Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “The Clan Corporate (The Merchant Princes, #3)” as Want to Read:
The Clan Corporate (The Merchant Princes, #3)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

The Clan Corporate

(The Merchant Princes #3)

3.49  ·  Rating details ·  3,221 ratings  ·  131 reviews
Miriam Beckstein has gotten in touch with her roots and they have nearly strangled her. A young, hip, business journalist in Boston, she discovered (in "The""Family Trade" ) that her family comes from an alternate reality, that she is very well-connected, and that her family is a lot too much like the mafia for comfort. In addition, starting with the fact that women are fa ...more
Hardcover, 320 pages
Published May 16th 2006 by Tor Books (first published 2006)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about The Clan Corporate, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about The Clan Corporate

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.49  · 
Rating details
 ·  3,221 ratings  ·  131 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of The Clan Corporate (The Merchant Princes, #3)
Richard Derus
Oct 04, 2017 rated it really liked it
Rating: 4* of five

I question myself every time I read one of these books: Would I simply accept the Family Trade or would I too resist?
Sep 04, 2009 rated it it was ok
Dang, I wish I had let this series go after the second book.

So the first book introduces Miriam and Worlds One and Two (ours and the Clan's). The second book spends a huge amount of time bringing us into World Three and the missing branch of the Clan's family. But in book three (The Clan Corporate), World Three and the missing branch take about four pages. They're just gone. Stross spent an entire novel getting World Three up to speed, and they're just gone.

This novel is about how Miriam has bee
3.5 stars. Make sure you have the next book on hand, because this ends on a really evil cliffhanger!
Christopher Sutch
Dec 02, 2012 rated it liked it
Don't get me wrong; I'm a Charles Stross fan. A HUGE CS fan, actually. I haven't read everything he's ever written (yet), but everything I've read by him I've liked immensely... except for all the books in this series. The first two I was willing to believe that Tor had editorially screwed up beyond comprehension. But I don't think that can apply to this "novel." The scare quotes there pretty much sum up the problem: a novel is supposed to have a thing called a plot, where SOMETHING happens, whi ...more
Jan 14, 2014 rated it it was ok
This is definitely the weakest of the first three books. I am also having a hard time with the plot. The heroine seems to have been transformed from a smart, somewhat impetuous, but hard hitting independent woman to a helpless wretch, and I see no hope in sight for either her redemption or the redemption of any character in the series. I am moving on to the next book, but the people and the world are becoming extremely unlikeable.
Jonathan Lupa
Sep 22, 2011 rated it did not like it
Easily the worst of the series so far. Why are these people so stupid? They are supposed to be smart.
Peter Tillman
Jul 02, 2017 rated it liked it
If you read the reviews here, you will note many complaints about the slow-moving plot, and cliff-hanger ending. If you read my earlier series review, , you'll have seen some of the reasons. Now, here's the author's mea culpa: (scroll down to "The Clan Corporate ") -- which was originally to be book #2 in the series:
"I was already 60,000 words into "The Clan Corporate", with about eight months to go to my deadline,
Jul 03, 2008 rated it really liked it
Charles Stross's Merchant Princes series has its first less-than-stellar entry in "The Clan Corporate". I would have to say that my review here, though, is merely an indication of how much I've grown to love the series and its characters over the course of my frantic weeklong immersion in its first three books. After all, the reason I felt that this volume was less outstanding than the two that came before is because events of the story have caught up with our protagonist, Mirian Beckstein, and ...more
Feb 26, 2009 rated it it was ok
These books keep managing to get worse. The first one had a fantastic concept that drew me in, but the execution made me wince: The writing is quite frankly terrible, and I'm sorry to say it keeps getting worse. I'm pretty sure there's a point in this book when the author randomly starts inserting the wrong character's name in a scene in which the named character could not possibly appear. The author gets the name right again ... three pages later. The editing, if there was any, is amateurish. I ...more
May 28, 2007 rated it did not like it
Shelves: fantasy
Pretty bad. This series has really degenerated.
Hope Egan
Sep 19, 2012 rated it did not like it

Don't bother...
Nov 19, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy
Somehow, Charles Stross always manages to smack my funny-bone. There may be somewhere in the world where his plays on words have become cliché, but they seem fresh to me. In The Clan Corporate, we are told that one character “…could starve himself to death between two cookbooks.” (p. 50) Further, on the very next page, my eyes alighted on a depiction of the political animal so fitting I had to take notice: “If the leviathan is determined to drink the blood of the people, there’s going to be plen ...more
Mar 25, 2019 rated it it was ok
Shelves: audiobook
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Майя Ставитская
Readers massively moan that nothing happen in the novel, blaming the author and even justifying him (few who still remain loyal after such a setup) by the fact that something else was written simultaneously with the Clan Corporate because the third part of "The Merchant Princes" is so boring and eventless. Well, I beginning to wonder if I read that book.

Because at for me, a lot of things are happening, and a story is becoming more and more exciting. First of all, the expansion that began in the
Tal S
Aug 19, 2008 rated it liked it
Miriam Beckstein (American business journalist) found out in Book 1 of this series that her family comes from an alternate world. a family of world-walkers, who think disturbingly similarly to the Mafia.

Miriam, (now Countess Helge) tries to be a 21C modern woman, starting her own business and running her life as free from her manipulative and political family. however, for the Clan, women are for breeding and not much else.

the culture clash lands Miriam in plenty of trouble...and in our world, t
Jun 09, 2017 rated it did not like it
Shelves: did-not-finish
Fuck this book.

It's your protagonist being sized up to be a broodmare for the entire book.

The character goes from business savvy, smart, if a little far fetched, so some simpering idiot who gets pushed round by everyone. I tried to push though it thinking she would get some of her character from the book.

It's literally page after page of her being trapped in shitty boring world 2 without making and changes to it. Just when you think something good will happen the plot will fall apart and with e
Nicholas Whyte[return][return]Gosh. The best of the "Merchant Princes" series so far. Miriam Beckstein attempts to play the game by her own rules, but there are plenty of her relatives who have been playing it better for much longer... We see more of Miriam the former investigative journalist rather than the startup manager this time, and her ex-boyfriend turns up. Ends on a great cliff-hanger (unlike the first book). No economics lectures (unlike the second book). Can't ...more
Aug 23, 2008 rated it it was ok
It's just getting silly, at this point. ...more
Kerryn Taylor
Mar 31, 2015 rated it did not like it
I couldn't even get into it. ...more
John Desmarais
Jan 18, 2018 rated it it was ok
(Should be pretty much spoiler-free)

A caveat to start with: I really like Charles Stross. I've read a large number of his books and enjoyed all of them immensely, until now.

The Clan Corporate is not a bad book. I ably continues to move the story started in the first two forward, adding new elements and further developing ones introduced earlier. The problem with this book is that the protagonist - previously shown to be a smart and capable person - suddenly becomes an idiot. I'm not talking abou
Leonardo Etcheto
Apr 04, 2018 rated it liked it
The soap opera gets into full swing, with the power behind the throne being revealed as the old ladies plotting marriage alliances. Miriam ends up becoming engaged to the heir to the throne but it all triggers a bit of a dustup and basically a coup.
This books shows the benefits of allies, as well as being crafty. Miriams basic problem is she is too direct, which works in business and in the US but pretty much nowhere else. Barges in like a bull in china shop on a planted clue, pretty pathetic fo
Aaron Anderson
Nov 16, 2019 rated it it was ok
This book was horrible. The first 1/3 to 1/2 was super-boring with almost nothing happening.

In this series, we had a smart, assertive, 32-33 year old female main character. In this book she does stupid thing after stupid thing, not realizing she's being set up on purpose, and generally she does nothing right. Then she gets half-saved in the end, through zero of her own efforts. Ugh, way to ruin a fine character and turn her into an idiot damsel in distress. It's entirely possible to keep having
Mar 04, 2017 rated it liked it
If I were to say anything about what happens in the book it would sound incredibly boring. It really isn't though. I'm actually anxious to read the other books in the series now.

There's this woman that grew up on our earth. When she is in her 30's she finds out there are other dimensions and she is not from here (which I assume happened in a previous book). In this book she is basically trapped in a life of royalty that she doesn't want, trying to learn the language of the land, trying not to o
Sep 26, 2018 rated it liked it
Honestly, this 3rd book does that thing that a lot of mid-series books do. It was boring. Disappointingly boring. Too much set-up. It got bogged down in that middle place where the story is too big to tell in one book.
Miriam gets all helpless and depressed, out-maneuvered by Everyone around her. it's frustrating.
Also we get another side character that isn't very interesting either. He gets way too much time in my opinion. I don't care about the FBI much at all.
We find out a lot of things but I
Dec 23, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Stross, Charles. The Clan Corporate. Merchant Princes No. 3. Tor, 2006.
This installment in the Merchant Princes series is to my mind Stross’s closest approach to noir grimdark fantasy. Our heroine is used and abused in a power struggle in which everyone has an agenda in which she is a pawn. The Medieval family she has inherited proves itself to be more like the Mafia than anything else. It does not trust her, though it considers her world-walking and breeding potential valuable. Freedom is not i
Jan 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, audio, hoopla, 2020
The third installment of The Merchant Princess series was my least favorite so far. It may be that I have read them in succession with no breaks in between. What initially intrigued me with this series is less evident in this book. Miriam, the strong female lead, seems to lose much of what made her great in the first two books. She becomes a more typical hero, with character flaws and quick action that lead to easy plot points, not the intelligent, well-rounded character from the first two books ...more
May 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Like the previous two books, The Clan Corporate and The Merchants' War are evidently best read as a set. This book basically ends in the middle of everything, which is fine if you are expecting it (which I was). Be prepared with the next book when you get close to the end of this book.

I will leave off on reviewing the main contents of the book until I have finished The Merchants' War, as I consider the two to be a single unit.
Dan Drake
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
In this installation of the Merchant Princes, Stross gets into the family politics of the Clan -- the "Princes" and "Family" parts of "Merchant Princes" and "Family Trade". I'm surprised I liked this as much as I did; some of it reminded me distantly of Luna: New Moon, which just didn't do it for me -- it was too soap-opera-y. But here it worked. ...more
Booth Babcock
Dec 02, 2020 rated it liked it
Still largely enjoying this that Stross has introduced his worlds and lived in them a little, he spends less time on long descriptions and more on the story itself, with the result that it clips along a little quicker now than earlier in the series. I'm interested to see where the story goes from here. Still waaaaay too many characters floating around without much backstory.

This book is now published combined with book 4 in an omnibus called "The Traders War" in which it's not really
Tom Rowe
The first half of the book seemed to meander and repeat a lot of backstory from the first two books in a clunky way. Then, it takes the story in directions that seemed to contradict the ending of the second book. It's almost as if the author changed his mind about the direction of the series but had to work through the first two books to get the feel for it.

The second half really picks up. It was fun to see so many secondary characters get larger rolls. Plus, Stross throws in lots of surprises
« previous 1 3 4 5 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • Harbinger of the Storm (Obsidian and Blood, #2)
  • Непобедимое солнце. Книга 2
  • Virginia Woolf: The Moment & Other Essays
  • Земля случайных чисел
  • The Crock of Gold (Revised Edition)
  • Driving the Deep (Finder Chronicles, #2)
  • Tunc
  • Nunquam
  • The Revolt of Aphrodite: "Tunc" and "Nunquam"
  • The Pompadours: A Satire on the Art of Government
  • Пещера
  • Ведьмин век
  • Книжица наших забав
  • Finder (Finder Chronicles, #1)
  • Непобедимое солнце. Книга 1
  • Живые люди
  • The Doors of Eden
  • King Rat
See similar books…
Charles David George "Charlie" Stross is a writer based in Edinburgh, Scotland. His works range from science fiction and Lovecraftian horror to fantasy.

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.


Other books in the series

The Merchant Princes (6 books)
  • The Family Trade (The Merchant Princes, #1)
  • The Hidden Family (The Merchant Princes, #2)
  • The Merchants' War (The Merchant Princes, #4)
  • The Revolution Business (The Merchant Princes, #5)
  • The Trade of Queens (The Merchant Princes, #6)

News & Interviews

Happy Women's History Month! One of the undisputedly good things about modern scholarship is that women’s history is finally getting its due....
59 likes · 9 comments