A fitting end to a groundbreaking series,
This review is from: The Trade of Queens (Merchant Princes) (Hardcover)
Sadly, this is the last book in this series. Most series end by running out of steam, their plots all worn out. This series, unusually, still has multiple plotlines left.
The core concept, which started out as a fantasy device, is a North American setting of alternate realities, which certain individuals can 'jump' between, when staring at a unique pattern for the destination reality. The 'World Walkers' from families with this ability use it to run illegal drug operations in one alternate reality that resembles contemporary America. There are two different 'crime' families, who fell out in a feud in times past. Miriam, the lead character, brought up in the American 'reality', is an heir, via her mother, to leadership of the main 'Family'.
She has essentially driven the plot throughout the series, as her American upbringing and original ideas continually grate against the conservative Family 'old guard'. Miriam discovers another reality, a British colony isolated by a powerful France, in which revolution against its failed monarchy is brewing. She creates new business here and makes a friend who ends up high in government after the revolution breaks. She even makes contact with the despised 'lost family'.
In this final book the Family old guard make their play. Despite deals with the corrupt US VP, they steal suitcase nukes and use them against Washington as a warning. The US though has researched alternate world jumping and cracked the science behind it. An attack to wipe out the Families is planned, with the added bonus of access to all the oil in the 'Texas' of the Family reality. Miriam and her supporters flee to the 'revolution' reality but bump into elements of the lost Family in league with a ruthless doctor who was running a hidden breeding program for world walkers. The only weak element of this book is how much it drops the reader into things: there are "info-dumps" but they are few and far between. Do not start reading here.
While plot threads are tied up, others could be opened by the use of other alternate Americas, discovered in this series but not explored. Even if no more books are ever forthcoming, this series would work well on television.