Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Opening Atlantis by Harry Turtledove

Opening Atlantis
Harry Turtledove
December 4, 2007
ISBN# 978-0-451-46174-2

Part One - New Hastings: Edward Radcliffe strikes a bargain with Fran├žois Kersauzon and he soon sets foot on Atlantis for the first time. Wildlife and vegetation the likes of which they’ve never seen inhabit the island, but it appears that no one has staked a claim and called it home. Life away from England where his family could be safe is all the incentive Edward needs. The Radcliffes, as well as the others who’ve joined them, settle in to a new life. The new settlements forming aren’t a problem for the little town of New Hastings, but when the wrong person decides he’ll force his way into ruling the land, there will be a high price to pay in keeping the freedom they worked so hard to obtain.

Part Two - Avalon: Red Rodney Radcliffe captains the Black Hand out of Avalon Bay and is well known throughout Atlantis for the plundering pirate that he is. William Radcliff lives a respectable life and runs a trading firm in Stuart. Both men are descendants of Edward Radcliffe through his son Henry, but they’re as different as second cousins could possibly be. William is done with having his ships robbed, and when the opportunity presents itself he’s more than willing to even the score.

Part Three – Nouveau Redon: It’s been three-hundred years since the first settlement, New Hastings, began in Atlantis. Roland Kersauzon has gotten word that France and England are at war and he’s securing the Nouveau Redon fortress for battle, should it have to defend itself. Victor Radcliff welcomes Major General Braddock from England, and soon the war spreads to Atlantis. War torn, a changed Atlantis will be left in its wake.

Opening Atlantis is the first in a new trilogy. In an alternate history where the world has an eighth continent, Mr. Turtledove details life in the first three-hundred years since settling Atlantis. The world-building, while created with some similarity to history, is just phenomenal. The characters are well-drawn, and as the centuries pass their relation to the original settlers is easily seen. If you’re looking for the usual fantasy or paranormal tale of Atlantis, you won’t find that here between these covers. What you will find is an action packed adventure bound to intrigue any reader who dares to wonder what might have been if the world were a slightly different place.

Kimberly Swan, Darque Reviews


T.C. Robson said...

Very interesting. Great review!

Kimberly Swan said...

I love reading most everything that has anything to do with Atlantis. It was definitely interesting and different. I think that anyone who enjoys alternate history will really appreciate the story. Thank you! :)

Michael said...

Atlantis is the North American continent from Florida to Nova Scotia west to a line from the middle of Quebec to Alabama. It appears that part of the North American tectonic plate drifted east into the Atlantic.

My major objection to the book was the lack of maps. There's a sort-of map on the front cover, but it's not really useful.

Other than that, I enjoyed the book.

Kimberly Swan said...

Hi Michael - Thanks for visiting! Maps would have been a nice addition. I was actually well into the book before I noticed the cover was a map. :) Hope it won't be too long of a wait before the next one.

Anonymous said...


In addition to the novel, there are two earlier short stories in the series..."Audubon in Atlantis" and "The Scarlet Band."


Kimberly Swan said...

Thanks so much for the info and the link! :)