Miriam Beckstein is happy in her life as a successful reporter. When she gets iron-clad evidence of a money-laundering scheme, Miriam thinks she's found the story of the year. But when she takes it to her editor, she's fired on the spot and gets a death threat from the criminals she's uncovered. Before the day is over, she's received a locket left by the mother she never knew - the mother who was murdered when she was an infant. The knotwork pattern within has a hypnotic effect on her. Before she knows it, she's transported herself to a parallel Earth, a world where knights on horseback chase their prey with automatic weapons and where her true family is in charge.
The six families of the Clan rule the kingdom of Gruinmarkt from behind the scenes, a mixture of nobility and criminal conspirators whose exclusive inherited power to walk between the worlds makes them rich in both. Her unexpected return will supercede the claims of other clan members to her mother's fortune and power, and whoever killed her mother will be happy to see her dead, too. But Miriam is no one's pawn, and is determined to conquer her new home on her own terms.
Blending the creativity and humor of Roger Zelazny, the adventure of H. Beam Piper and Philip Jose Farmer, Charles Stross has set a new standard for fantasy epics.
©2004 Charles Stross (P)2015 Macmillan Audio
Strong characters in all genres. and narrators who don't ham it up.
Charlie Stross creates a phenomenal/creative multiverse that really makes you think. Some of the things I wondered about are not developed until later books but he always out does my expectations. Charlie introduces lots of unexpected twists and turns through out the series. He may not be as hard on his characters as George Martin, but he can be ruthless. (He doesn't make death gruesome or revolting, but there is no doubt about the feeling of loss.) He doesn't seem to believe in everyone riding off into the sunset and living happily ever after. Life is hard and choices have consequences, but the series is adequately escapist. I did think it could be better if it was a little shorter, but it was certainly a fun romp and worth the investment. Finally, Kate Reading was a fantastic reader. She brought the characters to life and let the story develop. I recommend the entire series.
I have picked up Stross books in the past and have not been able to find the supposed redeeming qualities others reviewers do.
This is a strange story. I like strange stories. But this one has too many lethargic uninspired observations. The underlying plot has a lady reporter adopted at birth finding out she is part of a clan that can travel between our world and a second copy of our world stuck in the Mid-evil era. The clan rules over there gaining great wealth by being drug couriers in this one.
Basically the novel is about fish out of water learning about either that world or this, political infighting, and B romance.
Character development, the underlying sci-fi/fantasy concept, dialog, and plot are all below average.
I am a voracious reader of all fiction genres and poetry. I occasionally venture into humor, history, and science. I loathe self-help books.
I think this techie author read a manual called "How To Write Sci-Fi/Fanatasy For Dummies". The resultant world building, characterizations, and plot progression are shallow and incongruent. Its like listening to a crappy first-person game with audio description. Kate Reading, the narrator, saves the book from a one star rating.
So they kidnapped her, took away all her rights and she's bloody fine with it?! What's wrong with her reactions to events?!
To be continued... *keeps listening*
And totally rolls with the situation without protesting or making any fuss. Is she unable to say "no" and stand up for herself? I seriously hope she finds her backbone. A journalist should have one.
And then she becomes best buddy with the guy who explains all the things she is not allowed to do. Never once is she outraged.
Five hours and still no plot and no clue what this book is all about, apart from world traveling trade and aristocratic families.
this series is an excellent and captivating story line. Delving it alternate but parallel worlds, unique societies and convoluted plots.
Kate Reading does an outstanding job with the characters their voices and the dialects, making them very real.
she does the entire series so there is good continuity.
a very fun listen. And yes I purchased the entire series.
First I want to say the author has great imagination and vision. There is a lot of deep thought in the storyline to make a saga.
That said I found that this book lacked a certain level of action and intrigue. The book will have your attention and then it just fizzles out. I feel that it is about to get interesting in the following books but I don't want to spend the money or time out of fear that I will be wrong.
The narrator wasn't bad. I detected a lot of the UK in the New England accents but for me it was amusing.
I think there may be some other genres by this author I should check out because I like the style that was being developed but this book in particular didn't do it for me.
"a bit disappointing"
Charles Stross' weakest so far. get back to the geek I say. Disappointed and couldn't wait for it to end.
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