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The Chosen by S.M. Stirling and David Drake

Published by Baen Books

Reviewed by Leigh Kimmel

Centuries have passed since Raj Whitehall united his homeworld with the aid of an ancient battle computer. Now his mind, imprinted upon a chip, has been brought to Haven, another of the isolated worlds where humans have forgotten most of the technology they once weilded.

However, his mission on this world will be different -- not to unite, but to prevent it from being united by the wrong group. Haven is home to the Chosen, a virulent slaver culture which must not be permitted to take power, lest they destroy everything Raj has sought to create.The Chosen are the embittered survivors of a war fought four hundred years earlier. In their exile on a large island offshore of Haven's main continent, they have hardened themselves into a race of warriors. They ruthlessly prune a fifth of each generation of their own, while carefully selecting the most promising of their slaves' children for adoption into the Chosen.

John Hosten is the rejected son of a Chosen general, taken by his mother to live in the Republic of Santander, the one real hope for freedom. Gerta Hosten is the daughter of slaves, adopted into her master's family and given a chance to pass the Test of Life and become one of the Chosen.

Over the next several decades, these two people grow to lead their respective countries in a war in which there can be only one survivor. Haven cannot stand half-slave and half-free.

Click here to buy The Chosen in paperback.

If you enjoy this book, you may also enjoy the Draka novels, written by S.M. Stirling alone.

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Review posted July 20, 1999

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