On the Oceans of Eternity


This is the concluding part of Mr. Stirling's Nantucket trilogy and it follows directly on from the previous novel.

With the Nantucket forces fully engaged in Mesopotamia, and with people flooding in from the White Isles, citizenship is granted to everyone who completes a hitch in the military. Even so, Walker's forces in what will now never be the heart of Greece are proving difficult to winkle out for he's had a decade to dig himself in and he has a laissez-faire attitude towards those he... persuaded to come with him from Nantucket - he'd let them do whatever they wanted just so long as they contributed towards the greater glory of Walker. His city of Walkerville is the centre of the Achaean technological build up and Walker soon finds himself in charge of the fractious Achaeans while his wives, guided by the delightful Alice Hong are greatly feared by those wise enough to know fear.

The commander of the Nantucket expeditionary force in Mesopotamia gradually pushes his way up north but an attempt to hold the threatened city of Ilium is as doomed as historical verses would have had it. And it took the Achaeans less than the mythical decade of fighting thanks to Walker's artillerymen. And Alice's ninjas! The only bright spot in the fighting retreat from Ilium was the spirited defence of a ford by Sergeant Roark and his men (and can you guess what the battle became known as?).

Ian Arnstein, Secretary of State of the Republic of Nantucket found himself a prisoner of the Walkers but who's going to regret his capture most?

Meanwhile a group of youngsters who felt that exploring the American continent was vital are vindicated when they find an unexpected colony on the West Coast.

Overall, I liked this book a lot (I'll even cut him some slack for Sergeant Roark :-)). However, the apparently sudden interest of the Nantucket leaders in space at the end is jarring and too sudden, IMO.

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