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This title in other editions

Merchant Princes #06: The Trade of Queens

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Merchant Princes #06: The Trade of Queens Cover

ISBN13: 9780765316738
ISBN10: 0765316730
Condition: Standard
Dustjacket: Standard
All Product Details

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Synopses & Reviews

Publisher Comments:

A dissident faction of the Clan, the alternate universe group of families that has traded covertly with our world for a century or more, have carried nuclear devices between the worlds and exploded them in Washington, DC, killing the President of the United States. Now they will exterminate the rest of the Clan and keep Miriam Beckstein  alive only long enough to bear her child, the heir to the throne of their land in the Gruinmarkt world.

The worst and deepest secret is now revealed: behind the horrifying plot is a faction of the US government itself, preparing for a political takeover in the aftermath of disaster. There is no safe place for Miriam and her Clan except, perhaps, in the third alternate world, New Britain--which has just had a revolution and a nuclear incident of its own.

Charles Stross's Merchant Princes series reaches a spectacular climax in this sixth volume. Praised by Nobel laureate Paul Krugman as "great fun," this is state of the art, cutting edge SF grown out of a fantastic premise.

Review:

"In the meandering sixth and final book in Stross's Merchant Princes series (after 2008's The Merchants' War), the war within the Clan Corporate fully spreads to our dimension. In the summer of 2003, Clan defectors attack Washington, D.C., killing President Bush and members of the Supreme Court and installing a barely disguised Dick Cheney, code-named WARBUCKS, as president. Meanwhile, Miriam, a Boston-area reporter and long-lost member of the Clan, is dealing with the fallout of the previous conflicts, including her unwanted pregnancy. The plethora of character deaths fails to resolve any plot lines, and while Stross's breezy style makes pages of pedantic background go by quickly, they still feel like filler. The unsubtle political satire is dated and juvenile, and readers drawn in by inventive world-building earlier in the series will be sorely disappointed by its absence here." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)

Synopsis:

Stross's Merchant Princes series reaches a spectacular climax in this sixth volume. Praised by Nobel laureate Paul Krugman as great fun, this is state-of-the-art, cutting-edge science fiction at its best.

Synopsis:

A dissident faction of the Clan, the alternate universe group of families that has traded covertly with our world for a century or more, have carried nuclear devices between the worlds and exploded them in Washington, DC, killing the President of the United States. Now they will exterminate the rest of the Clan and keep Miriam alive only long enough to bear her child, the heir to the throne of their land in the Gruinmarkt world.

The worst and deepest secret is now revealed: behind the horrifying plot is a faction of the US government itself, preparing for a political takeover in the aftermath of disaster. There is no safe place for Miriam and her Clan except, perhaps, in the third alternate world, New Britain--which has just had a revolution and a nuclear incident of its own.

Charles Stross's Merchant Princes series reaches a spectacular climax in this sixth volume. Praised by Nobel laureate Paul Krugman as "great fun," this is state of the art, cutting edge SF grown out of a fantastic premise.

About the Author

Charles Stross lives in Edinburgh, Scotland.

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Average customer rating based on 1 comment:

Jvstin, September 11, 2010 (view all comments by Jvstin)
Six books in, the Merchant Princes series has come to an end.

For those of you just joining us, Miriam Beckstein, journalist from Boston, discovered that she really is the scion of a family with a secret--with the aid of special clockwork knots, they can transport themselves between our world, and the primitive feudal world of their birth. They have used this power to amass wealth and power by through the lucrative trade of drug smuggling, using the Gruinmarkt as a way to get around the DEA. Miriam has been married, widowed, discovered a *third* history where a autocratic British empire runs North America and is on the cusp of revolution, and has learned there are more worlds still out there.

Now, things come to a head.

The Clan sends a message to the United States by using their worldwalking powers to explode a few stolen backpack nuclear weapons. This, frankly, leads to no good end, as President Cheney (President Bush is killed by one of the bombs) decides on a murderous course of revenge which is perfected by HIS successor. Cheney's revelation of worldwalking to the world leads to tensions between nations, including...well, that would be telling.

And in the middle of it all, Miriam is just trying to find a place, a world, for herself and her people to survive. The Trade of Queens indeed...

I got the sense, reading this, that Stross felt he wanted to be done with this universe. There is a weariness to the text and to the plot that I didn't detect in earlier volumes. There is some lovely speculation on why the worlds have different amounts of technology, but this speculation is sadly stillborn. The novel also suffers by ending Miriam's plot long before the end of the book, and she does not appear afterwards.

A few glitches and typos (the inconsistent use of code names in and out of public) mar the text a bit as well. It felt unprofessional and sloppy. I know that this is not fair to the writer, but I am responding to the text as much as the talented Mr. Stross.

This is not to say that its all bad. Stross' strong points hold here. His worlds show harsh contrasts and he follows the implications of worldwalking technology and its revelation to its terrible, stark conclusions. Even though I winced at the actions of the U.S. and other nations, I cannot deny that they are anything but extremely plausible. I suspect that if these novels had been written before Sept 11,2001, the tone would have been different, but in the post 9/11 world, things really are different.

Looking back, I am glad to have read the series, but this volume definitely ends it on a bit of a whimper. It doesn't quite fulfill the enormous promise of the first novel. I think Mr. Stross, as talented as he is, still has things to learn about writing a full blown series. I look forward to seeing him try.
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Product Details

ISBN:
9780765316738
Subtitle:
Book Six of the Merchant Princes
Author:
Stross, Charles
Publisher:
Tor Books
Subject:
Science Fiction - General
Subject:
Fantasy fiction
Subject:
Washington, d. c.
Subject:
Science / General
Subject:
Science Fiction and Fantasy-A to Z
Subject:
Fantasy - General
Subject:
Science Fiction - Adventure
Subject:
Science Fiction/Action & Adventure
Subject:
Fantasy - Contemporary
Copyright:
Edition Description:
Mass market paperback
Series:
Merchant Princes
Series Volume:
06
Publication Date:
20100316
Binding:
Electronic book text in proprietary or open standard format
Grade Level:
General/trade
Language:
English
Pages:
304
Dimensions:
9.55 x 6.38 x 1.095 in

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Related Subjects

Fiction and Poetry » Science Fiction and Fantasy » A to Z
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Merchant Princes #06: The Trade of Queens Used Hardcover
0 stars - 0 reviews
$10.95 In Stock
Product details 304 pages Tor Books - English 9780765316738 Reviews:
"Publishers Weekly Review" by , "In the meandering sixth and final book in Stross's Merchant Princes series (after 2008's The Merchants' War), the war within the Clan Corporate fully spreads to our dimension. In the summer of 2003, Clan defectors attack Washington, D.C., killing President Bush and members of the Supreme Court and installing a barely disguised Dick Cheney, code-named WARBUCKS, as president. Meanwhile, Miriam, a Boston-area reporter and long-lost member of the Clan, is dealing with the fallout of the previous conflicts, including her unwanted pregnancy. The plethora of character deaths fails to resolve any plot lines, and while Stross's breezy style makes pages of pedantic background go by quickly, they still feel like filler. The unsubtle political satire is dated and juvenile, and readers drawn in by inventive world-building earlier in the series will be sorely disappointed by its absence here." Publishers Weekly (Copyright Reed Business Information, Inc.)
"Synopsis" by , Stross's Merchant Princes series reaches a spectacular climax in this sixth volume. Praised by Nobel laureate Paul Krugman as great fun, this is state-of-the-art, cutting-edge science fiction at its best.
"Synopsis" by ,

A dissident faction of the Clan, the alternate universe group of families that has traded covertly with our world for a century or more, have carried nuclear devices between the worlds and exploded them in Washington, DC, killing the President of the United States. Now they will exterminate the rest of the Clan and keep Miriam alive only long enough to bear her child, the heir to the throne of their land in the Gruinmarkt world.

The worst and deepest secret is now revealed: behind the horrifying plot is a faction of the US government itself, preparing for a political takeover in the aftermath of disaster. There is no safe place for Miriam and her Clan except, perhaps, in the third alternate world, New Britain--which has just had a revolution and a nuclear incident of its own.

Charles Stross's Merchant Princes series reaches a spectacular climax in this sixth volume. Praised by Nobel laureate Paul Krugman as "great fun," this is state of the art, cutting edge SF grown out of a fantastic premise.

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