New York Times bestselling author Mercedes Lackey has written over one hundred titles and has no plans to slow down. Known best for her tales of Valdemar and The Five Hundred Kingdoms, she's also a prolific lyricist and records her own music. Eric Flint is a modern master of alternate history fiction, with over three million books in print. He's the author/creator of the multiple New York Times best-selling Ring of Fire series starting with first novel 1632. With David Drake he has written six popular novels in the "Belisarius" alternate Roman history series, and with David Weber collaborated on 1633 and 1634: The Baltic War and latest Honorverse series entry Cauldron of Ghosts. Flint's latest Ring of Fire novel is 1636: The Ottoman Onslaught. Flint was for many years a labor union activist. He lives near Chicago, Illinois.
The prolific Lackey (the Bardic Voices series, the Urban Faerie series, etc.) and cohorts Flint (1632) and Freer (The Forlorn) whip up a luscious bouillabaisse of politics, intrigue, love and black magic set in an "Other-worldly, New-Age Venice." Like the actual 16th-century city-state, the authors' Venice of the 1530s is a dangerous place, filled with as many illicit love affairs as murders. Garbage and occasional dead bodies float in the stinking canals. The city is also a target for would-be foreign conquerors: the Vatican, the Holy Roman Empire, the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Poland, and the small city-state of Ferrara, ruled by Enrico Dell'este, who surreptitiously watches his grandsons, Marco and Benito, the story's water-rat heroes. Around Benito, a thief, and Marco, a canal doctor, swirl a host of characters, major and minor: the men and women who ply the gondolas and rafts; the spy Caesare Aldanto, the boys' supporter; plus courtesans, whores, monks, priests, knights, shamans, undines and the demon Chernobog. Meanwhile, the winged lion of St. Mark's, symbol of Venice, is stirring, and its shadow falls on Marco as the city's future ruler. The authors' use of contemporary American vernacular "get real," "fat chance," etc. instead of pompous period speech keeps the pages turning fast, but the last-minute stampede of fantastic monsters that abruptly resolves the story's various conflicts makes for a clunky climax. In a book this fat the glossary at the end is essential. (Mar.) Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information.
"The prolific Lackey and cohorts Flint and Freer whip up a luscious
bouillabaisse of politics, intrigue, love and black magic. . . .
The authors' use of contemporary American vernacular . . . keeps
the pages turning fast. . . ."
"[A] massive concoction of alternate history, high fantasy, and historical romance . . . rich plotting, vivid characterization, and splendid evocation of Renaissance ethics and culture should make readers turn all the pages."
." . . a sweeping alternate history. . . . The authors deftly wield the juxtaposition of fantasy and history into a finely crafted story."
"[A] top pick . . . fast-paced action and complex, believable settings."
"A luscious bouillabaisse of alternate history, high fantasy, and historical romance."