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On the Ocean of Eternity [Mass Market Paperback]

S.M. Stirling
3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (65 customer reviews)
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Book Description

April 13 2000
Ten years ago, inhabitants of the twentieth century and the Bronze Age were tossed together by the Event. But as two worlds converge, only one can be the victor in a battle to lead this strange new world.

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On the Ocean of Eternity + Against the Tide of Years + Island in the Sea of Time
Price For All Three: CDN$ 28.47

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From Amazon

In the bestselling Island in the Sea of Time, 20th-century Nantucket was inexplicably hurled back to the Bronze Age. In the sequel, Against the Tide of Years, the villainous renegade William Walker introduced muskets, cannon, and other deadly anachronisms to Odysseus's Greece, making himself king and positioning himself to overthrow the democratic Republic of Nantucket and destroy his archenemy, Commodore Marian Alston. Now, in the trilogy's rousing conclusion, On the Oceans of Eternity, Walker's powerful army conquers Troy and invades Babylon, Nantucket's last great ally, as Walker's blood brother, the king of Tartessos, blocks Commodore Alston's Nantucket navy at the straits of Gibraltar. If Nantucket's tiny forces cannot defeat Walker's army and allies, the world will be plunged into a Dark Age bleaker and more devastating than any known in our history.

On the Oceans of Eternity ends cleanly, yet leaves the door open for a number of interesting sequels--and how often can you say that? Like its prequels, On the Oceans of Eternity is big, bloody, and ambitious, but always fast-paced and fascinating. This fun, intelligent series is perfect not only for action-adventure, alternate history, time travel, and military-SF fans but also for epic fantasy readers, for Burroughs and Haggard fans craving a modern update of the lost-civilization novel, and for anyone who loves Patrick O'Brian's sensational sea battles. --Cynthia Ward

From Booklist

With this book Stirling probably concludes a time travel^-alternate history saga that has met with great enough acclaim, however, to merit promotion to trade paperback or hardcover format should he continue it. The premise is that Nantucket has been tossed back to about 1400 B.C., with the Coast Guard tall ship Eagle in tow just offshore. From this, a new and different time line commences, one complicated by outbreaks of measles and smallpox, the inhabitants' shrewdness, stark treason on the part of one of the time-displaced band, thuggish genius William Walker, and the parallel introductions of diversity and women's rights with those of the steam engine and the ironclad. Readers of this book's predecessors, Island in the Sea of Time (1998) and Against the Tide of Years (1999), will find the same strong characterizations, high historical scholarship, superior narrative technique, excellent battle scenes, and awareness of social and economic as well as technological factors in evidence again. Newcomers will feel compelled to retreat to the saga's beginning. Roland Green

Inside This Book (Learn More)
First Sentence
Dr. Justin Clemens-Captain, Republic of Nantucket Coast Guard (Medical Corps)-sipped at the thick sweet wine, mouth dry. Read the first page
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Customer Reviews

Most helpful customer reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Format:Mass Market Paperback
The twentieth century residents of Nantucket, cast back into the bronze age, have the advantage of their technology and command structures, but those advantages are no longer unique. Walker, a renegade, has set himself up as King over Greece and has besieged Troy. His ally, Isketerol, controls Spain and the straits of Gibralter restricting Nantucket's ability to send aid to their allies--Babylon. And Walker's schemes take in Egypt too, hoping to catch Babylon from two sides.
Fortunately, thanks to a modern U.S. marine training regime, and to incredible luck, the Nantucketers are impossible to defeat in a battle. Friendly bullets fly true and smash great holes in enemy lines. Enemy gunshot is pathetic, killing a few to give our heros a chance to grieve, but not doing significant military damage. Even Walker's few victories are empty as the Nantucketers sucker him deeper into empty territory.
ON THE OCEANS OF ETERNITY is the third in S. M. Stirling's alternate history series about the republic of Nantucket. By now, ten years after the 'event,' Nantucket has pretty well melded its 20th century technology with the industrial capabilities of the bronze age world. The scenes set in Nantucket, therefore, lose some of the immediacy and interest that post-event survival tactics held. In ON THE OCEANS OF ETERNITY, it is the non-Nantucket kingdoms that are most interesting. Isketerol's attempts to balance his people's traditions with the new technology, and Walker's effort to overcome the entire Island's technological advantage with speed and hard work are the highlights of the novel.
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By Roger M
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I thought the first two books in this series were much more livelier and interesting. But then I did make the mistake of reading all three in as many weeks which, in hindsight, is probably not the best way to appreciate a work such as this. At times it seemed like an endless updating of previous plot lines interjected with new lines and the continual jumping back and forth grew more than a bit tedious. Overall I enjoyed the series but this seemed the weakest of the bunch and I found myself skimming through several parts.
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1.0 out of 5 stars Lame Ending for OK Series April 21 2004
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
At the risk of repeating what others have said here, the ending of this series was a monumental let-down. The reader's impression is that the author suddenly tired of the entire concept and decided to wrap it up as expeditiously as possible. The conclusion is so lame that I would recommend you not even get started with this series.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best Mini series since the lost regement July 13 2003
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Enjoyed this book very much and its two companions. Wish that the author wouldn't leave you in suspence at the end with the knowlege that one of the wolf lords children has escaped to reak revenge on the republic. The author needs to write another book to kill the suspence. Make it take place 10-20 years after the end of the Great War with some old and new characters. I know i would buy in an instant.
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3.0 out of 5 stars Tim Robertson Review Nov. 4 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
An okay book, but after a while I just wish the writer would move the story a little bit faster.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Third Book in Trilogy Disappoints Oct. 18 2002
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I loved the first two books in this trilogy and eagerly read the third. At first I was excited to see this was the longest in the series. I expected a grand culmination to the epic saga.
This book plodded along quite a bit more than the previous two, but I kept on reading - excited to find out how it would all turn out.
But I was not very excited to find out at the end of the book that the ending was quite a "slap in the face" to the reader. As other reviews have noted here, the ending leaves you feeling cheated.
I just want to say something else in case Mr. Stirling reads these reviews. I found it hard to understand why no one on Nantucket *ever* wonders where Martins is. Not one character says "too bad Martins has been held prisoner for 10 years." Not one character proposes rescuing him, even though an elaborate rescue was implemented to save another character. Please do not tell me that the revelation about Martins at the end of the third book addresses this. It was just a strange oversight that I found hard to fathom. The guy is a prisoner for 10 years and not one character ever utters a word about his obviously horrible plight.
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4.0 out of 5 stars series end Oct. 7 2002
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
I like alterative histories; the what ifs and the what coulda shoulda happened ...They all make you think ...This one made me run back to the history books to find out what really happened and finding that out was just as facinating as the well written fast read that this is. One caveat the dates on the title headings are a little confusing at first,but that a very minor complaint
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5.0 out of 5 stars A "Stirling" Effort May 27 2002
Format:Mass Market Paperback
As an alternative history obsessive, I had recently read Stirling's Draka series and came away a bit anxious about the Nantucket series. Happy to say I overcame my anxiety, for this series (like another reviewer, I am reviewing all three at once) has as much hope in it as the Draka series does black doom and despair. I liked the second of the novels the best, but really felt the series as a whole was one of the finest I have read in the field (better than the Belisarius novels, on a par with Harry Turtledove's World War I series growing out of The Guns of the South). Some signature Stirling touches: execution by impalement, rather well done heterosexual and lesbian relationships and sex descriptions (nary a gay one to be found so far in any of his books I have read); very good battle scenes (I appreciated his brief homage to Patrick O'Brian in the third novel, since he borrows a fair amount from that author's epic 20-volume saga of the British Navy and the friendship between Jack Aubrey and Stephen Maturin, bar none the greatest naval fiction ever written, in my humble opinion). His feminism is overt and doesn't bother me one bit; his historical renderings and linguistic explorations (one gets a taste of archaic Achaean Greek, Hittite, Assyrian, Babylonia, Egyptian, and proto-British in volume 3 alone) are fascinating: here, you get at different points Ramses II, Agamemnon, Odysseus, Telemachus, and a lost-to-history Iberian civilization, among several others including well-depicted Native Americans. All in all very rich; the ending was a bit too neat and deus-ex-machina like for me, but he did leave the door open for more (I will not indicate why for those who like surprises). Read more ›
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