This book is the kind of science-fiction that takes place in the past. More exactly it is an alternate history fiction.
To call it “science fiction” is actually a bit of a stretch. The book tell of the history of humanity after the Black Death entirely decimated Europe, through the eyes of a few protagonists that lives through many reincarnation. This is quite a stretch for science, and it through me off a bit.
But after a while, it grew on me and I could enjoy the book though certain lyric discussion on religious matter were a bit of a stretch. It still made for an interesting book, but don’t expect many surprise: the history of technological and scientific progress is the same. This is actually the “thesis” of this book: to show that Europeans are not specials, that with them humanity would have followed the same trajectory. This is a thesis based on liberal faith rather than science, but I think it is true: life tends to evolve toward increasing complexity, which science and technological development certainly are a sign of.