The world is turned around, with Africa and the Middle East being well educated, liberal, rich. Europe is the backwater, full of extremists waging “holy wars”. Khalid al-Zarzisi, is a senior investigator, sent with his assistant, Dawud ibn Musa, a Jew, to Rome to stop an uprising of the fanatic Aquinists. And they succeed. Sort of. OK. That’s the plot. The characters are paper cutouts, there are a lot of explosions, and a little romance. That’s it. I have enjoyed Harry Turtledove’s books for years and looked forward to this one. But I was quite disappointed. There is the comparison between the fanatic Christians and the educated, intelligent Muslims. But there is little history to explain how that happened, no unexpected turns of plot. I found it rather boring.
eGalley review Publication date 9.18.18