Book Review: Emperor: Time’s Tapestry, Book One by Stephen Baxter

Baxter’s first book in the “Time’s Tapestry” series opens with the difficult birth of a baby boy in the 4th century BC during which time his straining mother began speaking Latin, a language she did not know. Fortunately, a relative knew enough to translate and record what became known as “The Prophecy”, a foretelling that determined the course of a Celtic family as it intertwined with the fortunes of the Roman Empire for the next 400 years, eventually culminating with the construction of Hadrian’s Wall.  Of course, prophecies prove to be difficult at best as the truth may lie in any number of interpretations depending upon the agenda of their user as illustrated in this alternative look at ancient history which lays the groundwork for the next prophecy.

Strong characters and rich historical reference help make up for the jittery pacing of this novel as it jumps from time period to time period leaving the reader floundering a little with each generational jump. Eventually one gets the feeling time has steamrollered the players in its march toward the future that hints at alternative universes.

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