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On the Ocean of Eternity Mass Market Paperback – Apr 1 2000

3.6 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 640 pages
  • Publisher: Roc; Reissue edition (April 1 2000)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451457803
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451457806
  • Product Dimensions: 11.4 x 2.9 x 17.8 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 295 g
  • Average Customer Review: 3.6 out of 5 stars 67 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #183,324 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description

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

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Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

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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Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
This is book three of the trilogy and the finale of the series; not counting the spin-off series which I haven't read that explains what the "Event" actually was, what caused it, and what happened to the 20th century they left behind.
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.
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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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By A Customer on 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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