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Pleasing conspiracy/alternate world crossover with attention to detail.,
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This review is from: The Bloodline Feud: This Merchant Princes omnibus includes The Family Trade and The Hidden Family (Kindle Edition)
By far the most insightful look into the implications of being able to cross between alternate universes.
Its been done in the past but not with such an attention to detail or insight into the reality of human nature.
The subtopics are crime families/money laundering/economic theory. Might appear a bit dry to some but is kept lively with frequent assassination attempts and machiavellian politics.
Reporter Miriam is fired when her investigation leads her into the shady territory of corporate money laundering. Unfortunately one of the companies involved in the laundering owns her paper. When fired she visits her adoptive mother who gives her a shoebox of her birth mothers belongings. The box contains an amulet that when looked at ports her into an alternate world. That world is ostensibly medieval - but she is suprised when guards with machine guns try and kill her.
Her investigative instinct woken up by this encorages her to dig further and she soon falls int to the hands of a family using the ability to rule the medieval world. Their power is based largely on smuggling narcotics and importing technology into the medieval world to consolidate their power. Miriam is soon embroiled in the power struggles of 'the Clan' as they style themselves.
This collects works originally published as two books into one volume. It appears that the intention was originally for the series to be collected into works of this length. I think it shows - as both books together feel like a single story with a logical conclusion point.
The story is fairly straightforward as Stross goes. None of the dark humor of the LAundry files - or the whacky SF of his other workds. The only fantastic element is the unexplained world walking ability. Its a good read, with lively characters and reads as a cross between a crime thriller and a medieval period piece.