What do you get when you blend romantic poets with Egyptian deities, add a dash of time travel, and throw in a werewolf for good measure? This award-winning alternate-history novel.
The story begins with our hero, Brendan Doyle — a rather lack-luster expert on Samuel Taylor Coleridge. He’s recruited by an eccentric billionaire to give an introductory lecture on Coleridge’s work before a group of wealthy history aficionados time-jump back to attend one of Coleridge’s lectures. Stranded in the past, Doyle quickly learns first-hand that 1810 not the sort of place modern man wants to live without ready cash. As if that wasn’t bad enough, he becomes embroiled in a battle against sinister forces of magic working to regain control of the world.
A favorite professor introduced me to Tim Powers several years ago with The Anubis Gates. I loved it, both the first time I read it and the second for my Flights of Fantasy challenge (which, as is clear from the date of this post, isn’t going to be finished in 2016). Are there some sentences in this novel that aren’t as finely crafted as they could be? sure. Is is a bit odd? yes, but there’s nothing wrong with that in a speculative fiction novel. Overall, it’s an imaginative adventure story that’s just the right blend of “thinking literature” and entertainment.