The Bloodline Feud by Charles Stross

The Merchant Princes, Book 1 & 2

Synopsis: Miriam knows there’s no smoke without fire. And she’s about to get burnt…

The Family Trade and The Hidden Family – The first two installments of the Merchant Princes series combined in one volume.

Miriam Beckstein is a successful reporter for a hi-tech magazine. So when she discovers a huge money-laundering scam, she thinks she’s hit the big time. But when she takes it to her editor, she’s not only fired, but receives death threats. That’s just the beginning.

To distract her furious daughter, Miriam’s adopted mother unearths mementos from her real mother, murdered when she was an infant. But these reveal a secret that will ultimately throw governments into disarray. For what Miriam thinks is a simple locket has the power to fling her into an alternate timeline. In this less-developed world, knights on horseback wield automatic weapons, and world-skipping assassins lurk on the other side of our reality. Here, her true family runs a criminal empire – and they want her back. But Miriam has other plans.

Review: I did not know anything about the author or the novels and I confess that when I received the book, I was not sure it would be for me. Why is that? The cover didn’t really attract me that much (yes I’m superficial). Yet I had a great time with this story that compiles the first and second book in the series.

Miriam’s life will change overnight when she is fired from her job with her ​​assistant after finding a huge scoop combining a large number of important people. At the same time, her adoptive mother gives her a box with items that belonged to her biological mother. There she discovers a locket that will completely change the game! Oh yes, because the young woman discovers that the object can allow her to travel from one world to another, a very different world from hers in regard of technologies. In fact, everyone seems to live in the Victorian era, all controlled by clans, a kind of mafia that earns large amounts of money by doing business between the kingdoms. It is in this context that Miriam appears, learning that she is the daughter of an important (and murdered) woman of the clan. But this fact complicates everything because it seems that many people now want her dead. And as she tries to understand with the Roland’s help, a member of her family (and maybe more), who she is and what this world hides, she will also understand that there is more than all this. Miriam is full of revolutionary ideas and she is determined to change the laws governing the game of power and money. So we’ll go on an adventure while following this heroine to discover the secrets of the worlds.

I took great pleasure in discovering this story. The author has created a completely amazing universe! I confess that I did not expect that at all, but it was fascinating to discover what these worlds could conceal. Although we have similarities with ours, their past, their history, their advances are all different. But Miriam is determined to shake the clans, and it’s true that I was really curious to see what she would do. This young woman is amazing! She is projected in a life she does not know anything about and she will have to adapt very quickly. And even though it will be very hard to know who she can turn to and who she can trust, she will have to choose her allies to thwart all the multiple attempted murder against her. But Miriam is much smarter than it appears to be and I did not expect to find such a plan for her. Our young heroine will join forces with a few people who will help her throughout the story and that we enjoy exploring about.

The author did a great job on his story, worlds and details. It is even very difficult to know exactly what people think and their ulterior motives and it’s true that everything keeps us in suspense throughout the book. I do not want to give too much away but I can tell you that this novel is a mix of conspiracy, betrayal, murder and money. An explosive mix and I look forward to reading the sequel!


34 thoughts on “The Bloodline Feud by Charles Stross

  1. I haven’t heard about this book before, so, for starters, thank you for sharing.

    Oh, I love it when the writting is done so masterfuly that it keeps you on your toes until the very end and when you can’t even guess what would happen.
    Great review, Melliane!

  2. Whoever says they don’t judge a book by the cover is lying! The cover is what attracts our attention in the first place… And *then* we check out the synopsis to see if it’s something we’d like. I’m glad you enjoyed it even though you weren’t sure of it at first! 🙂

  3. Haha, I’m a little superficial when it comes to covers. 😉 But yay for dimension travelling, and I love ones set in the Victorian era, and sometimes they’re hit or miss with me, but I do like reading about Mafia’s (I know, weird, but there we go, haha.) Glad you enjoyed it! 🙂

  4. I wouldn’t say you’re superficial, Melliane, the cover is the first thing that attract us all to a book. I’m just glad you decided to give this one a go since you ended up loving it. Sometimes the cover just doesn’t make justice to a great story, huh? Thanks for sharing your thoughts! 🙂

  5. Oh. Now I like the sounds of these. I wasn’t sure at first seeing/hearing about it but now it sounds like something I’d enjoy. 🙂 Thank you.

  6. I love when that happens Melliane! It use to have those expereinces a lot more ofter when I read more. I used take blid shots on $.99 cent kindle books a lot more than I do now., and I remember how good it felt when you got something good 🙂
    That blurb sounds super interesting and to have your review confirmed it makes even more appealing.

  7. I didn’t think this was my kind of book up to the locket. (and yes I totally judge books based on their covers) The alternate world with crime lords sounds interesting, and I particularly like the sounds of this main character. I’m glad you had a pleasant surprise with this book. 🙂

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