The Merchant Princes

8 books in series
4.5 out of 5 stars 1,569 ratings

The Family Trade Publisher's Summary

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
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  • Book 1

    • The Family Trade

    • By: Charles Stross
    • Narrated by: Kate Reading
    • Length: 11 hrs and 53 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4 out of 5 stars 466
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 420
    • Story
      4 out of 5 stars 419

    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.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • 6 books - intriguing series

    • By Norman on 06-13-16

    Regular price: $22.67

  • Book 2

    • The Hidden Family

    • Merchant Princes, Book 2
    • By: Charles Stross
    • Narrated by: Kate Reading
    • Length: 11 hrs and 48 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 250
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 229
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 228

    Miriam, a hip tech journalist from Boston, discovered her alternate world relatives in The Family Trade and with them an elite identity she didn't know was hers. Now, in order to avoid a slippery slope down to an unmarked grave, Miriam, known as Lady Helge to the Family, starts applying modern business practices and scientific knowledge to a trade dominated by mercantilists - with unexpected consequences for three different timelines, including the quasi-Victorian one exploited by the hidden family.

    • 5 out of 5 stars
    • Great story and narrator

    • By Amazon Customer Curtis Wright. on 02-12-16

    Regular price: $25.51

  • Book 3

    • The Clan Corporate

    • Book Three of the Merchant Princess
    • By: Charles Stross
    • Narrated by: Kate Reading
    • Length: 12 hrs and 17 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 178
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 163
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 162

    Miriam Beckstein has gotten in touch with her roots, and they have nearly strangled her. A young, hip business journalist in Boston, she discovered (in The Family Trade) that her family comes from an alternate reality, that she is very well-connected, and that her family is too much like the mafia for comfort.

    • 4 out of 5 stars
    • These books are addictive

    • By Kathleen Ward on 10-26-16

    Regular price: $25.51

  • Book 4

    • The Merchants' War

    • Merchant Princes, Book 4
    • By: Charles Stross
    • Narrated by: Kate Reading
    • Length: 14 hrs and 31 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 143
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 130
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 130

    Miriam Beckstein is a young, hip business journalist in Boston. She discovered in The Family Trade and The Hidden Family that her family came from an alternate reality, that she was very well connected, and that her family was too much like the Mafia for comfort. She found herself caught in a family trap in The Clan Corporate and betrothed to a brain-damaged prince, and then all hell broke loose.

    • 2 out of 5 stars
    • My son said not to bother

    • By Susan on 07-22-16

    Regular price: $31.18

  • Book 5

    • The Revolution Business

    • Book Five of the Merchant Princes
    • By: Charles Stross
    • Narrated by: Kate Reading
    • Length: 12 hrs and 37 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 128
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 116
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 117

    Locked in a vicious civil war for control over the kingdom of Niejwein, their army is bottled up inside a fortress under siege in two parallel universes at once. Duke Angbard, the Clan's leader, has been laid low by a stroke: plotters are already conspiring in readiness for the deadly dance to come. Miriam, rescued from a tight spot in New Britain, finds the hopes of the young, progressive faction focused on her.

    Regular price: $21.73

  • Book 6

    • The Trade of Queens

    • Book Six of the Merchant Princes
    • By: Charles Stross
    • Narrated by: Kate Reading
    • Length: 11 hrs and 58 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 129
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 116
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 115

    A dissident faction of the Clan, the alternate-universe group of families that has traded covertly with our world for a century or more, have carried nuclear devices between the worlds and exploded them in Washington, DC, killing the president of the United States. Now they will exterminate the rest of the Clan and keep Miriam alive only long enough to bear her child, the heir to the throne of their land in the Gruinmarkt world.

    • 2 out of 5 stars
    • The author went to sleep

    • By L. Roe on 01-07-16

    Regular price: $21.73

  • Book 7

    • Empire Games

    • By: Charles Stross
    • Narrated by: Kate Reading
    • Length: 13 hrs and 24 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 185
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 169
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 166

    Charles Stross builds a new series with Empire Games. Expanding on the world he created in the Family Trade series, a new generation of paratime travelers walk between parallel universes. The year is 2020. It's 17 years since the Revolution overthrew the last king of the New British Empire, and the newly reconstituted North American Commonwealth is developing rapidly, on course to defeat the French and bring democracy to a troubled world.

    • 3 out of 5 stars
    • Disappointing

    • By Alex Beckers on 03-23-17

    Regular price: $25.51

  • Book 8

    • Dark State

    • A Novel of the Merchant Princes Multiverse
    • By: Charles Stross
    • Narrated by: Kate Reading
    • Length: 13 hrs and 56 mins
    • Unabridged
    • Overall
      4.5 out of 5 stars 90
    • Performance
      4.5 out of 5 stars 82
    • Story
      4.5 out of 5 stars 83

    Dark State ups the ante on the already volatile situations laid out in the sleek techno-thriller Empire Games, the start to Stross' new story-line and a perfect entry point for new listeners, in The Merchant Princes series . In the near-future, the collision of two nuclear superpowers across timelines, one in the midst of a technological revolution and the other a hyper-police state, is imminent. In Commissioner Miriam Burgeson's timeline, her top level agents run a high risk extraction of a major political player.

    • 3 out of 5 stars
    • Good story when it was sometimes told.

    • By Matt on 05-08-18
    • A Novel of the Merchant Princes Multiverse
    • By: Charles Stross
    • Narrated by: Kate Reading
    • Length: 13 hrs and 56 mins
    • Release date: 01-09-18
    • 4.5 out of 5 stars 90 ratings

    Regular price: $25.51