Ring of Time
Andrew Seddon, author
In the 27th century, humanity's greatest achievement is the massive, star-powered Temporal Displacement Ring: a portal to the past. Professor Robert Cragg, reeling from his own personal losses, volunteers to be the first-ever time-traveling historian, fleeing into the shadows of the Roman Empire. Instead of dry, dusty bygones, he encounters real people. Commoners and nobility, sailors and businessmen, zealots and legionaries, druids, gladiators and philosophers all cross his path. The past, he finds, is not dead and gone, but very much alive... alive with wonder, fear, and perhaps, love...
Seddon (Wreaths of Empire) turns time-travel tropes into a somber, poignant, and beautifully written story of loss, compassion, and faith. Robert Cragg is a history professor at CamOx University in 2655. He volunteers to enter the Temporal Displacement Ring to visit the past, but he can only observe, lacking any ability to change history. Devastated by the recent deaths of his wife and daughter, Cragg searches for purpose in the past and the comfort of fate. He tours the Roman Empire between 15 B.C.E. and 415 C.E., from Londinium to Egypt, living among the people he studies and taking information back to his present. In historically accurate set pieces, Cragg tries to save the dog of Pompeii, learns the truth of the siege of Masada, and witnesses the Romans crushing Queen Boudicca’s rebellion in Britannia. He encounters Amazonian gladiators, religious zealots, and a vengeful former student. When he meets the charming philosopher Tesia in Alexandria, he dares to hope that he can love again. Eschewing technical jargon, Seddon focuses on the emotional journey, using elegant, sentimental prose to depict a man wracked with grief who has the faith to face his future while in the past. Those familiar with Seddon’s overtly Christian books will note some inspirational themes here, but they’re a subtle, organic part of the narrative and unlikely to put off non-Christian readers. (BookLife)