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on 13 January 2016
Flint's 'Ring of Fire' series offers an enjoyable romp through European history - with a twist. Being familiar with this period certainly helps, as long as one is prepared to suspend expectations of accuracy as the stories move further away from reality as the impact of the American time travellers becomes more widespread. I've just purged my bookshelves and this is one of the series I replaced with Kindle versions as I reread them about once a year - speed reading is expensive. My favourites remain 1632 and 1633 but his introduction of subsequent characters' storylines works well. I'm just about to read 'Parcel of Rogues', the latest, and am wondering how Darryl's and Oliver Cromwell's story will develop.
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on 7 September 2013
So far I have enjoyed all the previous Ring of Fire books written by Eric Flint, and have finished them in a relatively short time, wanting to go on to the next. Not so this one. The first half is (as another reviewer described it) concentrated history of an almost somnambulist type, which tried to put people and places together. Not helped by the small size of the maps on the kindle, and even after getting hold of a large scale map it was difficult to sort out which duke, 'von' or other major personas were on whose side! In addition a lot of the language does not ring 'true' in the early part of the book and it seems the writer has imagined too much of a modern lifestyle piggybacked into 17th century life; I can believe the larger picture but not the minutae of local life.

By about half way I was almost ready to give up, but at last some sense could be made of the story, so I have continued to read. Its now some three weeks in (my average is about 4-5 days) and I'm nearly three quarters of the way through. I've perservered because I have read the previous books, but this is not a stand alone novel. Anyone picking this up as their intro to the Ring of Fire series would probably not get past the first few pages and thus not read any of the others either.

I've given it three stars purely because its 'okay', but I could happily have avoided the whole thing.
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on 2 February 2012
I enjoy the whole concept behind the ring of fire series. This book has some thoughts on education mixed in with the complicated world of Hapsburg politics.

I do not think this is a good stand-alone book since so much of the understanding and engagement necessary is built in the earlier books, but if you have read and enjoyed the earlier books this will continue the look at 17th Century European life through a slightly jingoistic and simplistic lens.
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on 1 July 2011
Typical Ring of Fire fare - really enjoyed it but if I have one criticism it is that unless you've read the rest this one will confuse you. I notice that other reviewers didn't like it but their reviews seem to indicate that they have short attentions spans!
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on 25 July 2009
This book was a disapointment, after all the other great books in the series I had read noteably none with Virginia DeMarco as co auther.
The book took a lot of getting into.
I lived in germany for 14 years; speak the language fluently and have a lifelong interest in history but even I got confused by the way the book jumped around all over Europe with far too many characters. It cedrtainly could not be read by anone who was not already steeped in the preceding series. The situation wasnt helped by what can only be dewscribed as bed edditing and an eccentric use choice of placename sometimes with the propper German name and sometimes with what we call the place ie Cologne was called Cologne rather than the German Koeln fine but then why was Vienna called Wien? this is all through the book god help non German speakers.
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on 28 April 2015
The first few books in the series were great reads, this book is slow and there is such a large number of characters that it is hard to keep track what is going on, where and why.
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on 22 November 2013
Nothing to dislike, an engaging read.
Catches up with a lots of the RoF folk, introduses some new & interesting ones, surprises & leaves you satisfied.
A good read:)
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on 1 November 2012
The book was about what i expected it to be, although you really have to have read all of the previous books in order to understand the underlying plot.
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on 9 July 2012
The book was much to long. it should have been half the length. The maps were inadequate and onecould not follow the action on them.
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on 28 June 2014
I enjoyed this, a new fantasy world I have never visited before, Now I get to read the other books in the Series,
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