Emperor (Time's Tapestry Series #1)

Emperor (Time's Tapestry Series #1)

by Stephen Baxter

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Overview

Emperor (Time's Tapestry Series #1) by Stephen Baxter

The first novel in Stephen Baxter's acclaimed Time's Tapestry series.

“EPIC HISTORICAL FICTION laced with a science fiction premise...a vividly convincing picture of a past world.”—SFX

It is The Prophecy. Inscribed in Latin, the ancient scroll has resided in the hands of a single family for generations, revealing secrets about the world that is to come, and guiding them to wealth and power. It begins when a Celtic noble betrays his people at the behest of his mother’s belief in The Prophecy—and sides with the conquering Roman legions.
 
For the next 400 years, Britannia thrives, as does the family while Rome rules over the island. But loyalties are torn when Constantine, most powerful Emperor of them all, comes to Britannia.
 
And even as the sun begins to set on the Roman Empire, the Prophecy is renewed—a message from an unknowable future promising the world to those who can decipher its cryptic words...

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780441017034
Publisher: Penguin Publishing Group
Publication date: 03/31/2009
Series: Time's Tapestry Series , #1
Edition description: Reissue
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 715,519
Product dimensions: 4.20(w) x 6.70(h) x 1.20(d)
Age Range: 18 Years

About the Author

Stephen Baxter, author of the space duology featuring Proxima and Ultima, is the national bestselling author of Ark and Flood. He is a winner of the British Science Fiction Award and the Locus Award. His novel Voyage won the Sidewise Award for the best alternate history novel of the year, and he won the Philip K. Dick Award twice, for The Time Ships and for Vacuum Diagrams. He was also a recipient of the John W. Campbell Award for The Time Ships.

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Emperor (Time's Tapestry Series #1) 3.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 16 reviews.
louisedennis on LibraryThing 5 days ago
The problem with writing a book that follows one family through the ups and downs of Roman Britain is that it inevitably causes the reader, or at least this reader, to draw comparisons with Rosemary Sutcliff. Although Sutcliff set her books in many historical eras Roman Britain is the backdrop for many of them and, indeed, many of the best of them. Following the progress of one family is also a trick of Sutcliff's - The Capricon Bracelet does this in one volume as a series of short stories, but her most famous family must be the Aquila family who, as far as I'm aware, first appear in The Eagle of the Ninth and I last encountered them in The Shield Ring, set against the backdrop of resistance to the Norman Invasion in the Lake District. The problem with causing a reader to compare your work to that of a well-loved children's author is that you are almost bound to lose out.In brief Emperor consists of three Novellas topped and tailed by a short Prologue and Epilogue. In the Prologue a prophesy is delivered, in Latin, to a Brigantian family and written down. The prophesy consists of three triplets each referring to a roman Emperor (Claudius, Hadrian and Constantine) followed by bits from the American Declaration of Independence (I think, possibly the constitution, my knowledge of American history is, I now realise, rather woeful). Each of the novellas then details the meeting of a family member interested in the prophesy with the respective Emperor and the Epilogue closes with the delivery of a new prophesy, in Anglo-Saxon, to the latest family member (all ready for book two in the series). One of the reasons I bought Emperor is that I hugely enjoyed Neal Stephenson's System of the World series and was excited to read another novel by a respected SF author which was going to write a historical novel but, essentially, treat it as SF. I've never actually read one of Stephen Baxter's novels, although I very much liked his short story in the Solaris Book of New Science Fiction and his name is frequently linked to rumours that he will be writing for Dr Who; the poor man must have foolishly mentioned a fondness for the programme at some point. Unfortunately Emperor is not in the same league as the System of the World. Stephenson managed to present Enlightenment Europe as a strange and exotic fantasy world while never appearing to educate, Baxter, on the other hand, seems to be over-anxious to educate (character's ruminate internally on the economic forces at work in their world, and helpfully discuss the history necessary to link the three novellas while touring various examples of Roman architecture) without ever appearing actually inspired by the world as a setting. The stories in the three novellas are mostly kind of dull and the prophesy itself is not really either interesting enough nor mysterious enough to drive the plot. This all sounds fairly damning but actually the book itself benefits from being pretty short, Baxter manfully resists the tendency to pad present in buckets in fantasy writing but also evident in some SF writing. His characters are also both interesting and sympathetic which will take a book a long way - certainly this was a book I kept stealing odd moments to read during the day rather than waiting for my customary personal reading time just before bed.The comparison with Sutcliff though was very interesting. As I said above, I don't think its a comparison Baxter could ever hope to win since it is difficult to compete with fond childhood memories, but it is interesting none-the-less. At the risk of using an over literary word I would describe Baxter's approach as post-colonial. He sees the Romans in terms of their occupation, exploitation and ultimately cultural assimilation of British, and specifically Brigantian, culture. It's quite a clever device. Sutcliff, of course, encourages the reader (mostly) to identify with the Romans but her identification is associated with viewing the Romans as a "civilising infl
BanAvtai on LibraryThing 5 days ago
I found this book to be exceedingly boring. I wish the author had chosen to either write a historical novel or just stick with non-fictional history. This is my first time reading a Stephen Baxter book so perhaps I am being unfair in my opinion that he is not very skillful in weaving historical tidbits into his plot.
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I would love to finish reading this book, but barnes and Noble decided to cut me off from it. Apparently, when you buy from B&N you don't actually own the book and they can revoke it at any time for any reason.
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harstan More than 1 year ago
In 4 BC, Brica struggles with a long difficult labor as the baby finally begins to come out of the womb, the weakened female begins babbling in Latin, a tongue she does not know. A druid, the only non-kin, attending the birth writes down her words that claim in the future three emperors from Rome will visit the island with one dying. Nectovelin is born while his mother dies. Brica¿s words live on after her known as the Prophecy¿. --- In 43 AD, Roman General Vespasian invades Britain. Nectovelin tries to make his mother¿s words come true, but fails in an attempt to assassinate Emperor Claudius. However, Nectovelin¿s descendents remain diligent waiting for the moment to insure the family Prophecy comes true. In 314, they may have their opportunity as Constantine the Great visits Britannia, but instead of murder, Thalius and others plead with the Emperor to embrace the original Christianity of the first century. By 418, the Roman armies have left the island leaving a vacuum in which British warlords fight one another and the invading Saxons. --- EMPEROR is an interesting historical fiction that spans four centuries so no character seems fully developed as events supersede people especially after Nectovelin fails at fulfilling the Prophesy. That twist of having Brica¿s descendents needing to make sure the Prophesy happens is a fascinating spin to the actual occurrences. Still somewhat overwhelming with over four hundred years of Britannia passing by in under four hundred pages, readers will marvel at Stephen Baxter¿s opening epic in the Time Tapestry series. --- Harriet Klausner