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MERCHANTS WAR, THE (Merchant Princes) Hardcover – 10 Nov 2007


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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: 17.1 x 3.4 x 23.3 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,437,989 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

Review

""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

3.8 out of 5 stars
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By D. Harris TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 8 Nov 2007
Format: Hardcover
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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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By GerryS WL on 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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By humanitysdarkerside VINE VOICE on 1 Feb 2008
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I liked this book better than the last in the series. Now that we're on book 4, some of the books will stand out more than others. All of them have been highly enjoyable, but this one was definitely one of the better.

Miriam was able to escape marriage to the "Idiot". In New Britain she was compelled to seek help from the Movement. Erasmus Burgeson becomes her nurse-maid until such time as she is able to contact the right people back on Niewjim. In the old world the new king is planning to exterminate the Family. Back in Miriam's original world (ours) plans are laid to discover just how the gene works. Then the Family will be destroyed. People from Miriam's family are testing patterns in order to find new and more amenable worlds.

Everyone seems to be after everyone else in this book, while Miriam is on the run. Things are getting a bit more complicated and there is definitely another book on the way. I look forward to making its acquaintance.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Robert Brenchley on 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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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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By Clare O'Beara TOP 500 REVIEWER on 3 May 2014
Format: Mass Market Paperback
If someone has keenly followed Miriam's adventures they will probably enjoy this book of travel between alternate worlds more than I did. The series is one long story with no real conclusions, just continuations.

In this episode various characters have to fight for their lives in one or other of the two alternate worlds, though our modern US military has somehow managed to get there as well, and an atomic bomb is being sought in today's America. This makes for a confusing situation which appears to be contrary to the original premise that world-walkers came from a certain bloodline.

We open with a devastated palace where a bomb and fire have killed many people who were hoping to celebrate a wedding. Plotters want to take over the throne and can do this by killing their own family members. Miriam, a journalist from our time, has managed to escape being wed to a family member and runs off, promptly world-walking her way into trouble. Meanwhile a patrol of today's soldiers encounters both deadly fire and steel man-traps in the undergrowth.

The trouble, I think, is that a new reader will have no knowledge of what is going on, so several different people each have to tell someone else what has happened up to then, but in all this scramble, we are left without any emotional connection. So someone is killed - should I care? Whose side was he on, and which is the good side? Is there a good side? Who is Miriam and why am I supposed to like her? I had read the earlier books a few months previously and during this book I felt no sympathy for any character so halfway I stopped being concerned about the outcome. It was all just fighting.

I suggest that maybe reading the books back to back is the way to do it, to sustain connection with the story and characters.
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