Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

Land Of Hope And Glory Land Of Hope And Glory
by Geoffrey Wilson
Hodder & Stoughton

Supplied for review by Hachette New Zealand

Reviewed By: Jacqui Smith

It has to be said that this novel is definitely different. Most alternate history fantasy (such as Mercedes Lackey’s Elizabethan "Doubled Edge" series) employs Western Magic and doesn’t 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". That’s 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 can’t help wondering why he doesn’t just go join the rebels and get them to rescue his daughter. I’m 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 I’m certainly looking forward to the sequel.

SFFANZ is a non-profit organisation and registered charity
designed to bring together fans of the fantastic in New Zealand

Contact us by email at: