The Papal Stakes

Book - 2012
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A new addition to the multiple New York Times best-selling Ring of Fire series. After carving a place for itself in war-torn 17th century Europe, citizens of the modern town of Grantville, West Virginia take on the Borgias and Papal succession shenanigans that could undermine a Spring of freedom that has come to Europe three centuries early.

#15 in the multiple bestselling Ring of Fire Series.

It's springtime in the Eternal City, 1635. But it's no Roman holiday for uptimer Frank Stone and his pregnant downtime wife, Giovanna. They're in the clutches of would-be Pope Cardinal Borgia, with the real Pope-Urban VII -on the run with the renegade embassy of uptime Ambassador Sharon Nichols and her swashbuckling downtime husband, Ruy Sanchez de Casador y Ortiz. Up to their necks in papal assassins, power politics, murder, and mayhem, the uptimers and their spouses need help and they need it quickly.

Special rescue teams-including Harry Lefferts and his infamous Wrecking Crew-converge on Rome to extract Frank and Gia. And an uptime airplane is on its way to spirit the Pope to safety before Borja's assassins can find him. It seems that everything is going to work out just fine in sunny Italy.

Until, that is, everything goes wrong. Now, whether they are prisoners in Rome or renegades protecting a pope on the run, it's up to the rough and ready can-do attitude of Grantville natives to once again escape the clutches of aristocratic skullduggery and ring in freedom for a war-torn land.

About Eric Flint's Ring of Fire series:

"This alternate history series is...a landmark..."-- Booklist

"[Eric] Flint's 1632 universe seems to be inspiring a whole new crop of gifted alternate historians."-- Booklist

"...reads like a technothriller set in the age of the Medicis..."-- Publishers Weekly

"...each new entry appears better than the previous one, a seemingly impossible feat...terrific."-- Midwest Book Review

"[C]ombines accurate historical research with bold leaps of the imagination."-- Library Journal
Publisher: Riverdale : Baen ; New York : Distributed by Simon & Schuster, 2012.
ISBN: 9781451638394
Characteristics: 654 p. : maps ; 25 cm.
Additional Contributors: Gannon, Charles E.


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Jan 28, 2018

Reads like 17th century alternative history spy thriller with a) sign & countersign using certain TV show, b) how to counter special forces tactics & c) a George Smiley archetype antagonist who won't underestimate his opponents unlike other & have his own secret agenda.
Kind of nice for author to break Wrecking crew's winning streak by better opponent.
Yes, it sort of went Mission impossible with airship & use of SKS assault rifle ,but it was nail-biting methodical adventure by new protagonist aka United States of Europe spymaster acting like James Bond.

Mar 23, 2014

"This is another very enjoyable book in the 1632 series. There is action galore. There are villains around every corner or behind every tree. Or so it seems. There's the scent of clouds of black powder, the smell of spilled blood and the tang of saltwater. Even the discourses on canonical law are to the point and readable. The basic plot, as described in Heinlein's 'On The Writing of Speculative Fiction', is 'The man who learned better'. One of the main men learning better is Harry Lefferts. He has to rescue Frank and Giovanna Stone from the clutches of the infamous would-be Pope, Gaspar de Borja y Velasco. I don't want to give away too many spoilers. So, I won't tell you what he learned, how and why. I will say that there is plenty of action involved in the learning and it is all eminently readable. The action covers Northern Italy from the Alps to Rome and the Western Mediterranean."

I found this to be a fairly accurate review of the book. The theological arguments I found a little hard to follow at times but okay. There are some heartbreaking moments with characters that I've gotten attached to but hopefully not too many more of the original Grantville residents will be killed off. I am looking forward to the next book in this series.

Dec 21, 2012

Slogged though 2/3 to get to the completely "set up" kill-fests in the last 1/6. Killing baddy down timers after they have killed lots of goodie down timers and our up timers have suffered for their mistakes isn't very much fun.


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