant put it down epic!, 20 Dec 2003
This review is from: The Peshawar Lancers (Mass Market Paperback)
This is the first of Stirling's books I have read, and generally I am an avid SF fan of many years.
However I intend to read more of Stirling's if this is how he writes.! Well researched plotlines and some excellent characters of all flavours. It has a good balance of action, intrigue and even a bit of the erotic to keep the readers interest all the way through. The background is a rich tapestry which backs up the story line well. I would be very interested if a sequel came along soon!
Hope his other works are as good as this!( and doesnt he look like one of his own characters too.....)
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Different Version of the Great Game, 8 Dec 2003
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Mr. James Smith (Stafford, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Peshawar Lancers (Mass Market Paperback)
I'll get the moan done with first. Why oh why in AH work of this kind is there NEVER any reference to fixed wing flight? I also generally prefer characters with a little more depth and a touch more ambiguity - but even so it was hard not to get into the spirit of this otherwise meticulously researched and written book. An absorbing retelling of the British Empire/Russia rivalry of the mid to late C19. British integration with Indian culture is well described and credible. Hopefully the start of a series...?
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Colonial India as the centre of an alternative modern world,, 30 Mar 2014
By 
R. F. Stevens "richard23491" (Ickenham UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Peshawar Lancers (Mass Market Paperback)
Consider what might have happened if North America had been obliterated by numerous impacts from a meteor shower and then most of the Northern continents sank under the subsequent ice blanket? Victorian Britain was still a colonial power, but was forced to re-orient itself in India. Now fast forward to our near future, and let the story begin.

The environment is a fascinating blend of 'what might have been' and echoes of the colonial Raj, almost steam punk, but refreshingly different, with all the mores of the Victorian era; and yet the tensions of the North West Frontier and the Great Game still overshadow everything.

I like the way the characters are drawn, with appropriate heroes and villains, and all the rest of what one might once have been considered as chivalry, but brought forward to 'modern' times. And of course the story is well worth a read, and is complete in itself.

My only quibble about the book is the way the language is used; and I was finding it difficult to grasp the meaning contained in the sometimes clumsy and frequently over-long sentences with multiple hanging clauses, often needing to re-read them. This combined with the smaller than usual typeface in my copy of the paperback lost it the star.

It is still very much worth a read though.

A different alternative Earth worth considering is in Ward Moore's much shorter classic Bring the Millennium.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars An absoloute gem of a novel, 14 Feb 2012
By 
Andy Watkins "(Captain Kremmen)" (Reading, United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Peshawar Lancers (Mass Market Paperback)
Love this book, the idea behind it is fascinating. Makes an interesting change for one of these historical fictions NOT to be based around America. It is heavily based around a British Raj India, though it seems to be more Indian influenced now than the old motherland.

I really can not recommend this book enough
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The Peshawar Lancers
The Peshawar Lancers by S M Stirling (Mass Market Paperback - 7 Jan 2003)
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