Mercedes Lackey is a full-time writer and has published numerous novels and works of short fiction, including the best-selling Heralds of Valdemar series. She is also a professional lyricist and a licensed wild bird rehabilitator. She lives in Oklahoma with her husband, artist Larry Dixon, and their flock of parrots. She can be found at mercedeslackey.com. From the Trade Paperback edition.
Eric Flint is a modern master of alternate history fiction, with more than 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, he has collaborated on 1633 and 1634: The Baltic War and latest Honorverse series entry Cauldron of Ghosts. Flint's latest Ring of Fire novel is 1637: The Polish Maelstrom. Flint was for many years a labor union activist. He lives near Chicago, Illinois. Dave Freer is an ichthyologist turned author who lives on Flinders Island (between mainland Australia and Tasmania) with his wife, four dogs and four cats, and two sons. He has coauthored a range of novels with Eric Flint (Rats, Bats and Vats, The Rats, the Bats and the Ugly, Pyramid Scheme, and Pyramid Power), with Mercedes Lackey and Eric Flint (The Shadow of the Lion, This Rough Magic, The Wizard of Karres, Much Fall of Blood) as well as writing the solo novels The Forlorn, A Mankind Witch and Dragon's Ring, all for Baen.
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.
"A luscious bouillabaisse of alternate history, high fantasy, and
." . . a sweeping alternate history. . . . The authors deftly wield the juxtaposition of fantasy and history into a finely crafted story."
"[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] top pick . . . fast-paced action and complex, believable settings."
"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. . . ."