Kirov and crew to return with roles in two new books by John Schettler
The Sands of Honor is a real tour de force through the author’s extensive world. He first laid out his principles of Time Travel in a five volume Meridian series, the first of which was Foreword Magazine’s Silver Medal Winner for Science Fiction Book of the Year when it premiered. Schettler then penned his Magnum Opus, the Kirov Series, which took the Russian battlecruiser back in time to the heart of WWII. The Meridian Team made cameo appearances in that series, mostly to explain things that were happening in the time theory. At the same time, a subplot of the Kirov Series introduced the character Sir Roger Ames, who has been romping through the Age of Imperialism, from one decisive battle to another. Now, in Sands of Honor,
we get book IV in that series, though Sir Roger does not appear until well into the second half of the book.
In the meantime, come all ye desert loving Englishmen, because we get a great historical fiction that first depicts General Charles Gordon’s trip to
Khartum, and his scheme to compel his own rescue and pull a British Army south into the Sudan under General Wolseley. That segment of the book takes us all the way to Gordon’s fate at Khartum. Then the
story jumps ahead to General Kitchener, who has become Sirdar, the commander in Chief of military forces in Egypt. Kitchener has a plan in hand with multiple goals: to restore Britain’s position in the Sudan,
protect it in Egypt, defeat the rebellious successor to the Mahdi, the Khalifa; to restore the honor of the British empire, and avenge Gordon. That segment follows Kitchener’s advance into Sudan all the way through the Battle of Atbara and then on to the decisive Battle of Omdurman. It is there, near that battle’s end that something happens to decisively upset the time line of years to come. Then the story begins to shift gears through the Author’s amazing connected universe.
The Meridian Team picks up a major alteration originating in September of 1898, and they learn what has happened. Then, two missions are set up for a most
special ship and crew. You guessed it, the climax of this book will see Kirov in action again, and a mission for Troyak’s Marines and the Argonauts off the Argos Fire. In effect, Schettler is
serving up a medley of all his major character sets: The Meridian Team, the crew of Kirov, including Volsky, Karpov and Fedorov, and the crew of Argos fire.
The book is a wild ride, a great historical fiction at the outset that suffers a catastrophic event at Omdurman, then the efforts of the Meridian Team, and Kirov and crew to heal things. It’s quite a story, with a great deal at stake. Because if Fedorov can’t prevail, then all the history they fought through in WWII is on the chopping block of Fate and Time. If you enjoyed the Time-travel elements of the Kirov Series, you’ll love this book. It’s got so much more, three land battles featuring the British against the wild Dervish Mahdist raiders. Then it has a tumultuous WWII naval battle where Kirov, the ship present in the series at the time of Paradox Hour just
before it vanished, must play a very important role.
Win, lose or draw, this book becomes a landmark that can change everything that happened from Paradox Hour Forward. It’s astounding how adroitly the author knits together the Meridian Characters and those of Kirov and Argos Fire with the people active in his Keyholders Saga.
Not to be missed! Available 15 MAR 2023
Then, just when you get that nice fix in Sands of Honor, and walk the deck of Kirov again, we will
get another official “Special Edition” book in the Kirov Series, now titled Clash of Empires, and given the Official subtitle of Kirov Series Volume #66. It takes place two years after Sands of
Honor in the history, in the year 1900. That is the time of the Boxer Rebellion in China when the Allied powers struggle to reach Peking to relieve their diplomatic legations there. So the ill-fated
Seymour Expedition is chronicled, and then the reinforcement led by General Gaselee to try and reach Peking. But there is a fly in this ointment, prominently featured on the book’s front
cover—the Type 055 Renhai Class Chinese destroyer Anshan. Alright, let’s call this one the Chinese Kirov, because the ship is on a mission to aggravate the Japanese in the Tsushima
Strait, when they hit a snag in the lines of fate and time, and they end up in the year 1900!
We then get a story that is very much like Book I of the Kirov Series, where the Chinese crew try
to figure out what happened to them, and where they actually are. The decisions they make soon put the Gaselee Expedition, with its troops landing at the Taku Forts, in grave jeopardy. But
Director Kamenski is again on the scene early in this volume, tapping Fedorov and Kirov for the job of going back to correct the matter. They have to find and hunt down Anshan, and before the
Chinese can recover from the temporal shock and realize where they truly are, and what great power they have in hand with their advanced destroyer. There are consequences in this one that
ripple forward to the year 2023, where China and Japan are in a tense standoff, with the Chinese blaming Japan for the disappearance of Anshan.
As Fedorov knew he would, Karpov loves this mission when he learns of it, and Kirov and crew
go to sea to shift back and take on the powerful Chinese ship. Eighty percent of respondents in recent reader surveys have said they wanted to see some missions for Kirov again. Well, here
they are, a one-two punch, with The Sands of Honor releasing in March and then Clash of Empires following 30 days later in April. Alright, dear readers, get in there and support Fedorov
and Karpov by reading these books! Whether there will ever be another sortie by Kirov and crew depends on their success. Have at ‘em!