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This Rough Magic by Mercedes Lackey
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This Rough Magic (2003)

by Mercedes Lackey, Eric Flint, Dave Freer

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Heirs of Alexandria (2)

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Heirs of Alexandria #2
  Ronald.Marcil | Jul 7, 2019 |
The Heirs of Alexandria series, by Mercedes Lackey, Eric Flint and Dave Freer. These are historical fantasies (c.1440 AD) set in an alternate universe. They are mostly set in Venice or the Eastern Mediterranean. The break point is the death of Hypatia in 415 AD; in this universe she survived and became a colleague of John Chrystostom, founding the Hypatian Order. The other thing is that magic and magical beings exist. See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Heirs_of_Alexandria_series for more information.

1 Heirs of Alexandria, by Mercedes Lackey, Eric Flint and Dave Freer​
Set in 1437+1438 in Venice. Orphan half-brothers Marco and Benito Valdosta acquire a protector and become involved in the politics of the city, saving it from a threat posed by Jagellion, Grand Duke of Lithuania (who has been taken over by a demon). They become involved with Manfred of Brittany, second heir to the Holy Roman Emperor Charles Frederick Hohenstauffen, and his Vinlander bodyguard, Eric Haakonson, who foils a plot by a religious order, the Servants of the Trinity, and their secular arm, the Knights of the Trinity.

2 This Rough Magic, by Mercedes Lackey, Eric Flint and Dave Freer​
Set in 1438-1439 in Venice & Corfu. Marco stays behind in Venice, Benito is exiled to Corfu (we won't mention why). Manfred and Erik head to Jerusalem. King Emeric of Hungary decides to invade Corfu with assistance from his long-lved 'aunt', Elizabeth Bathory, and Jagellion..

2.5 A Mankind Witch, by Dave Freer​
Set in 1438-1439 in Telemark (one of the Scandinavian kingdoms). A Barbary corsair on a plundering expedition to the north is shipwrecked and taken as a thrall in Telemark. He is given to the Princess Signy, who is under the subjection of her stepmother and half-brother (who is now the king).

3 Much Fall of Blood, by Mercedes Lackey, Eric Flint and Dave Freer​
Set in 1540-1541 in the Balkans and the Eurasian steppe. Following the invasion of Corfu, Benito is made acting governor and starts making feelers to Iskander Beg. Manfred and Eric continue their interrupted pilgrimage to Jerusalem, and end up escorting a Mongol ambassador from the Ilkhanate to their cousins in the Golden Horde. In Hungary, Elizabeth Bathory frees Vlad of Valachia from King Emeric - she has designs on him. Vlad escapes and falls in with a shapeshifter pack who take him back to Valachia where he raises the flag of rebellion.

4 Burdens of the Dead, by Mercedes Lackey, Eric Flint and Dave Freer​
Set in 1540-1541 in Constantinople and the Black Sea. Benito leads a fleet to invade the Byzantine Empire in order to depose Alexius (who has gone too far dealing with foreigners). The Ilkhanate are unhappy with the Baitani who have been fomenting trouble in the Black Sea.

I very much like this series; it's the sort of fantasy I enjoy. As #5 is due out later this year, I thought it best to refresh my memory (although I probably won't get it until the paperback comes out...) . Somewhat reminiscent of the Merovingen Nights sharecrop (especially the first in the series), but fantasy rather than SF. Each book is a standalone, but it helps to have read the previous to understand the politics (apart from A Mankind Witch which is a true-standalone). I do like these - they're an epic romp through early renaissance politics - it's fun spotting the historical background and wondering what could have happened to so-and-so. The glaring omission is the Medici in Florence; we see the Del Estes of Ferrara, the Visconti of Milan, and Carlo Sforza, but no mention of the Medici (Florence is mentioned, but doesn't seem to be one of the great city states in this version of history). The other thing is that there seems to be some conflation of history; partly because of the different timeline and partly because of the old magical beings still extant.

Recommended. (Similar are: The Kushiel series by Jacqueline Carey although this version has Christianity, and also the Instrumentalities of the Night series by Glen Cook. The Mongol Empire is similar to the Assassini series by Jon Courtney Grimwood.)
  Maddz | Jul 12, 2018 |
This book was positively addictive, though I had figured out a bit before it happened. That aside, I truly enjoyed. It'll probably be a while before I find another book that I devour like that.



I read about half of the book in one day.
  liveshipvivacia | Apr 26, 2014 |
This book was positively addictive, though I had figured out a bit before it happened. That aside, I truly enjoyed. It'll probably be a while before I find another book that I devour like that.



I read about half of the book in one day.
  liveshipvivacia | Apr 26, 2014 |
baen ebook
  romsfuulynn | Apr 28, 2013 |
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» Add other authors

Author nameRoleType of authorWork?Status
Lackey, Mercedesprimary authorall editionsconfirmed
Flint, Ericmain authorall editionsconfirmed
Freer, Davemain authorall editionsconfirmed
Dixon, LarryCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
Russo, CarolCover designersecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0743499093, Mass Market Paperback)

Venice had been thrown into chaos by the scheming of Chernobog, who came within a hair of seizing absolute power, but was thwarted by the guardian Lion-spirit, who awoke to protect his city from the power-mad demon. But the power of the Lion does not extend beyond Venice, and Chernobog has a new ally in the King of Hungary, who has laid siege to the island of Corfu as the first step in his plan to seize control of the Adriatic from Venice. Trapped on the island is the small band of heroes who awoke the Lion and blocked Chernobog's power grab before. They are far from the Lion's power to help them, but as Manfred and Erik lead a guerrilla movement to fight the Hungarian invaders, Maria discovers that the ancient magical powers of the island are coming to life again, stirred by the siege. If she can make an alliance with them, she may be able to repel the invaders-but not without paying a bitter personal price. . . .

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:23:40 -0400)

(see all 2 descriptions)

The demon Chernobog had almost seized absolute power in Venice until the guardian Lion-spirit awoke to protect his city. But the Lion's power is limited to Venice, and Chernobog has allied with the King of Hungary in besieging the island of Corfu to control the Adriatic.… (more)

» see all 2 descriptions

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