Harry Turtledove. Caezik, $17.99 trade paper (238p) ISBN 978-1-64710-007-0
Turtledove plays things straight in the fifth alternate history in his Hellenic Traders series (after 2004’s Owls to Athens), taking readers on a slow-building tour of the Mediterranean amid battles over Alexander the Great’s empire. The free city of Rhodes has refused to ally with nearby Antigonos, ruler of Anatolia, against the distant Ptolemaios, ruler of Egypt, who it sees as less of a threat. When Rhodian cousins Menedemos and Sostratos sail from their home island to the new city of Alexandria on family business, they are co-opted into the struggle between Ptolemaios and his former colleague Antigonos. Their cargo ship, the Aphrodite, is conscripted to join an Egyptian fleet being sent to rescue Ptolemaios’s brother, the ruler of Cyprus. Cutting short their visit to the Pyramids, the cousins set out alongside mighty war galleys—and the fate of their home port hangs in the balance. There’s no speculative hook here; instead, Turtledove carefully crafts a detailed and realistic vision of the Greek world in 306 BCE and delivers a humane message of commonality that shines over language barriers and social differences. Readers expecting a twist on the history may be disappointed, but all will be impressed by Turtledove’s immersive ancient world. Agent: Russell Galen, Scovil Galen Ghosh Literary. (Nov.)
Reviewed on : 10/01/2020
Release date: 11/01/2020
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror
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