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MERCHANTS WAR, THE (Merchant Princes) [Hardcover]

Charles Stross
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
RRP: 17.99
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Book Description

10 Nov 2007 Merchant Princes (Book 4)
Miriam Beckstein is a young, hip, business journalist in Boston. She discovered "In The Family Trade" and "The Hidden Family" that her family came from an alternate reality, that she was very well-connected, and that her family was too much like the mafia for comfort. She found herself caught in a family trap in "The Clan Corporate" and betrothed to a brain-damaged prince, and then all hell broke loose.Now, in "The Merchants' War", Miriam has escaped to yet another world and remains in hiding from both the Clan and their opponents. There is a nasty shooting war going on in the Gruinmarkt world of the Clan, and we know something that Miriam does not; something that she's really going to hate - if she lives long enough to find out.

Product details

  • Hardcover: 336 pages
  • Publisher: Tor; 1st, First Edition, First Printing edition (10 Nov 2007)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765316714
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765316714
  • Product Dimensions: 24.1 x 16.7 x 3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,148,449 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Charles Stross was born in Leeds, England, in 1964. He has worked as a pharmacist, software engineer and freelance journalist, but now writes full time.

Product Description


""The Clan Corporate" offers more proof, if any were needed, why Charles Stross has become universally acknowledged as one of science fiction's major new talents."--Mike Resnick""The Hidden Family" is a festival of ideas in action, fast moving and often very funny, but underpinned by a rigorous logical strategy. . . .Stross's breezy, almost Heinleinian mode of narration is on fine display in "The Hidden Family"." --"Locus""Stross continues to mix high and low tech in amusing and surprising ways. . . .[he] weaves a tale worthy of Robert Ludlum or Dan Brown." -"Publishers Weekly" on "The Hidden Family""It's simply a great adventure, full of danger, of plots within plots, of forbidden love and political murder."--Orson Scott Card on "The Family Trade"

About the Author

CHARLES STROSS lives in Edinburgh, Scotland

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Settling down 7 Dec 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
As I said about the earlier books, there were problems with this series, but by the time Stross got this far, the publisher had delivered their fiat about book length. This is the second half of what was once due to be a single book, but while the first half is still something of a mess, this is much better. The plot advances, still at a galloping pace (and at times I wished he'd slow down), but the book is highly enjoyable, and to be recommended along with the rest.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Good read - but incomplete 9 Jan 2008
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
I like Stross and bought this book because it was the next in sequence about Miriam & her other world family. Unfortunately, I am frustrated because this (like the previous 3rd novel) is just a segment of a larger novel and one could get a feeling of being strung along for financial reasons.

As said by others, this book leaves you in the middle of a battle. Good writing, good characters, but not a book on its own. Wait for the compilation.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The best yet 8 Nov 2007
This (the fourth) is far and away the best (so far) of Charles Stross' "Merchant Princes" series. In contrast with the last volume, where she was rather tied down, Miriam is now a free(er) agent again, albeit on the run from the Clan, the New Britain "Polis" and the spooky "Family Trade Organisation". The Clan is fighting both the FTO and the would be King of Gruinmarkt, the medieval parallel world - and losing. And a democratic opposition in New Britain begins to stir.

Overall, the story rattles along, with new elements dropped in - a fourth world, and hints of where the Clan's abilities come from - and some moments of comedy - as when the Clan's troops go to war dressed as medieval reenactors - then it stops, right in the middle of a battle. I'm already impatient for the next volume.

One mystery I've spotted this time - though it's not new - someone is taping the Clan's discussions. Clearly not the FTO, and New Britian doesn't have the technology - so who?
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4.0 out of 5 stars Treason and Plots. 12 Jan 2013
By pherman
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
After reading the first three books in the series I looked forward to this one.I was not disappointed,the action is fast and furious spread over the three parallel worlds.I do not think I am giving too much of the plot away by telling you there are more worlds to come.The plot thickens.I can heartily recommend this series'
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4.0 out of 5 stars Best in the series so far 24 May 2010
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Probably my favourite volume of this series so far. The pace of the story-telling is just right and kept me turning the pages compulsively, right into a major cliffhanger!

In previous books, I've found it a little hard to follow the political intrigue amongst the Clan factions, and it had been 18 months since I read the third book so I was slightly apprehensive about picking the story up again. However, with just a little re-capping I found the story easy to get in to.

While moving Miriam's story forward (a little) Charles Stross has brought a few new elements to the broader plot and I'm looking forward to seeing how things go in the next book. There's even a hint of science fictional elements to come (won't say any more than that!) but then travelling between parallel earths is the central theme of the books, so perhaps that's not really so new after all?

As mentioned in almost every review here, this is very much one part of a series - you must read the first three books before tackling this one and be aware that there are two more to follow!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Oh dear, he's done it again 1 Feb 2009
Format:Mass Market Paperback|Verified Purchase
I hate marking a book down but the author's cynical use of of yet another cliff-hanger ending deserve the low rating.

If alternate history writers like Harry Turtledove can write satisfactory endings into books in long-running series then a similarly able writer like Charles Stross could easily do the same.

I'd recommend that you not buy this book until the next one is in print. And that holds true for Books One to Three. You'll have to buy them all or else your reading experience will be highly unsatisfactory. Such a shame to manipulate readers - the one's who generate the writer's royalties - in this way.
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