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 is not the kind of book I would ordinarily read. So, Why did I read it? I read it because it is billed as a science fiction novel and I am a fan of science fiction. I also know the author as a very good science fiction writer. I also have a particular interest in the author because I met him years ago when he was a political activist long before he became an author. At that time both he and I were sf fans, but we did not know that about each other. If we had known we would have had more to talk about than politics. It is interesting that I knew of him as a top science fiction writer before I found out that he was the same Eric Flint that I used to know. Now, I know that these are somewhat specious reasons to read a book that I would not ordinarily have read. So, am I sorry that I read it? No, I am not. If I had not read it just because it is a historical novel I would have really missed something. It is a ripping good yarn.