Saturday, 24 September 2016
It is also a truth universally acknowledged that a woman rescued from barbarians will turn out to be a young and beautiful princess who will marry her rescuer. SM Stirling plays with this idea in Against The Tide Of Years (New York, 1999), Chapter Fifteen:
"'So, Colonel, I hear it's a princess we rescued,' he said. 'A young, beautiful princess at that.'" (p. 234)
But what would be the implications of rescuing a princess? Stirling immediately spells it out:
"'Paddy, for once rumor does not lie - and there's all sorts of political implications involved.'" (p. 235)
The news that there is a surviving member of the Mitannian royal family is a complicating factor just when everyone is declaring independence and the Aramaeans are burning and looting. The Babylonians are stretched thin and the Nantucketers do not want complicating factors like a beautiful young princess.