COMMANDO: a Turn-of-the Century Toughs series ¶ By Dusk Peterson

The nautical nation is backed by the military might of an empire. The mountainous republic is populated by farmers and shopkeepers, and it has no standing army. The nautical nation is about to make the mistake of attacking the mountainous republic.

Commando is a speculative fiction series that imagines what the South African Boer War could have been like if it had been fought on American soil.

The series is part of the Turn-of-the-Century Toughs cycle.

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Spy Hill.

On a hot summer's day, on a high hill surrounded by the enemy, the best battle-companion can turn out to be the truth.

Rook and Fairview have worked alongside each other for years, first as officers in the navy, then as officers on a steamship, and finally as colonels in an invading army. Members of a nation where tiny differences of rank are considered all-important, the two men defy convention by treating each other as equals.

But now their life-long bond is about to meet its greatest strain, when they are ordered to seize and defend a hill whose landscape is unknown, in the company of soldiers who may be incompetent or treacherous. Will Rook and Fairview's friendship remain by the end of the battle? Or will their lives take an unexpected detour as they struggle to survive on Spy Hill?

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     ¶ Data: 30,000 words | $3.99 | Publication history.
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Maps and series resources

Map of the Midcoast nations (Mip, the Dozen Landsteads, Vovim, and Yclau).

Map of the area surrounding Compassion Life Prison (Fort Frederick).

Turn-of-the-Century Toughs, a cycle of historical fantasy novels that includes the Commando series. This page includes resources such as a chronology of major political events in the cycle.

Commando research. Blog entries by the author on research for the series. (Some of the entries are marked "Life Prison research," because the two series overlap in location. "Triad" is the earlier name for the Commando series.)

Bibliographies for this series:
The Boer War and Turn-of-the-Century Firearms.
Masculinity, Crime, and Everyday Life in Victorian and Edwardian Times.

Next series in the Turn-of-the-Century Toughs cycle:

[ Michael's House ]

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Creative Commons License: Some Rights ReservedThis text, or a variation on it, was originally published at as part of the series Commando. Copyright © 2012-2014 Dusk Peterson. Some rights reserved. The text is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Noncommercial License ( You may freely print, post, e-mail, share, or otherwise distribute the text for noncommercial purposes, provided that you include this paragraph. The author's policies on derivative works and fan works are available online (

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