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The Tide of Victory by David Drake and Eric Flint
Published by Baen Books
Reviewed by Leigh Kimmel
What strange changes have been wreaked upon the world by the time-travelers from the future. India's ancient culture is being warped and twisted into a monstrous weapon by Link, the cyborg computer created by the haughty New Gods who want to mold all humanity into their image of perfection, no matter the cost. Meanwhile, the crystal intelligence Aide is reshaping the Western world to fight this atrocity in progress. Byzantium and Persia are allied, and their royal families are binding themselves together by marriage. Arabia has accepted Christianity along with alliance to Axum, foreclosing forever the development of Islam.
The western alliance has defeated the Malwa in a daring campaign in Mesopotamia, but containment is not enough. Now it is time for Belisarius, greatest general of his time and perhaps of all history, to drive his force into the heart of the Malwa horror. With strange and wonderful new weapons designed by the deposed former emperor Justinian, Belisarius' army forces its way up the Indus into the Punjab, the land of the five rivers.
Meanwhile Axum, welded together in a terrible resolve after the assassination of its king and crown prince, undertakes an amphibious assault of the Indian coast under its new king, Eon. These are people who have a deeply personal reason to destroy Malwa.
But the Malwa are growing wise to what they are facing, and Link's new host, the Great Lady Sati, is no withered crone like her predecessor. Pressed in battle, the Malwa are willing to alter even their iron-clad caste laws in order to bind their allies closer than ever. It will not be an easy battle for Belisarius.
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Review posted April 10, 2003
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