- Hardcover: 512 pages
- Publisher: Del Rey; 1st Edition edition (May 17 2005)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0345465679
- ISBN-13: 978-0345465672
- Product Dimensions: 16.8 x 3.8 x 23.4 cm
- Shipping Weight: 816 g
- Average Customer Review: 2 customer reviews
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,684,822 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
The Rivers of War Hardcover – May 17 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. The first of a projected two-volume series, Flint's witty, tightly written alternative history presents a subtly revised version of events in the final year of the War of 1812. In March 1814, in the Mississippi Territory, Gen. Andrew Jackson's Tennessee Militia and Cherokee warriors fight a decisive battle against the Creek Indians. In August, a young Sam Houston, the adopted son of a Cherokee chief, arrives in Washington in time to help defend the Capitol building from invading British troops. The British fail to reach Fort McHenry, but they do get to New Orleans, where they adopt a slightly more intelligent plan of attack than in reality. While the enlightened political and racial attitudes of some white characters may seem unrealistic, such views weren't unheard of even in the South before significant expansion west and the emergence of the cotton kingdom. Flint (1632) offers historical figures rarely seen in fiction, such as James Monroe, in pre-Doctrine days, and the British general Robert Ross (not killed outside Baltimore); thorough scholarship in Napoleonic-era warfare; and strong, credible women. Fans will cheer even louder if this outstanding start turns out to be the first of a long saga. 6-city author tour. (May 17)
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
Flint's new alternate-history saga explores the possibility that the Trail of Tears never occurred by depicting a thoroughly different War of 1812. It begins with Andrew Jackson's campaign against the Creeks, in which the Cherokees fought on Jackson's side. Young Sam Houston, an adopted Cherokee, and Patrick Driscol, an Irish rebel and Napoleonic Wars veteran, are sent to Washington, arriving just before the British do. Though Flint does not eliminate the "battle" of Bladensburg (alas!), his British don't burn Washington and never get to Fort McHenry. They do get to New Orleans, however, where, despite a more intelligent plan of attack than Pakenham actually used, Jackson repels them with the aid of some free black naval gunners, the Cherokees, Houston, and Driscol. And Flint's Pakenham survives. Flint has thoroughly mastered storytelling, and his characterization is masterly. His characters, historical and invented, are plausible for the time and place, and he makes neither an icon nor a demon of anyone. Irresistible for Flint's 1632 series fans and, indeed, for alternate-history buffs in general. Frieda Murray
Copyright © American Library Association. All rights reserved
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This was the first of Mr. Flint's books I have read. I found it to be very good with complex well developed characters, historically accurate to their beliefs and views for those who really lived, and in the vein of the best Turtledove stories too. The events and the course change history makes is believable and it's very interesting. Knowing there's a sequel (1824: The Arkansas War - I bought both at the same time and read them back-to-back) definitely kept me interested to the end. The action is fast paced, the politics is well described and not laborious and overall this (and the sequel) are very well written books. Bring on the further story!
Most helpful customer reviews on Amazon.com
If this subject is of interest to you, Michael Aye has written a very good historical novel concerning the War of 1812 in the south. THE BATTLE AT HORSESHOE BEND skillfully blends historical figures with Mr. Aye's pair of fictional main characters from whose point of view the story is told. This novel and Aye's novel of the Northwestern campaign, WAR 1812 REMEMBER THE RAISIN, are both available from Amazon.
story-telling, some of it is "what if", and some of it is merciless analysis of the real people who drove the history in both
worlds, the "real" one and the story one.
One of the main targets of this novel is the Cherokee Relocation, something which is still being debated as to its legality and
Andrew Jackson's motives when he ordered it. Here, the relocation is voluntary with the Cherokees and their associated tribes
choosing to relocate and effectively creating a second nation within the historical United States.
The defense of Washington City is also treated differently, with the British being driven off from the Congress building;
although the President's Mansion is still burned.
The Battle of New Orleans is a demonstration of what should have happened, rather than what did happen. Again, history is
respected, but the "what if" factor is allowed free movement.
In total, this is a very pleasant story and I highly recommend it.
Once upon a time, there was a writer of alternate history named Eric Flint, who decided that with one small change in history, he could plot a way around the Trail of Tears, the Mexican War and the Civil War. What was the change? Houston doesn't get as badly injured at Horseshoe Bend.
On this slender reed, Flint builds one of the best alternate histories ever written. Excruciatingly well researched, he picks real characters like Tiana Rogers (the Cherokee "princess" Houston married in the Original Time Line) and Andrew Jackson (who carried around a trunk full of general's hats so he could stomp on them when he got mad) and Major Ridge, one of the Cherokee leaders best known to the government in Washington.
Flint follows Houston to Washington, where he organizes the defense of the US Capitol against the British, and then to New Orleans, where he, and his sidekick Driscol (the Troll) figure importantly in the eponymous Battle.
This is the first of an alternate history series (at least a trilogy) which should take us well into the last half of the 19th century that might have been, had just one little thing been different.
Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit liked it, and well he should. You will too.
Take this book on your summer vacation. Don't say I didn't warn you if you spend your time indoors reading it.
The Bananaslug. at Baen's Bar