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The Reformer    by S. M. Stirling & David Drake order for
by S. M. Stirling
Order:  USA  Can
Baen, 2000 (1999)
Hardcover, Paperback

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* *   Reviewed by Wesley Williamson

This is the continuation of a series of military Science Fiction based very loosely on Belisarius, Justinian and Theodora of Byzantium. It all started on the planet Bellevue after the demise of galactic civilization. A surviving Fleet Battle Computer named Center picked Raj Whitehall as General to carry out its plan to rebuild human worlds. They sorted out Bellevue and then Center continued the process on other worlds via copies of its mind and Whitehall's sent to direct events.

In The Reformer , Raj and Center work to re-establish civilization on the world of Hafardine, ruled by the Empire of Vanbret. The period bears some similarity to Imperial Rome, and two Greek ( Emerald in the book) brothers use Center's technological advice to start 'civilizing' it, very violently, of course. Both the authors are extremely skilled not just at describing technical innovations and their military effects, but in providing interesting characters and incidents to develop the story. A sequel is obviously on the way, and for military SF buffs like me, the sooner the better.

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