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1636: The Cardinal Virtues

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After carving a free state for itself in war-torn 17th century Europe, citizens of the modern town of Grantville, West Virginia must contend with France's infamous Cardinal Richilieu, who is determined to keep his grip on power no matter what history says. France, 1636 . . . It has been twenty years since King Louis took Ana Maria Mauricia, daughter of Spain's King Philip I After carving a free state for itself in war-torn 17th century Europe, citizens of the modern town of Grantville, West Virginia must contend with France's infamous Cardinal Richilieu, who is determined to keep his grip on power no matter what history says. France, 1636 . . . It has been twenty years since King Louis took Ana Maria Mauricia, daughter of Spain's King Philip III, as his wife, and their union has not yet produced an heir. Under the guidance of his chief minister, Cardinal Richelieu, a plan is developed to remedy that situation. Once she is with child, Queen Anne goes into seclusion to guard her health and protect her from those who would prefer that the child is never born--France's foreign enemies as well as schemers such as Monsieur Gaston d'Orleans, the King's younger brother and heir. When the Crown's opponents make their move, factions inside and outside France must choose sides and help determine the future and fate of the Kingdom.


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After carving a free state for itself in war-torn 17th century Europe, citizens of the modern town of Grantville, West Virginia must contend with France's infamous Cardinal Richilieu, who is determined to keep his grip on power no matter what history says. France, 1636 . . . It has been twenty years since King Louis took Ana Maria Mauricia, daughter of Spain's King Philip I After carving a free state for itself in war-torn 17th century Europe, citizens of the modern town of Grantville, West Virginia must contend with France's infamous Cardinal Richilieu, who is determined to keep his grip on power no matter what history says. France, 1636 . . . It has been twenty years since King Louis took Ana Maria Mauricia, daughter of Spain's King Philip III, as his wife, and their union has not yet produced an heir. Under the guidance of his chief minister, Cardinal Richelieu, a plan is developed to remedy that situation. Once she is with child, Queen Anne goes into seclusion to guard her health and protect her from those who would prefer that the child is never born--France's foreign enemies as well as schemers such as Monsieur Gaston d'Orleans, the King's younger brother and heir. When the Crown's opponents make their move, factions inside and outside France must choose sides and help determine the future and fate of the Kingdom.

30 review for 1636: The Cardinal Virtues

  1. 5 out of 5

    Dan

    It is very rare that I do not really enjoy one of Eric Flint's novels, especially those in the 1632 / Ring Of Fire series. This book was NOT a waste of my time. But neither did it ever manage to truly engage me. It left me feeling like I was drowning in French, and Catholic titles. None of the characters were all that interesting. And there were very few words devoted to any of the main "players" in the 1632 universe. All in all, its only value to me might be in the context of the greater 1632 u It is very rare that I do not really enjoy one of Eric Flint's novels, especially those in the 1632 / Ring Of Fire series. This book was NOT a waste of my time. But neither did it ever manage to truly engage me. It left me feeling like I was drowning in French, and Catholic titles. None of the characters were all that interesting. And there were very few words devoted to any of the main "players" in the 1632 universe. All in all, its only value to me might be in the context of the greater 1632 universe, and it's future.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Daniel Shellenbarger

    In 1636: The Cardinal Virtues, Eric Flint and Walter Hunt move the action west into France where the ongoing strife between King Louis and his loyal minister Richelieu and his brother the scheming Monsieur Gaston, Duc d'Orleans is boiling over. Richelieu has concocted a plan to get the barren Queen Anne pregnant and to provide Louis with an heir, a plan that would see an end to Gaston's long-held dream of supplanting his brother on the throne. Upon learning of this pregnancy, Gaston chooses a de In 1636: The Cardinal Virtues, Eric Flint and Walter Hunt move the action west into France where the ongoing strife between King Louis and his loyal minister Richelieu and his brother the scheming Monsieur Gaston, Duc d'Orleans is boiling over. Richelieu has concocted a plan to get the barren Queen Anne pregnant and to provide Louis with an heir, a plan that would see an end to Gaston's long-held dream of supplanting his brother on the throne. Upon learning of this pregnancy, Gaston chooses a desperate course, orchestrating the assassination of Louis and Richelieu and allying with Spain to put himself on the throne. All that stands in Gaston's way are Richelieu's picked men, a secret society of noblemen sworn to defend the crown, Queen Anne, and a handful of up-timers. This book picks up directly after the events depicted in Eric Flint's story in the last Grantville Gazette, in which the USE and France made peace (as Richelieu finally realized that he couldn't prevent the influence of the Ring of Fire from spreading and it was best to accept it and move on). This is important to note because the book starts off with France and the USE on fairly friendly terms with everyone talking about how they aren't enemies anymore but if you've just been reading the main books then the last time the USE and France had anything to do with each other was 1634: The Baltic War, and that was less than collegial. I've long thought that France was a weakness in the Ring of Fire stories. Flint's stories have kind of glossed over the Huguenot issue (considering how the Irish rebels have gotten such repeated inclusion, it seems rather unfair given how badly they got screwed in our history that their only presence is in the form of a band of rather unhinged assassins and a handful of character playing "don't ask, don't tell" on the issue), Richelieu got painted as a major Opponent early on and then Flint decided that was unfair to the historical character and hid him in the background long enough to make it reasonable for everybody to make peace, and the French in general often are thrown into stories as enemies of convenience (see 1636: Commander Cantrell in the West Indies, for instance). There are repeated references to the clash between King Louis and Monsieur Gaston in previous books, but frankly, until now it was such an obscure element (and of limited importance to the main story) that I can't say it really interested me. Well, this book rectifies quite a bit of that. The French may not be the most likeable characters in post-Ring of Fire Europe, but this book manages to at least flesh out French politics of the time enough to finally provide some depth to characters such as Richelieu, Gaston, Louis, Mazarin, and Turenne. As a side-novel in the Ring of Fire series, Cardinal Virtues is both a success and a failure. On the success side, the novel is interesting and well-written with several interesting new characters and a fluid unpredictable narrative. On the failure side, Cardinal Virtues is the fourth RoF side-novel in a row that lacks any sort of conclusion (basically, every RoF novel that has 1636 in the title apart from 1636: The Devil's Opera). Frankly, if you were hoping for a story of French armies clashing in Paris, then this is not the novel you wanted. As other reviewers have pointed out, this book details the events leading UP to the French Civil War, but apart from various back-alley intrigues, all the fighting is between the French and the Spanish (and it's just one chapter). So Flint and Hunt get all the pieces in place with everybody picking sides (could the Netherlands FINALLY tell the Spanish to go to hell? It's about freaking time!) and the story ends. The story is also a bit of a failure from its place in the series as a whole. If you were hoping the story would touch on ongoing elements like the role of the Committees of Correspondence in France or give some hints as to what happened in Italy after the Mallorca incident, then tough luck, because the CoC isn't even mentioned (seems insane with France on the verge of a nobility-driven civil war that the peasantry isn't getting disgruntled) and events in Italy are left pretty much where they were in 1635: Papal Stakes with the two popes locked in an apparent Holy Cold War. Apart from the work done to flesh out France, the only really interesting bits (from a world-building perspective) is that the book has a chapter detailing how the USE's government is functioning since the end of its pseudo-civil war. All in all, Cardinal Virtues is a well-written book and it's interesting but it's incomplete and we've now got at least five hanging threads in the Ring of Fire universe from incomplete novels: the West Indies storyline, the Austrian storyline, the Russian storyline, the main storyline, and now France. I'm hopeful that the next book, which picks up the story in Britain, will be self-contained, but I'm probably being overly optimistic (UPDATE (1/20/2016): I was, make it 6 hanging threads). All of which seem to be waiting on the bloody Turks to launch their invasion of Austria just so we can get the story moving forward again, and from what Eric Flint says, we're not getting that book until 2017! GAH! I love this series, but it's starting to feel like it's getting bloated on too many side stories and not enough plot/world progression.

  3. 4 out of 5

    Marijan

    This one should be subtitled 'Sympathy for the devil'. This one should be subtitled 'Sympathy for the devil'.

  4. 4 out of 5

    Debrac2014

    I enjoyed the beginning but after the ambush I thought the story line dragged. I'm not a fan of Terrye Jo Tillman but I enjoyed having Sherrilyn and Turenne mixing things up! I enjoyed the beginning but after the ambush I thought the story line dragged. I'm not a fan of Terrye Jo Tillman but I enjoyed having Sherrilyn and Turenne mixing things up!

  5. 5 out of 5

    Leons1701

    The Ring of Fire series has become something of a giant sprawling mess (almost like real history, which was of course, the point) to the point where it's very easy to miss several books and not always be sure what's going on. Fortunately, anybody who's read more than a book or two in the series won't have much trouble with The Cardinal Virtues (although I'm pretty sure I missed how Sherrilyn Maddox got injured and ended up rehabbing in France, it's not something I really needed to know to unders The Ring of Fire series has become something of a giant sprawling mess (almost like real history, which was of course, the point) to the point where it's very easy to miss several books and not always be sure what's going on. Fortunately, anybody who's read more than a book or two in the series won't have much trouble with The Cardinal Virtues (although I'm pretty sure I missed how Sherrilyn Maddox got injured and ended up rehabbing in France, it's not something I really needed to know to understand the story). This book is also likely to be a fairly crucial turning point going forwards, certain political realities may have changed significantly by the end of this book. Set primarily in France, this is a tale of intrigue in the French court which of course means the titular Cardinal is Richelieu, who gets a rather different (and probably more realistic) portrayal here than the one most people are familiar with from the Three Musketeers.

  6. 4 out of 5

    Shane

    Two and a half stars. A whole lot of intrigue with very little story and even less character development. When Eric Flint started this series many years ago, he often talked of the idea of following average people in the midst of extraordinary events. While the events in the chapter of the Ring of Fire universe are indeed extraordinary; the 'ordinary' people seen to be swept away instead of swept up. It also didn't help this review that the book contained not even a hint of a conclusion, I am no Two and a half stars. A whole lot of intrigue with very little story and even less character development. When Eric Flint started this series many years ago, he often talked of the idea of following average people in the midst of extraordinary events. While the events in the chapter of the Ring of Fire universe are indeed extraordinary; the 'ordinary' people seen to be swept away instead of swept up. It also didn't help this review that the book contained not even a hint of a conclusion, I am not even sure if it hit a climax. This felt very much like a long opening chapter in a larger story with no end in sight.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Dayle

    I agree with an earlier reviewer, I seemed to get lost amongst the French and Catholic titles

  8. 5 out of 5

    Bill

    France is on the brink of civil war. Another great book in the 1632 series.

  9. 5 out of 5

    Leigh Kimmel

    I originally became fascinated with the history of the Bourbon kings of France after reading _Newton's Cannon_, in which an aging Louis XIV was the principal antagonist (I can't call him a *villain* because everything he did, he did for the _gloire_ of La Belle France). So when I first saw _1632_, I immediately wondered how it would affect his youth. And here is the novel that looks at how his (or his analog's, since the butterfly effect ensures it'll be a different sperm and egg producing the ch I originally became fascinated with the history of the Bourbon kings of France after reading _Newton's Cannon_, in which an aging Louis XIV was the principal antagonist (I can't call him a *villain* because everything he did, he did for the _gloire_ of La Belle France). So when I first saw _1632_, I immediately wondered how it would affect his youth. And here is the novel that looks at how his (or his analog's, since the butterfly effect ensures it'll be a different sperm and egg producing the character called Louis the God-Given -- we'll leave the questions of whether it's the same soul to the theologians) first months go in this strangely changed world. It clearly takes place in the aftermath of _1625: The Papal Stakes_, since several characters are living with the fallout of those events. I really like the two strong, confident but not overbearing or obnoxious women are playing such major parts. Both of them are making their own way in a world where the legal status of women is far more constrained, in ways that make me think of how Heinlein's women always have agency and the wit and wisdom to know how to use it within the framework of their society, whether by knowing how to hint and save face or when to use a woman's wiles or traditional feminine skills to effect a most un-traditional goal. My biggest problem is never being sure whether Richelieu really was killed in the ambush that assassinated Louis XIII. If there was a definite death scene, it slipped right past me. I'd like to re-read it some time, paying close attention to details like that, but right now my to-be-read pile is stacked to the ceiling. It's a far cry from the days when I'd scour our tiny public library for any science fiction, and when we moved to a larger town where the library had *three whole bookcases* of science fiction and I thought I'd died and gone to reader heaven.

  10. 4 out of 5

    Robin

    This series has become so big and all-encompassing that it is starting to get difficult to keep up with all of the sub-plots and intrigues going on throughout Europe. While this book features almost entirely peripheral characters from previous books, there are many well-known and "real" people included, which also makes this book series so much fun. I have thoroughly enjoyed the journey of the misplaced uptimers and their effects on the downtime world. I look forward to catching up with these ch This series has become so big and all-encompassing that it is starting to get difficult to keep up with all of the sub-plots and intrigues going on throughout Europe. While this book features almost entirely peripheral characters from previous books, there are many well-known and "real" people included, which also makes this book series so much fun. I have thoroughly enjoyed the journey of the misplaced uptimers and their effects on the downtime world. I look forward to catching up with these characters as well as the many others - both uptime and downtime.

  11. 4 out of 5

    Kay

    There are three distinct story lines in this volume from the ROF universe...Queen Anne, Cardinal Richelieu, and Monsieur Gaston. All three feature an uptime female as an integral character, and I enjoyed the way the uptime thought processes of those women moved the plot. And the final few pages definitely left me wanting more...

  12. 5 out of 5

    Luci

    I think the reason I enjoyed this one so much was because it showed the effects of the Ring of Fire but on more of a world stage away from Germany. The writing is very organized and the flow of the book was better than some of the other RoF books. This one was a winner for me.

  13. 4 out of 5

    Glen Wilsford

    Not bad I find it difficult to keep track of the story arc sometimes. I'm currently reading the entire ROF as per Mr. Flint's suggested R. O. But... This wasn't one of the better books in the series. Worth reading but not my favorite Not bad I find it difficult to keep track of the story arc sometimes. I'm currently reading the entire ROF as per Mr. Flint's suggested R. O. But... This wasn't one of the better books in the series. Worth reading but not my favorite

  14. 4 out of 5

    Joe Price

    The French Connection An intriguing plot of cunning, schemes, and betrayal portrayed against 17th century France. The king is well, the king is dead,the king is missing. In that order. Good read!

  15. 4 out of 5

    Judy

    This one is centered in France and ends with succession turmoil & an "Elvis" mystery. Where or where is the missing body? This one is centered in France and ends with succession turmoil & an "Elvis" mystery. Where or where is the missing body?

  16. 4 out of 5

    Randy Pursley

    Another good installment of this series. No European country is left unscathed by the 'Ring of Fire'. I look forward to the sequel to this storyline. Another good installment of this series. No European country is left unscathed by the 'Ring of Fire'. I look forward to the sequel to this storyline.

  17. 5 out of 5

    Karen

    Another incredibly well done addition to the 1632 universe. Great characters, well researched to create the alternative history, and an entertaining read besides.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Muff

    I don't know why I keep reading this series. The quality varies from book to book. This one was fine just fine; the ending was somewhat abrupt. I don't know why I keep reading this series. The quality varies from book to book. This one was fine just fine; the ending was somewhat abrupt.

  19. 5 out of 5

    Topher

    A novel set in France, with up-timers around but not necessarily the focus of the story. I really enjoyed it, particularly the very end. Has Elvis left the building?

  20. 4 out of 5

    Gerald Haggard

    An excellent read Been addicted to this series, on to the next Story in alternative time. Any one who likes a good fiction, will like this

  21. 4 out of 5

    Josh

    This series is expanding outwards quite a bit now, and it's interesting to see them start to expand further outside the Germanies and start dealing with the "uptimer" influences in other major countries. The Italian trilogy that was published earlier involving italian politics and the Vatican was excellent so I was excited about what they planned to do with France. This one is more of a "downtimer" book than most of the rest in the series. While there are two Grantville characters deeply involved This series is expanding outwards quite a bit now, and it's interesting to see them start to expand further outside the Germanies and start dealing with the "uptimer" influences in other major countries. The Italian trilogy that was published earlier involving italian politics and the Vatican was excellent so I was excited about what they planned to do with France. This one is more of a "downtimer" book than most of the rest in the series. While there are two Grantville characters deeply involved in everything and given a POV, and a few others show up, this book is much more focused around the actions of the downtime political leaders of France and their competitors. In this case, it works. The uptimers provide some POV, but the decision-making and drive is all from Cardinal Richlieu and Cardinal Marazin, Monsieur Gaston and his cronies, the ministers of Spain, and various loyalists to France. Plot's a damn good one for national politics: development of an heir for France and the reactions of everyone else. The intersection of the King's brothers, both his legitimate heir and those not eligible as they all vie with the Cardinal and his loyalists for power and influence is a good one, and the announcement of a true heir to the throne tosses everything into chaos. Really good stuff. Authors here clearly have a good understanding of the politics involved and real reactions, and they do a nice job showing how the new technologies involved will change how it all fits together. Interestingly, one of the recurring themes you're seeing in this series is how those who can adapt to new tech generally find ways to thrive, regardless of their past or prior future, and those who cannot flail violently against the new world and usually end up worse off. It's a fair assessment: change or die. Very curious about the followup on this one, which left us in a pretty open-ended situation.

  22. 4 out of 5

    Tom Timmerman

    Nicely done. It's tough to describe foreign intrigue -- foreign to the reader, that is. While having an idea of 17th century European history is a big benefit, the story is still griping (I could excuse the contrived premise). Can't wait for the rest of it, and the next stage of the French civil war. Nicely done. It's tough to describe foreign intrigue -- foreign to the reader, that is. While having an idea of 17th century European history is a big benefit, the story is still griping (I could excuse the contrived premise). Can't wait for the rest of it, and the next stage of the French civil war.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Joe

    A very good installment. Only a small group of Americans in this novel. Good representation of the effects of the "Ring of Fire" on the world around it.. A very good installment. Only a small group of Americans in this novel. Good representation of the effects of the "Ring of Fire" on the world around it..

  24. 5 out of 5

    Alex Shrugged

    "1636: The Cardinal Virtues" is book 19 of the Ring of Fire series, depending on how you count them. It was a lot of fun. I enjoyed it but it ended in a cliffhanger and I don't especially like those so the book loses a star for that one. The Story: The King of France has a problem. He has no son to take the throne of France but Cardinal Richelieu has a plan to fix all that. Unfortunately everything goes right and wrong. If you've read the series up to now, you know that it is a generally cheerful "1636: The Cardinal Virtues" is book 19 of the Ring of Fire series, depending on how you count them. It was a lot of fun. I enjoyed it but it ended in a cliffhanger and I don't especially like those so the book loses a star for that one. The Story: The King of France has a problem. He has no son to take the throne of France but Cardinal Richelieu has a plan to fix all that. Unfortunately everything goes right and wrong. If you've read the series up to now, you know that it is a generally cheerful series despite people languishing to die in dungeons and the general mayhem. How the authors keep things sunny is a miracle but they do. The story seems to focus on Ms. Maddox and the work she finds after her injuries and on a certain radio operator that gets caught up in the succession of kings. Religion is handled in a frank way. No fooling around. The people are not perfect but they are trying their best in a messed up world. Sex is handled in a circumspect way. Lots of euphemisms are used... more than in previous books. There is no description of sex. There is some anticipation of it, but not really. So... I wish I had known that it would be a cliffhanger but there is no avoiding that sort of thing with a new book. I'll have to wait until next year to see how it all turns out.

  25. 4 out of 5

    Leroy Erickson

    This is another book in the "Ring of Fire" series, based on the original book "1632" by Eric Flint. I like to describe the series as one paragraph of pure science fiction followed by 10,000 pages of alternate history, or maybe it's 20,000 pages by now. The original book begins as a 6 mile sphere is cut out of West Virginia and swapped with an identical piece of south-western Germany. The kicker is that the piece of West Virginia is from the year 2000 while the piece of Germany is from the year 1 This is another book in the "Ring of Fire" series, based on the original book "1632" by Eric Flint. I like to describe the series as one paragraph of pure science fiction followed by 10,000 pages of alternate history, or maybe it's 20,000 pages by now. The original book begins as a 6 mile sphere is cut out of West Virginia and swapped with an identical piece of south-western Germany. The kicker is that the piece of West Virginia is from the year 2000 while the piece of Germany is from the year 1631. The result is that about 5000 residents of the West Virginian town of Grantville are now permanent residents of the 17th century. The rest of that book and the following books cover various aspects of how the history of the world is affected by this event. This book focuses on the France of King Louis XIII and Cardinal Richelieu. Unfortunately, this particular piece of the series ends up being way too much like one day's episode of a long-running soap opera. Absolutely nothing is resolved, with a dozen plot lines left open waiting for you to tune in the next day to see what happens next. No other book in the series has been as disappointing in this fashion. If you have read every other book in the series, you may want to read this one. Otherwise, it would be a complete waste of time.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Charlie Moses

    Truly, I think this is the best alternate history series on the market. I've read every volume, even those written by other authors in their entirety. The ever-increasing ramifications and changes to history brought about by the advent of the Ring of Fire just keep on spreading out through the fictional world. Author Eric Flint has a degree in history and knows his stuff. So do his collaborators, and this expertise informs each story set in their changed and changing world. They're fascinating, Truly, I think this is the best alternate history series on the market. I've read every volume, even those written by other authors in their entirety. The ever-increasing ramifications and changes to history brought about by the advent of the Ring of Fire just keep on spreading out through the fictional world. Author Eric Flint has a degree in history and knows his stuff. So do his collaborators, and this expertise informs each story set in their changed and changing world. They're fascinating, opening a window onto a living, breathing world no history book ever managed to make seem alive, and then showing us how the changes brought by the introduction of modern people and ideas into that world affect that world and the people who live in it. There's a lot of history, but it's all shown in a human scale, and we care about the poeple we see in each book. The story in this book doesn't exactly end, but rather pauses. There should be a direct sequel in which the story is continued. Can't wait!

  27. 5 out of 5

    Stephen Maguire

    Intrigue is the theme of this book. Most of the Ring of Fire books have their main components play with the ideas and new technology of the up-timers to the early modern world. This one limits that technology focus to the use of radio and modern firearms. Their are up-timers of course but they are mostly bit players in the machinations of the Bourbon family. King Louis at last has an heir, but his untimely death leaves his nefarious brother Gaston to push aside the mere existence of his nephew an Intrigue is the theme of this book. Most of the Ring of Fire books have their main components play with the ideas and new technology of the up-timers to the early modern world. This one limits that technology focus to the use of radio and modern firearms. Their are up-timers of course but they are mostly bit players in the machinations of the Bourbon family. King Louis at last has an heir, but his untimely death leaves his nefarious brother Gaston to push aside the mere existence of his nephew and seize the crown of France for himself. Our heros - dispersed and unorganized try to save the Queen and her royal son. The writing is on par with the rest of the series - good, solid plotting, dialog and character development. But I miss the quirkiness of introducing bits of the future into the world. Clearly there will be sequels to this novel, and for them if nothing else a 1632 fan should read this book.

  28. 4 out of 5

    Rainer Prem

    Of course, a book, which needs to setup a whole large country as a stage for things to come, starts slowly. There are a lot of characters to put in place, and they need to be introduced to the readers. This book is not intended for the casual reader, who never heard something of the 1632-universe before (in that case get 1632 for free and start there). On the other hand, we learn a different side (and a more reasonable one) of the France in the time of Cardinal Richelieu (and no, *the* musketeers Of course, a book, which needs to setup a whole large country as a stage for things to come, starts slowly. There are a lot of characters to put in place, and they need to be introduced to the readers. This book is not intended for the casual reader, who never heard something of the 1632-universe before (in that case get 1632 for free and start there). On the other hand, we learn a different side (and a more reasonable one) of the France in the time of Cardinal Richelieu (and no, *the* musketeers will not show up here), Louis XIII and Maria de Medici. Summary: after a long setup, the story gains speed and the events come thick and fast. The cliffhangery is small, and while not everything is settled, the ending is satisfying. Five stars for a very good and true continuation of the saga.

  29. 5 out of 5

    Ken Kugler

    1636: The Cardinal Virtues, By Eric Flint and Walter H. Hunt, was a lot of fun. It felt more like a straight history without the fantasy, for the first couple of chapters. I like the newish kind of feel as it made me look at the politics and interactions of the time. His Majesty, Louis XIII and his Cardinal Richelieu conspire to get an heir so they somehow use (it was never explained) uptime science. An heir would ensure that Louis XIII’s son would carry on and not pass to his younger brother, M 1636: The Cardinal Virtues, By Eric Flint and Walter H. Hunt, was a lot of fun. It felt more like a straight history without the fantasy, for the first couple of chapters. I like the newish kind of feel as it made me look at the politics and interactions of the time. His Majesty, Louis XIII and his Cardinal Richelieu conspire to get an heir so they somehow use (it was never explained) uptime science. An heir would ensure that Louis XIII’s son would carry on and not pass to his younger brother, Monsieur Gaston d”Orleans. When Queen Anne is thought to pregnant with the possible heir, the enemies of Louis XIII and Richelieu are forced to act. The rest of the book follows the consequences of their actions. Is Richelieu still alive, what about Queen Anne’s son and heir? How will the future of France and ever expanding influence of Grantville’s up timers change things? I don’t know but I cannot wait to find out more. On to the next book in this fascinating series.

  30. 4 out of 5

    Emily Nance

    Interesting, but not the best in the series Another chapter in the 1632 series, this takes place mostly in France. While some of the characters have been in previous books, they weren't main characters, and several new ones have been added. As stated in other reviews, this is not a complete story so you might want to wait until its direct sequel comes out to buy if you like the series but dislike lots of loose threads at the end of the books. Also, definitely not the book to begin the series. Interesting, but not the best in the series Another chapter in the 1632 series, this takes place mostly in France. While some of the characters have been in previous books, they weren't main characters, and several new ones have been added. As stated in other reviews, this is not a complete story so you might want to wait until its direct sequel comes out to buy if you like the series but dislike lots of loose threads at the end of the books. Also, definitely not the book to begin the series.

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