|It has to be said that this novel is definitely different.
Most alternate history fantasy (such as Mercedes Lackeys Elizabethan "Doubled
Edge" series) employs Western Magic and doesnt mess in any major way with the
timeline. In "Land of Hope and Glory" the magic is based in Indian philosophy
and in utilising the flows of "sattva". Thats unusual enough by itself,
but then Wilson turns the timeline upside-down and gives us a mid-19th century
Britain that has been invaded multiple times, and is now a far-flung and rebellious colony
of the Rajthanan Empire.
Here we find Jack Casey, gifted with native talent, and able
to use sattva to help him track the untrackable. He is coerced into using his gift to find
his former friend, the rebel William Merton, when the Rajthanans threaten to hang his
daughter Elizabeth as a mutineer. He ends up chasing him across England, only to get
caught up in a massive battle as the Rajthanans confront the rebels in London.
Now, I have to say that this book is somewhat flawed Jack is at times an
annoying protagonist, and you cant help wondering why he doesnt just go join
the rebels and get them to rescue his daughter. Im also inclined to think that the
author allows his personal views on the Raj and the Indian Mutiny to intrude over much.
But much can be forgiven in an alternate history fantasy as original and entertaining as
this one, and Im certainly looking forward to the sequel.