Wednesday, December 30, 2015

1635: A Parcel of Rogues by Eric Flint and Andrew Dennis


1635: A Parcel of RoguesAlternate History
From Goodreads:
Book #20 in the multiple New York Times best-selling Ring of Fire series. When the diplomatic embassy from the United States of Europe was freed from the Tower of London during the Baltic War, most of its members returned to the continent. But some remained behind in Britain, including notorious enemy to the crown Oliver Cromwell. Now,  the hunt for Cromwell is on, with King Charles himself demanding Cromwell’s head.

When the diplomatic embassy from the United States of Europe was freed from the Tower of London during the Baltic War, most of its members returned to the continent. But some remained behind in Britain: Oliver Cromwell and a few companions, including the sharpshooter Julie Sims, her Scot husband Alex Mackay, and Cromwell’s Irish-American self-appointed watchdog Darryl McCarthy.

Soon, the hunt is on for the most notorious rebel in English history, with King Charles himself demanding Cromwell’s head. The new chief minister Richard Boyle, Earl of Cork, brings over from Ireland a notorious crew of cutthroats led by the man called Finnegan to track down and capture the escapees from the Tower.

The hunt passes through England and into Scotland, where the conflict between Cromwell and his companions and their would-be captors becomes embroiled in Scotland’s politics, which are every bit as savage and ruthless as Finnegan and his men. To make things still more conflicted and confused, the time Darryl McCarthy spends fighting alongside Cromwell forces him against his will to admire and respect—and even like—the man, despite Cromwell’s demonic reputation among all self-respecting Irish nationalist families like Darryl’s own.

It’s a Gordian knot anywhere you look—until Julie Sims brings out her rifle. Now it’s the turn of Scot partisans and English lords and Irish toughs to learn the lesson already learned on the continent:

A safe distance isn’t what you think it is. Not after the American angel of death spreads her wings.

A Parcel of Rogues is a must read for fans of the Ring of Fire series.  In the time line this fills in an event that happened early in the series.  Mike Stern is still running the United States of Europe and the escape from the Tower of London just happened.  Alex and Julie, two of the main characters as the series began stayed in England after the escape and we are just now finding out what happened to them and to Oliver Cromwell.
I found the first part of the book a little slow.  Since I am reviewing an ARC of A Parcel of Rogues some of the things that slowed the book down may be edited out.  There is a lot about Finnegan, the man tracking them down, that I could have skipped.  The same goes for all of the explanations about history and how it is changed.  That  could be shorten.  Of course that is me and some readers may think it needs the long explanations.
The last part of the book was just the opposite.  There was plenty of action, danger and tension.  Julie, Alex, Darryl McCarthy and Cromwell all play a part in keeping everyone safe.  A nice ending to the question of what happened in England and Scotland after the escape.
A Parcel of Rogues is not the best book in the series but it is an important side story and may lead to future books set in England.
Baen published A Parcel of Rogues by Eric Flint and Andrew Dennis.  The book is due out in 2016.
I received an ARC of A Parcel of Rogues from Edelweiss in return for an honest review.

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