The Family Trade : The Merchant Princes

  • by Charles Stross
  • Narrated by Kate Reading
  • Series: The Merchant Princes
  • 11 hrs and 53 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

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.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

A Techie Read A Manual On Novel Writing

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.
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- MxH "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 wanted to like this book

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.
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- clifford "akitonmyers"

Book Details

  • Release Date: 03-10-2015
  • Publisher: Macmillan Audio