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1812: The Rivers of War (Trail of Glory #1)

3.78  ·  Rating Details ·  1,097 Ratings  ·  47 Reviews
Eric Flint's acclaimed 1634: The Galileo Affair was a national bestseller from one of the most talked-about voices in his field. Now, in this extraordinary new alternate history, Flint begins a dramatic saga of the North American continent at a dire turning point, forging its identity and its future in the face of revolt from within, and attack from without.
In the War of
Paperback, 534 pages
Published October 31st 2006 by Del Rey Books (first published 2005)
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Best Alternate History Novels and Stories
57th out of 398 books — 784 voters
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Best Alternate History
60th out of 239 books — 513 voters

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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 1,959)
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Apr 26, 2010 Beau rated it really liked it
I'm pretty impressed with the two books in this alternate history (1812 and 1824). They are eminently readable - the pages fly by. As a Texan, I enjoy the Sam Houston character as much as any of them, but they're all terrific.

I was unaware, until I finished this book, that only one of the characters was a fiction. Being used to Neal Stephenson's 50-50 mix, I guess I brought an assumption with me that I didn't realize. If I never heard of them before, I assumed they were fictional. Don't you be
Roger Bailey
Alternate history is usually considered science fiction. I am not sure it should be, but it is. This book is an alternate history novel and it most certainly does not read like science fiction. It reads like a straight historical novel. It is a novel of the American frontier. It has characters like Sam Houston and Andrew Jackson. It is a novel of the War of 1812. It is not the War of 1812 as we know it from our history books, but it is still a novel of the War of 1812 and it reads like it. This ...more
Travis Starnes
Sep 21, 2013 Travis Starnes rated it liked it
I will start off by saying I am generally a fan of all of Flints works, he writes the happiest war stories you will find. His writing tends to be fairly up-beat, he loves over the top characters, and he enjoys not only showing the action and drama beats of his stories but also exploring the larger political and cultural landscapes of the worlds he creates. This last trait of Flint’s is both a blessing and a curse.

Because he writes so much alternate history there are a lot of interesting points t
Jul 10, 2012 John rated it it was amazing
What happens if Sam Houston is only mildly wounded at Horseshoe Bend instead of taking major injuries and missing the rest of the War of 1812? This alternative history book gives one possibility of the major changes it creates.

This alternate history does not depend on some science fiction element to get started. Just the slip of a foot on a wooden wall. The characters are well written and seem to stay true to what we know of them. Most of the characters did exist and the few that didn't were bas
May 17, 2011 Andreas rated it did not like it
Another alternate history novel from Flint and technically an Assiti Shards novel even if removed from the main thrust of that series. This one, the first of a new series, rewrites the War of 1812. Instead of being wounded in the groin at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend, Sam Houston is only grazed in the arm. And so he can participate in the defense of Washington against a British raid. Flint spins an interesting tale of how influential (American) Indians, whites and blacks begin to form strong bon ...more
Ronald Keeler
Oct 06, 2015 Ronald Keeler rated it really liked it
Shelves: reviewed
The reader as a student of history might get distracted while reading this very interesting work of historical fiction. Such a reader might dwell on the real history of Sam Houston, James Monroe, Alexander Hamilton, the blustering General Jackson, James Madison, and the plethora of factually based characters, to include those of the Indian Nation (proposed). I think that would be a waste of time because there is so much entertaining, interesting information presented about the nitty-gritty routi ...more
Carol Storm
Nov 13, 2015 Carol Storm rated it did not like it
Did not finish -- this guy makes William Forstchen look like William Faulkner!
Chris S.
Jun 26, 2015 Chris S. rated it liked it
This is pretty decent book, but there are several things that irk me as a reader that prevent it from becoming a four or a five.
One thing that annoyed me was the way every character's stoic smile (most often used in times of stress) was called "thin". Compared to the wonderful writing that characterized most of the book, I was astounded at the repetitively dull "thin smiles".
Secondly, the typos present in this book (although there were not many of them) distracted me. Granted, at 500-some p
Patricrk patrick
Mar 26, 2013 Patricrk patrick rated it really liked it
This alternate history starts with the premise that Sam Houston is not badly injuried at the battle of Horseshoe bend and is therefore available to defend the capital from the British and fight a smaller battle of New Orleans instead. It was suppose to be a series but I can't find a sequal. Available in Baen Free Library.
David Key
Apr 18, 2016 David Key rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great book now in addition to the paper edition I have the eBook as well.

What do you get when you cross one of the master's of alternate universe fiction with the question, how would the United States look if the relocation of the native american tribes in the eastern States occurred in a way that resulted in a that a strong independent nation containing Whites free Black's and united native tribes as a neighboring entity, west of the Mississippi river. Eric, as always combines marvelous charact
Jan 07, 2009 Errhead rated it really liked it
nicely done alternate history, reads as straight historical fiction. the divergence was suprisingly hard to detect and it's ramifications should prove interesting in future books of the series
David Johnston
May 07, 2014 David Johnston rated it liked it
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Matt Kelland
Jul 13, 2012 Matt Kelland rated it really liked it
Shelves: alt-history
My knowledge of this period of American history is somewhat limited: as a Brit, I've always been more focused on what was happening in Europe than on the minor battles in America. As a result, this felt to me like reading a straightforward historical military story like Sharpe: I couldn't tell until I reached the Appendix where the point of divergence was, or where Flint's history differed from reality.

I thoroughly enjoyed it, though, and particularly liked the two non-historical characters Flin
Nov 01, 2008 Talkswithwind rated it it was amazing
Eric Flint takes a look at how the War of 1812 could have unfolded had Sam Huston not taken a major injury at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend and was able to participate fully in the war. In the Afterward of the book he mentions that the 'Big Idea' for this one was creating an environment where the Cherokee could have migrated across the Mississippi in a manner of their choosing, rather than at gun-point by the US government. This book sets that up.

The book itself is a very good read. The story tel
Joseph Farand
Oct 21, 2011 Joseph Farand rated it really liked it
The first book in the Trail of Glory series, an alternate history Cherokee Trail of Tears does not occur. Flint's break point in history happens at a critical point during the Battle of Horseshoe Bend. In this reality Sam Houston suffers a minor wound and plays an important role in defeating the British during the War of 1812. In the background plans are made to initiate migration of the Cherokee and other Indian tribes west of the Mississippi and create a "Indian nation:. Many of Flint's major ...more
Jun 20, 2012 Amber rated it it was amazing
I was probably the only six year old who had her father reading "The Five Civilized Tribes" by Grant Foreman to her. Suffice to say, I was instilled with a knowledge and love of history at a very young age. What Flint does with this book is incredible. There are very few "pure" alternate histories, books that do not rely on a scifi/fantasy angle. That's not to say that I dislike sff alternate histories, far from it, but it does make me appreciate this book even more. How much can history change ...more
Oct 21, 2012 Susan rated it did not like it
I wouldn't have finished this except that my new librarian-friend recommended it so I felt compelled to keep going. It's what is called an "alternative history", a genre I've never run across before. Something happens that changes the course of events so history is altered. In this case, Sam Houston ended up only slightly wounded at the Battle of Horseshoe Bend and went on to fight in the Battle of New Orleans with Andrew Jackson. At least I don't think he was at the battle of NO. I'll have to c ...more
James Willey
Jan 28, 2016 James Willey rated it it was amazing
Excellent alternative history. Southern indian tribes, runaway slaves, join up with Andrew Jackson at the battle of New Orleans.
Jun 23, 2008 Bryan rated it liked it
I can't really rate a book like this higher than 3 stars, but it was a very well written fiction. If you are looking for an easy, entertaining summer read and enjoy history, this is a good one to take. Don't be fooled that it is alternate history, though. Because the subject is the War of 1812 (something most people don't know much about), its hard to see the departure from actual history at the end. Also, it is done in subtle ways throughout the story, rather than being one massive hard to beli ...more
Jan 25, 2016 Mark rated it liked it
2.5. Breezey and light alternative history starring Sam Houston and Andrew Jackson.
Michael Brown
Jan 30, 2014 Michael Brown rated it liked it
Shelves: series-reading
more what if but this time colonial America. good start - did not read second volume yet
Oct 08, 2012 Derek rated it liked it
wasn't quite what I had expected - somewhere I'd read that it was an alternate history where the British won the war of 1812, and from a Canadian point of view, they already did! Of course, the British gained no new land in the New World...anyway, it wasn't about that!

What it claims to be about is a history on which the US avoids the Trail of tears - but I wouldn't know, because that's going to have to wait for another book, which is the one thing that really annoys me about this book
Nov 10, 2013 hdp rated it did not like it
An interesting alternative history fleshed out with tedious interactions between the characters, who spend enormous amounts of time talking and thinking about how awesome they all are, in between kicking around various extras who seem to have been brought in just for the purpose.

I made it through many of the 1632-series books one weekend when I was sick and didn't have anything to do but lie in bed, and I could ever see going back to them. It's much harder to imagine rereading this one.
George Reilly
Sep 08, 2010 George Reilly rated it really liked it
1812: The Rivers of War is the first novel in an alternate history series that recasts the War of 1812 and later the Trail of Tears. Sam Houston, Andrew Jackson, and several Scots-Irish and Indian characters head off in a somewhat different direction than they did in our history.

Flint tells a rousing, entertaining story, with exciting battles and engaging characters. It's a period of U.S. history that I knew little about, and I enjoyed the book.
May 23, 2012 Bruce rated it it was ok
Shelves: alt-history
I found the book slow starting and hard to get into, especially disappointing as the War of 1812 holds so much interest for me. It finally picked up beginning with the section on the Niagara frontier. None of the characters really grabbed me, and the Tiana (a Cherokee princess) and Driscol (a sergeant fighting for the US) relationship just didn't work. I doubt I'll read the sequel.
Charles Kennedy
Jul 26, 2012 Charles Kennedy rated it really liked it
I resisted starting this series; but Flint does a better job with this one than he does with 1632. I look forward to continuing this series.

Does a good job at bringing into the book the prejudices of the era without being offensive about it. However, his protaganist manages to avoid racial prejudice, does well at bringing in battles that are not well known to average history student.
Sep 27, 2013 Bill rated it liked it
It's an OK read. The depiction of Sam Houston is good enough to give you a pretty good idea of what kind of guy he was. Same with Patrick Driscol. There's enough action to keep things moving. Yet, at the same time, I can't help but feel that there is something missing. Perhaps a review of the actual history beforehand would have helped.
Nov 11, 2008 Kris rated it really liked it
An alternative history of the War of 1812, starting with the Battle of Horseshoe Bend in 1814. I have to admit, I never paid a lot of attention to the War of 1812, beyond the burning of Washington DC and the Battle of New Orleans, so I'm sure I missed some of the points where things diverge in the story. But it still was a good read.
Jul 23, 2012 Jim rated it really liked it

This e-book has 1663 pages not 560. I liked this alternative history book. But it was awfully long in e-book form. 1663 pages.I didn't know that much about the War of 1812 but liked this fictional version.It was easy to read and the characters were all pretty interesting.
Jun 05, 2008 Isis rated it did not like it
Didn't finish. The premise is fascinating, but the writing is so plodding that I couldn't plow through it. It's not that it's bad writing, exactly - more that I had no sense of the characters. The POV was so distant that I really didn't care about any of them.
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Eric Flint is a New York Times bestselling American author, editor, and e-publisher. The majority of his main works are alternate history science fiction, but he also writes humorous fantasy adventures.
More about Eric Flint...

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“Nancy Ward was almost eighty years old. For a moment, Tiana was frozen by the sight. Half exultant—if she could be like that, at that age!—and half petrified. It was like watching some ancient, terrible creature, rising from its lair.” 0 likes
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