Review: The Alexander Inheritance (Ring of Fire #2) by Eric Flint

Rating: 8/10

NEW TIME TRAVEL ALT. HISTORY FROM A MASTER: Flint’s Ring of Fire and Boundary series have proved him to be a master of time travel alternate history. Here then, a new tale of persons displaced in time, fighting for their lives.

Twice before, mysterious cosmic catastrophes have sent portions of the Earth across space and back in time first, with the Grantville Disaster in West Virginia, and then again with a maximum security prison in southern Illinois.
Now, the planet is struck with yet another such cataclysm, whose direct impact falls upon the Queen of the Sea, a cruise ship in the Caribbean. When the convulsions subside, the crew and passengers of the ship discover that they have arrived in a new and frightening world.
They are in the Mediterranean now, not the Caribbean. Still worse, they discover that the disaster has sent them more than two thousand years back in time. Following the advice of an historian among the passengers, Marie Easley, they sail to Egypt or, at least, where they hope Egypt will be.

Sure enough, Egypt is there ruled over by Ptolemy, the founder of the Ptolemaic dynasty and one of Alexander the Great s chief generals. Alexander the Great, it turns outs, died just two years ago. The western world has just entered what would become known as the Hellenistic Period of history, during which time Greek civilization would spread around the Mediterranean and beyond. But the first fifty years of the Hellenistic Period was the Age of Diadochi the Time of the Successors when Alexander s empire would collapse into chaos. By the time the Successors finished their strife, every single member of Alexander s dynasty would be murdered and only three of the generals who began that civil war would still be alive.

That is the new world in which the Queen of the Sea finds itself. Can Marie Easley and Captain Lars Flodden guide the crew and passengers through this cataclysm? Fortunately, they have some help: a young Norwegian ship s officer who forms an attachment to Alexander s widow; a French officer who is a champion pistol marksman; a canny Congressman from Utah and, most of all, many people of the time who are drawn to a vision of the better world of the future.

About Eric Flint s Ring of Fire series:
This alternate history series is a landmark Booklist
[Eric] Flint’s1632universe seems to be inspiring a whole new crop of gifted alternate historians. Booklist
reads like a technothriller set in the age of the Medicis Publishers Weekly


This book has a giant 21st century cruiser transported to the era of the Diadochi. The epic conflict that makes Game of Thrones pale in comparison. This is the era of what happens after Alexander’s the Great death. This has been an awesome book, but the reason why I read this novel as a standalone (I believe it should be treated as one as it is part of the Ring of Fire Universe) was more for the setting than anything else.

I have been wanting alternate history to at least have less mainstream history. Sure, the Man in the High Castle was unique to an extent, but a book series needed 7-8 volumes. Always I’m browsing through youtube and I find videos of Alternate history that just do the same old stuff. Why not have an alternate history where Ancient Egypt did travel to the Americas? Why not have an alternate history where the Vikings surived and they actually besieged the Byzantine Empire’s capital? There should be more way more unique alternate history situations. And this novel has satisfied it to an extent.

You will find people of all races, people of all colours interacting in such unique ways I can’t tell you. Imagine Ancient Greeks interacting with modern day 21st century people? There are very humorous scenes if you spot this. I note that this book is more for the setting. It’s something very unique and I think hasn’t been done much, the only ones I can remember is the Nantucket triology by S.M Stirling which takes Nantucket and puts it right into the Bronze Age era. For me, an alternate history novel where Rome never converted to Christanity, employed Vikings and sailed to the New World would be an awesome novel. Imagine Rome colonising America. Or imagine the Persians conquering Greece and the endless possibilties.

One of my criticisms with this book is that the characters aren’t given enough attention, since there are a degree of competing historical figures as well. You’ll also find weird and unique situations like a constitution etc. You’ll figure it out. The other problem which accounts for this is the scene to chapter transitions. This book has more scenes than chapters, but it’s done for a very obvious reason. This novel has a wide array of characters that needs to be fufilled, and needs to be shown. And then there is the scientific explanations which is explored a lot. I am no expert, so take what I say about the scientific explanations as assumption more or less.

But…there’s something about this novel that makes me think: Why hasn’t this been done into a TV show or something? It has a good and original unique premise. I don’t want mainstream history I’m bored of it. Give me interesting situations like this. I still go back and read this novel. It has a very unique broadpoint, and there’s a lot of characters to juggle with. The writing is however superb, and the dialogue becomes very interesting especially with some VERY interesting historical FIGURES. Note that in mind.

So what do I think? Go buy it. It’s def worth a read. For such a premise and man I wished we had more UNIQUE COVERS like this. Really wished we had more of this. I think this is one novel that you should be reading. Read it more for the setting as this is a set up, and the sequel will go into more detail. I know nothing about the science stuff either!

A great novel, fun and interesting. I love it, and it’s one of those books where you get conflicted on, but you keep coming back to it.

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