The Peshawar Lancers, by S. M. Sterling: A Penny Dreadful Review
Steampunk happens all over the world. S. M. Sterling presents a future with its progress mangled by asteroids slamming the Earth in the late Victorian Era. The British Empire is still a world power, but its seat is now in India, the British Isles rendered uninhabitable by the impacts. Technology and social mores have in some ways out-developed our own, but in many ways lag far behind where we are today. I shan’t spoil it for your reading, but I will say that I love what they’ve done with airships. Just wait until you see the royal yacht!
Something was lacking. It wasn’t the story – that was exciting, with all sorts of mysteries to be solved and betrayals to be uncovered. It wasn’t the world – that was fascinating and brilliant. I think it must have been the main character. Athelstane King seemed a little generic somehow. For all his magnificent surroundings, his character simply wasn’t as captivating as it ought to have been. He is a dashing, gallant hero, but not an interesting one.
S.M. Sterling is clearly a talented and brilliant writer. The world he creates is nothing short of amazing. Many of the characters that people his fantastic world seem real and fascinating, but not all. Sometimes they seem like puppets at the mercy of the storyteller. It isn’t bad – it could just be better.
I give this book four gears out of five, simply because the world is so unique and fascinating. Give it a read for a completely different flavor of Steampunk.
Your Correspondent From The Bookstore,
Penny J. Merriweather