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Settling Accounts: Return Engagement by Harry Turtledove

Published by Del Rey Books

Reviewed by Leigh Kimmel

In a world in which the South won the Civil War, the North American continent has become the ground of a new and bitter conflict, as deep as the rivalries that divide Europe. The Confederacy, smarting after a harsh peace imposed upon it by a vengeful North, has come into the hands of a dictator, Jake Featherstone. Now it intends to get its own back.

But it's not just against the North that Featherstone intends to take his revenge. Unlike most Southerners, he is not satisfied to merely keep blacks downtrodden and in poverty. Seething with hatred at what he regards as their betrayal of the Southern cause during the Black Red uprising, he wants to punish them once and for all.

Turtledove continues to develop his rich tapestry of characters, ranging from former First Lady Flora Blackford, back in Congress again now that her husband is gone, to Cornelius Driver, a black man trapped in a Southern-occupied Kentucky after his attempt to rescue his parents from Featherstone's tyranny. One can only wait for the next volume of this series to see where he will take this strange version of World War II.

Review posted December 15, 2008

Buy Return Engagement (Settling Accounts, Book 1) from Amazon.com