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The Hidden Family (2005)

by Charles Stross

Other authors: See the other authors section.

Series: Merchant Princes (2)

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingMentions
1,2132414,076 (3.52)25
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.… (more)
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» See also 25 mentions

Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
I want more in the way of economics. ... Yes, that's right! More economic theory, less explosions! ( )
  Loryndalar | Mar 19, 2020 |
Worth noting: this and [b:The Family Trade|17861|The Family Trade (The Merchant Princes, #1)|Charles Stross|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1316637838s/17861.jpg|930587] were originally written as one volume but wound up split up for publication, which makes [b:The Family Trade|17861|The Family Trade (The Merchant Princes, #1)|Charles Stross|http://photo.goodreads.com/books/1316637838s/17861.jpg|930587]'s abrupt and weak ending make a lot more sense. ( )
  thegreatape | Jan 7, 2020 |
I'm just not sold on economical science fiction. And I think this might be why I didn't particularly like following this book's story line. We get a third world, we get a dramatic showdown with a character sacrifice thrown in in the end, and that's … it. Other than that it's slow, tiring movement of goods and ideas between three worlds. Didn't work for me, might work for an economy major. ( )
  _rixx_ | Aug 30, 2018 |
I don't know what took me so long to get back to this series. As I read it I remembered how much I liked the old style pulp cliffhanger feeling. Sometimes the plot runs a little thin but I really like the characters and all the back stabbing. I am looking forward to the next one. ( )
  CSDaley | Mar 28, 2018 |
Ok, the first part of the book is the discovery of another parallel world, and the setting up of this was enjoyable... then we deteriorate into action scenes and plotting... I think I just like seeing the mechanics of world building more than the rest... ( )
  jkdavies | Jun 14, 2016 |
Showing 1-5 of 24 (next | show all)
added by lquilter | editSF Site, Greg L. Johnson (Dec 31, 2005)
 

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Charles Strossprimary authorall editionscalculated
Youll, PaulCover artistsecondary authorsome editionsconfirmed
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For my parents
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The committee meeting was entering its third hour when the king sneezed, bringing matters to a head.
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"He is very conservative, my father, and insisted I learn the feminine virtues -- deportment, dancing, embroidery, and marksmanship." (part 2, "History Lesson", p.67)
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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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.

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