A cross genre (time-travel/historical) novel, based on the short story with the same title.
The Guns of Napoleon takes Victor Sirkov, professor of History at St. Petersburg State University, and passionate scholar of Napoleon, on an adventure through time to meet the very man he thought he knew so well.
Victor is contacted by the mysterious ChronoLab and given the opportunity to witness first hand what he could only have imagined. He is sent back two hundred years through a natural wormhole, and brings his personal demons with him.
Thrust into a world very different from the one he left behind, Victor must fight for survival during Napoleon’s fateful, and bloody, conquest of Russia. Knowing how history should play out, doesn’t always give him the upper hand, as Victor soon finds out.
The Guns of Napoleon deals with the consequences of changing significant moments of world history, and to what lengths one man will go to correct them, not only for the greater good of mankind, but for the woman he loves.
To be honest I really wasn’t sure what to expect when I saw the title and then read the synopsis, but I can say that this book was well worth the time it took to read it.
The main protagonist is well written and, although he can be a bit of an ass in some parts of the story, he is a well-rounded and likeable chap. The way in which he reacts to the period of history he finds himself in is very realistic and when faced with events that his interaction with could change the course of history, it is interesting to see which path he takes. This is a character that makes the reader think, and also makes them examine what they themselves would do if they were in his shoes. What I particularly liked about this character was the way he was able to accept some of the new facts he learnt about certain historical figures; he was not narrow-minded or blinkered as can be the case with some History Professors. He appeared to me to fully embrace the notion that History is more about the motivation of those who were around at the time that shaped History, rather than just it being a random series of events.
Blending time travel with actual historical events in a piece of fiction must be a difficult task; the Author pulls this off magnificently. The way in which they wrote this book reminded me very much of Connie Willis and her Oxford Time Travel books, but without the humour that is apparent in those novels. My only complaint in this book, and the reason for giving it a 4 thumbs rating was, I felt, it could have done with some really tight editing to correct some of the minor errors in it. Apart from this everything else about the book was thoroughly enjoyable; the writing style of the Author, the plot and the premise all joined together to show that this is an Author that has what it takes to satisfy an established publishing house, rather than remaining in the self-publishing world.
I would definitely recommend this book to readers interested in both the Historical and Time-travel genres, as it is a wholly engrossing read.