The Course of Empire - Baen Books


The Course of Empire


Conquered by the Jao twenty years ago, the Earth is shackled under alien tyranny—and threatened by the even more dangerous Ekhat, who are sending a genocidal extermination fleet to the solar system. Humanity's only chance rests with an unusual pair of allies: a young Jao prince, newly arrived to Terra to assume his duties, and a young human woman brought up amongst the Jao occupiers.

But both are under pressure from the opposing forces—a cruel Jao viceroy on one side, determined to drown all opposition in blood; a reckless human resistance on the other, perfectly prepared to shed it. Added to the mix is the fact that only by adopting some portions of human technology and using human sepoy troops can the haughty Jao hope to defeat the oncoming Ekhat attack—and then only by fighting the battle within the Sun itself.

Cover art by Bob Eggleton

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This is a work of fiction. All the characters and events portrayed in this book are fictional, and any resemblance to real people or incidents is purely coincidental.

First printing, September 2003

Distributed by Simon & Schuster
1230 Avenue of the Americas
New York, NY 10020

Printed in the United States of America

ISBN: 0-7434-7154-7

Copyright 2003 by Eric Flint & K.D. Wentworth

All rights reserved, including the right to reproduce this book or portions thereof in any form.

A Baen Books Original
Baen Publishing Enterprises
P.O. Box 1403
Riverdale, NY 10471

Production by Windhaven Press
Auburn, NH

Electronic version by WebWrights

For Algis Budrys,
friend, mentor, and terrific writer;

and for Christopher Anvil, who once
told this story his own way.


Baen Books by Eric Flint

Joe's World series:

The Philosophical Strangler
Forward the Mage (with Richard Roach)
Mother of Demons
1633 (with David Weber)
The Shadow of the Lion
(with Mercedes Lackey & Dave Freer)
This Rough Magic (with Mercedes Lackey & Dave Freer)
Rats, Bats & Vats (with Dave Freer)
Pyramid Scheme (with Dave Freer)

The Belisarius Series, with David Drake:

An Oblique Approach
In the Heart of Darkness
Destiny's Shield
Fortune's Stroke
The Tide of Victory

The General series, with David Drake:

The Tyrant

Baen Books by K.D. Wentworth