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M.J. Engh
Tor Orb, 304 pages

M.J. Engh
Born in 1933, M.J. (Mary Jane) Engh's novels include Arslan (1976), The House in the Snow (1987), Wheel of the Winds (1988), A Wind from Bukhara (1989) and Rainbow Man (1993).

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A review by Harriet Klausner

When the name General Arslan is first mentioned on American TV, no one has heard of him and very few people can locate his native Turkiston. (His country happens to be a small central Asian nation boarded by China and Russia.) Not long after making the news for the first time, Arslan decides to begin his plan to save the planet from the spiral of corruption and destruction that its leaders seem to desire. He quickly becomes the Deputy Command in Chief of the US armed forces and behind that, conqueror of North America -- without a drop of blood spilled.

Arslan comes to bivouac in strategically unnecessary Kraftville, Illinois. In the small town, General Arslan meets Principal Franklin Bond, who takes the new world leader on a tour of the school. Here in this tiny little spot where Arslan meets someone treating him like an equal rather than a conqueror, the young General sets up house.

Does the premise of a General from a country smaller than Brooklyn conquering the United States seem a stretch on first thought? Absolutely. That is, until you read M.J. Engh's fabulous science fiction novel, Arslan. The two key characters, Arslan and Franklin, seem real as they form a special bond between them. In the vein of The Mouse That Roared, this political science fiction tale lives up to what readers have screamed since its initial release many years ago: classic.

Copyright © 2001 Harriet Klausner

Harriet was an acquisitions librarian in Pennsylvania and she wrote a monthly review column of recommended reads. She found she liked reviewing and went on to freelance, after her son was born. She has 2 dogs, a cairn and a pom, and four cats. And she has a 21 year old son and a husband who wants to, but is nowhere near retiring. She is a speed reader (a gift she was born with) and reads two books a day.

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