Written by: James Emerson Loyd
Submitted By: James Emerson Loyd
(This review submitted by the book's author)
(A Historical Novel Society Editor's Choice) The final years of the First World War form the backdrop for James Emerson Loyd's epic trilogy The Great War Won. The trilogy ranges from the corridors of power in London to the front lines of the Allied forces in the field, especially the ranks of the German armed forces. The saga takes in a sprawling cast of characters, some from the pages of history, and some wholly created by the author (the foremost of these, a princess named Claire described by no less than Theodore Roosevelt as a force of nature, is a spectacular fictional creation).
The first volume of the trilogy (Who Desires Peace... ) focuses on the efforts of a small group of conspirators bent on bringing about a peace at any cost. The second (...Should Prepare for War) and third volume (A Power of Recognized Superiority) concentrate more on battlefields than espionage, and in all cases, Loyd's strong, supple prose never falters, his ear for dialogue never dulls and his knack for capturing historical characters with well-chosen small details never deserts him.
Woven into the trilogy's powerful but more or less conventional set pieces of historical fiction are subtle but fascinating tweakings of alternative history that often involve real historical characters like Michael Collins and Rosa Luxemburg in activities that would have astounded them. The result is a genuinely impressive accomplishment, enthusiastically recommended.