The Hidden Family
Book Two of Merchant Princes
By Charles Stross
(Tor Books, Hardcover, 9780765313478, 304pp.)
Publication Date: May 19, 2005
Other Editions of This Title: Mass Market Paperback
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A bold fantasy in the tradition of Roger Zelazny's Chronicles of Amber, The Merchant Princes is a sweeping new series from the hottest new writer in science fiction!
The six families of the Clan rule the kingdom of Gruinmarkt from behind the scenes, a mixture of nobility and criminal conspirators whose power to walk between their world and ours make them rich in both. Braids of family loyalty and intermarriage provide a fragile guarantee of peace, but a recently ended civil war has left the families shaken and suspicious.
Miriam, a hip tech journalist form Boston, discovered her alternate-world relatives with explosive results that shook three worlds. Now, as the prodigal Countess Helge Thorold-Hyorth, she finds herself ensnared in schemes and plots centuries in the making. She is surrounded by unlikely allies, lethal contraband, and, most dangerous of all, her family. With her modern American attitudes, she's not sure she can fit in, or if she even wants to, but to stay alive, she really has no choice.
To avoid a slippery slope down to an unmarked grave, Miriam must build a power-base of her own. She started applying modern business practices and scientific knowledge to a trade heretofore dominated by medieval mercantilists-with unexpected consequences for three different timelines, including the quasi-Victorian one exploited by the hidden family.
Blending the creativity and humor of Roger Zelazny, the adventure of H. Beam Piper and Philip Jose Farmer, and the rigor and scope of a science-fiction writer on the grandest scale, Charles Stross has set a new standard for fantasy epics.
Charles Stross is one of the big new SF writers of the 21st century, and the saga of The Merchant Princes is his most ambitious work yet.
Charles Stross is a full-time writer who was born in Leeds, England in 1964. He studied in London and Bradford, gaining degrees in pharmacy and computer science, and has worked in a variety of jobs, including pharmacist, technical writer, software engineer and freelance journalist. After gaining considerable attention with his short fiction, his first novel, Singularity Sky was published in 2003. He lives with his wife in Edinburgh, Scotland in a flat that is slightly older than the state of Texas.
Praise for The Family Trade:
"At last, a story in which a character from our world is plunged into another, and doesn't act like a complete idiot. Miriam Beckstein is sharp-witted enough not to waste time trying to pretend that she can avoid the dilemmas that have been forced on her, while being human enough to let her emotions guide her into risky territory. . .Stross not only creates an alternate world that is fascinating and original, he even does the unheard of, for a fantasist: His depiction of our world is deep and real . . . Science fiction is in good hands with Charles Stross here to lead the new generation."--Orson Scott Card
"The Family Trade is an inventive, irreverent, and delightful romp into an alternate world where business is simultaneously low and high tech, and where romance, murder, marriage, and business are hopelessly intertwined -- and deadly."-L. E. Modesitt, Jr.