The Clan Corporate

I read the first book of the Clan Corporate series, The Family Trade, goodness, four years ago. And where I was, then, a little miffed that the book just sort of stopped*, I'm glad I waited until the whole series was out before tackling the rest, because I just blew through the five remaining books in a week or so, to the point where I couldn't at this point tell you what happened in one book or another.

The great thing about these books is that they take an old fantasy trope—what if you discovered that you that your real parents were magical and you could just walk from this world to a fantasy land of princes and princesses—and imbues it with a modern spirit. Our heroine, for example, is not a child but a capable adult, an investigative reporter with the skills and drive to really delve into what she's discovered. And the fantasy land is not a two-dimensional landscape, it's a medieval landscape with politics, economic struggles, and issues all it's own. The only downside to this realistic treatment of a fantastical subject is a point where the books bog down a little in the middle as Stross sort of writes our heroine into a corner where even her capable resources are rendered helpless in the face of all the forces arrayed against her. Perhaps it's realistic that a single person is often powerless against historical forces, but it's sort of a drag in the middle of an adventure series.

FuzzyCo grade: B+

The Hidden Family
The Clan Corporate
The Merchants War
The Revolution Business
The Trade of Queens

* It was, I discovered, really just half of a longer book that Stross had to chop up because his publisher said, no we're not going to publish something that long—this six volume series is really just a trilogy of longer books.