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On the Ocean of Eternity Mass Market Paperback – Apr 1 2000
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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
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 GreenSee all Product Description
Top Customer Reviews
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.Read more ›
Not to spoil the ending, I was surprised by the direction that the author ultimately took.
On the one hand, it ended rather abruptly and basically decapitated what would have been its' climax, but on the other, the ending we got through espionage instead of conquest served as a worthy accompaniment to the battle's and tactical drama on land and sea encompassing "a conflict on the scale of WW2 with absurdly small numbers of combatants" that was already present in the anthology.
Given how it ended, the author could have written substantially more and drawn out the plot further, but chose not to.
Putting aside the manner in which it ended--which while unexpected, was satisfactorily well done, intended from the beginning, and about which I remain ambivalent--I cannot get over the manner in which the epilogue/final-chapter set up the basis for another series to carry the plot into the second generation of Islanders, yet this book that was hinted at remains unwritten.
Where this trilogy not among my favourites, I would have to give this final instalment a 4.3, but since it managed to wrap up the plot in a satisfactory manner, I will still give it a 5, as it--along with the other two (2)--are definitely worth owning.
I wholeheartedly recommend all three instalments of this series to all interested parties.
You won't regret it.
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.
Most recent customer reviews
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... Read morePublished on June 24 2004 by Ruthe M
At the risk of repeating what others have said here, the ending of this series was a monumental let-down. Read morePublished on April 21 2004
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... Read morePublished on July 13 2003 by Christopher Wise
An okay book, but after a while I just wish the writer would move the story a little bit faster.Published on Nov. 4 2002 by Tim Robertson
I like alterative histories; the what ifs and the what coulda shoulda happened ...They all make you think ... Read morePublished on Oct. 7 2002
I love alternative history, but not when it's done this way! Sterling's ultra-left preachiness got in the way of what had the potential to be a decent story. Read morePublished on Aug. 17 2002
I'm just finishing the 3rd book, OtOoE. At times, they all were a bit hard to keep up with, but I spent many nights reading chapter after chapter, just to see what happens next. Read morePublished on April 14 2002 by David