Revolution Business (The Merchant Princes #5)
Things are going badly for the Clan in this SF novel of the Merchant Princes, the immensely popular series by Charles Stross. Locked in a vicious civil war for control over the kingdom of Niejwein, their army is bottled up inside a fortress under siege in two parallel universes at once. Duke Angbard, the Clan’s leader, has been laid low by a stroke: plotters are already c
The latest of "The Merchant Princes" series, book five in fact, is a wonderful deepening of a chain of alternate worlds that resemble the mundane one you and I live in more, or less, depending on which strand of his story Stross is highlighting at any given moment.
The basic premise of all alternate history is to take off from the world the reader knows at a point he or she can get revved up about. In the US, that most often means alternate outcomes of the American Civil War,...more
In his blog, Stross admits to being a bit burned out, and “The Revolution Business” is more about turning the wheels of an increasingly more complex plot than it is about engaging the reader in the life of heroine Miriam Beckstein, who suddenly found herself not only with the...more
It's hard to write a review about book five in a series, especially since I get the impression t...more
The Revolution Business is the fifth in this series. It follows off of the explosive ending to the fourth novel, where the machinations of several parties, ranging from the Clan to the U.S. Government, to the political enemies of the Clan in the Gruinmarkt, all fall against each other, inadvertently messing up each other.
Even more important is Miriam, our central character. In the novel...more
Well this one did not end the series, It;s like they sya. Let's take it to the next level. We have a medival culture with atomic bombs, they stole them. So are Heroine is on the run in two different alternate history no stop make that three different Unicvers, I think its time for her to discover a fourth so she has place to...more
Add the fact that Stross deicides to use our REAL former political leaders (which was really jarring, to me) and this one fell flat.
And the ending... Oy! I HATE it went books don't end properly.
This book, more than the previous four, is firmly set in the middle of the Bush administration. The author's a very liberal resident of Scotland, so it's interesting having his outsider's perspective. Sometimes he comes across as specifically harsh on President Bush and related officials, b...more
I don't want this to be a political posting but I would have much preferred Stross to have used a more generic US administration; "Dick Cheney is Darth Vader" gets a little old after a while. Good read otherwise.
Still, some interesting ideas, especially where the author tries to get inside the head of how the Bush-era US military would deal with a political threat from a parallel universe in the medieval era ;)
The fifth book in (hopefully only) a six book series, I'm sadly hooked enough on the storyline to want to know what happens.
I've read some of Stross' technology-based and futuristic stories, and they are wonderful. I have no idea what went wrong with these books, but I strongly encourage you not to start the _Merchant Princes_ series.
The intrigue continues to build in all three well-developed worlds, and the book rushes towards a surprising and chilling cliffhanger ending. I can't wait for book six!
Revolutions seem to be contagious, though in different forms, and this book is about three (or is it four) going on in three worlds...
Loving this series.
Nonetheless, I can't help but feel that his general storytelling has improved over the series.
Stross is sometimes regarded as being part of a new generation of British science fiction writers who specialise in hard science fiction and space opera. His contemporaries include Alastair Reynolds, Ken MacLeod, Liz Williams and Richard Morgan.