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Book Description

Sept. 1 2003
The Earth has been under the alien tyranny of the Jao for twenty years. Unfortunately the Ekhat have sent a genocidal extermination fleet to the solar system and Earth's only hope is in the hands of a young Jao prince and a young female human.

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From Publishers Weekly

Can a proud and warlike people find common cause with their alien conquerors in the face of a greater danger? That's the question that military SF ace Flint (1633) and two-time Nebula Award finalist Wentworth (This Fair Land) ask in this thought-provoking far-future novel. After defeating the human species, some of the sea lion-like Jao consider finishing off the job through mass asteroid strikes. But the young Aille, newly arrived commander of Jao Ground Forces, seeks to win over the humans not only by showing them the threat posed to all intelligent life by the Ekhat, the elder race that raised the Jao to sentience, but also by trying to forge bonds between the vanquishers and the vanquished. The authors excel at describing how human and Jao customs clash, allowing the reader to discover along with the characters the core beliefs of each society and how these beliefs could be adjusted and harmonized with one another. The Ekhat presents a truly alien threat of the sort that could well merge two belligerent societies into one, not just out of fear but through ties of blood and honor. Building to an exhilarating conclusion, this book cries out for a sequel.
Copyright 2003 Reed Business Information, Inc.

From Booklist

Flint and Wentworth drastically modify a venerable sf setup--alien occupiers of a conquered Earth can't understand what makes humans tick--much to the benefit of the book and the greater delight of readers. For one thing, on this Earth, insight and idiocy are equally distributed between the conquerors and conquered, with the invading Jao frequently realizing how much they have to learn and then setting out to learn it. Meanwhile, the humans are playing the same game, with those humans who are hostages to the Jao, or part of the Jao's sepoy army, preparing for war against a still more evil alien race, probably doing more good than the fragmented Resistance accomplishes. If the elaborate detail with which both sides are depicted sometimes slows the pacing, it redounds to Flint and Wentworth's world-building skills. And when Jao clans fall at odds on Earth, on a scale that threatens wholesale devastation, the pacing brisks up enough for anyone's taste. A possible series opener that stands well alone. Roland Green
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting and elevating. Jan. 22 2004
This book is quite an experience. I reread the book several times, it is that well written and that good. It is the best book I have read in years. It is both exciting and elevating. I hate to say it, but you will probably feel like a better person after reading it. It is philosophically, morally, and socially profound. It has a great story line and fantastic characters.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic read Oct. 16 2013
By Matthew
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
For anyone who likes hard anthropological science fiction (fans of cj cherryh for sure) this is a must read. Excellent character development, tight, fluid writing, alien aliens, all around a definite favorite of mine.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Niven and Pournelle - move over!! March 11 2004
In my long-term view, this is the best "cross cultural" SF war (or culture clash), I believe since the "moties" were created. The Jao conquerors are well developed aliens with a cultural set much the opposite of ours, though there are some similarities to our eastern cultures. The personality types (especially the repugnant "Earth Administrator" and his book long battle with another Jao family's "rising star" has many parallels in Earth history. These clashes go well with the proto and real revolts of earthlings (especially Americans). Earth's eventual freedom in the context of Jao culture and a coming third party war with another race (and its initial battles) and possible elimination of both Jao and Earth is a wonderful way to tie it all together. Thoroughly enjoyable; know your history and some philosophy. Read and enjoy !!!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars After the Invasion Dec 7 2003
The Course of Empire is a SF novel about a Terra conquered by an alien empire. This conquest was the most difficult in the entire history of the Joa people; even after twenty years of occupation, the Terrans have not yet been assimilated. Resistance groups still operate in the mountainous regions and riots still occur in the more heavily populated areas. Many of the troops that should have been reassigned after the conquest have been retained to suppress the resistance.
After the conquest, the Narvo kochan was given the oudh to govern Terra and that clan selected Oppuk krinnu ava Narvo to serve as Governor of the planet. The governor and his staff have a low opinion of the humans and this disdain extended down to the lowest levels of the Jao military. Indeed, most Jao consider the humans to only be clever animals, whose behavior is insane and whose mentality is incapable of understanding Jao ways.
In this novel, Aile krinna ava Pluthrak arrives on Terra to assume his duties as Subcommandant for Ground Forces, accompanied only by his fraghta, Yaut krinnu Jithra vau Pluthrak. His presence causes a great deal of consternation, since the Pluthrak kochan may be the most prestigious clan of the Jao, with the possible exception of their Narvo rivals.
Aile becomes even more notable when he starts adding Terrans as well as Jao to his personal service. The first to be added is PFC Gabe Tully, a jinau trooper in the ground forces. Later Aile adds Willard Beck, a human technician, and then Nath krinnu Tashnat vau Nimmat, a Jao supervisor at the Pascagoula refit facility.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Very imaginative, a fun read Oct. 17 2003
This has got to be one of the best human/alien interaction books I have ever read. It's not so much that this story is about alien conflict, the story takes place twenty years after Earth is conquered, but rather about how humans and aliens learn to live and fight together for their common survival. What I found so great about this was the way the authors wove alien customs and thought processes into the story. The Jao were truly believable and there actions and motives came across as alien rather than being human with just an alien flavour as so many sci-fi novels seem to do.
Well worth the hardback cover price.
Mark E. Cooper
Warrior Within (ISBN:0-9545122-0-0)
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