As we all know, when the American Civil War ended in 1876, the southern states that had begotten their recognised independance had a hard time surviving, and their eventual fall from wellbeing will be echoing to the states that make up the remaining Union. If only Abraham Lincoln could have made a difference, but he retired desillusioned and died in his bed in 1868...
Eh? Wait a moment?
Lincoln`s Sword is a stand alone novel written by Debra Doyle and James D. Macdonald, authors of Land of Mist and Snow.
The novel details an alternate american civil war that came about as Richard Butler lost his sword in the independace war of America, and his relative that made off with his sword got killed during the civil war.
That sword should have been brought to Abraham Lincoln, and it would ensure the victory and as such the result of our histories version of the ACW. But at the cost of the predident`s life though.
This is foreseen by Mary, who would become his wife, and a powerfull prophetess. Together with her friend Mercy and the strange Mr Thomas, they set up an elaborate scheme through time to get the sword to the rightfull place and time in order to restore the time-line to a point as it should be, instead of how it has become.
To this end, they recruit two young irish Union soldiers whose job it is to bring the sword to Washington, and the Confederate soldier Thomas Coleman Younger, or just Cole, who`s job it will e to retrieve the sword in 1876 as the leader of a band of outlaws to rob a bank.
As the various timelines flow together to the correct point, it culminates in Lincoln indeed getting the sword, and having himself getting killed at the right place and time in history, and the timelines congealing back to the correct point.
Though a bit on the short side for a trade paperback novel, it isn`t to bad of a book and the oddities given to existing characters from history make it all a bit more imaginitive. At one point, this novel even lets you wonder wether or not it all really happened this way, indicating a strong writing skill after all.
If you manage to find this nice little novel somewhere, be sure to pick it up, it is an enjoyable read and as a stand alone book, you don`t need to have prior knowledge of the series or such, nor even about the Civil War per se, as that conflict is used merely as a setting and not as a required tool.