Cower not, fierce reader! Today we have a treasure from one of the Appendix N authors. If you've read Jeffro's tome, you'll know that he found a good bit of unusual material in here, especially in comparison with modern tradpub sff. There will be a bit more spoiler information, as Jeffro and others in #pulprev have talked a lot about this book.To the charges!
Let us begin with the fact that our characters are English medieval warriors. Not only are they good fighters, but they are far from stupid. In addition to this, their main concern after the initial conflict with the ship is going on to their planned war with France, and then helping liberate the Holy Land. So our heroes are also actually faithful, and complicated persons.
This of course flies far in the face of the SocJus narrative. That medievalists were just as smart(or smarter) as we are conflicts the narrative directly. They must be superior in every way to the barbaric Christians that committed war against the religion of peace. Christianity being good and true is also so far against their narrative.
Our antagonists for this tale are a race of aliens with a vast, impersonal empire. They have many slave races, and a singular rule over all of them. Hmm, a single vast empire where only the elites have options, doesn't care for its people, and engenders no loyalty. Sounds like the globalist ideals to me.
The leader of our heroes, a baron and knight, builds alliances in his efforts against the hostile empire. While his allies are wary, once they start winning, they are very happy to let the baron and his people take the lead and rule benevolently over these formerly enslave races. What solution do we have to establishing order in a diverse and fallen empire? Fuedalism, of course. Which would set the SocJus crowd screaming when mentioned by name. But not when done by say, major tech companies. When are they going to bring back company scrip, anyway?
But, wait. Feudalism only works with all three factors: nobility, royalty, and church. They keep each other in check. The faith sustains the idea that leaders are responsible for their people, and keeps men humble that they may govern better. The nobility keep the king from growing too much in ambition, and leading the nation into needless wars. The king maintains that the nobles pay their homage to both him and the church. Without faith, or personal relationships, it won't work as well, or as for long. Unless it simply descends into slavery. Which the abolition of was one of the goals of feudalism.
OK, enough political waxing. There's also a bit of romance, and including misunderstanding and confusion among a couple of the actors within. This is well and good to be reminded that men and women are indeed different, and think accordingly. Triggering intensifies.
Of course there's plenty of action, even told from the POV of a cleric. Faith is not for the weak, though it is for those set aside. Look, just read this. It's a lot of fun. 9 of 10 fell deeds.
When you play Social Justice, the world loses.