This volume encapsulates all the flaws within the series. Whilst books 1&2 were good soap opera, books 3&4 are turgid and dull and convenient magical powers solves everything. Book 3 took place during the Restoration of the Monarchy after the English civil war, during which Brutus had a huff and stormed off and waits until 1939 to return to put right what once went wrong.
The reborn throughout time issue is dropped as everybody is now magical and immortal and allied with the fairies. Brutus - William -Louis - Jack is deified as the hero undone by evil women and their treacherous vaginas. Cornelia- Caela - Noah is completely disregarded, as is Genvissa - Swanne - Joan - Stella. Which is baffling as both of them lost children who return to be part of the game (the White Queen and Catling respectively) yet any feeling either women has on this is ignored. Ignored in favour of more Brutus deification.
Brutus romances Grace, Noah's daughter. Grace just loves the man who raped, abused and murdered her mother over several lifetimes. Meanwhile the minotaur who has also abused Noah has been thoroughly spikified into a good guy. He's just misunderstood. All those people he raped, murdered and abused over the millennia? Well he had woman issues, so it's all swept aside.
There are so many magical babies in this book (Grace, Catling, the White Queen) that one loses track. They all have magical powers too. The defeat of the malign Troy Game is finally accomplished, something that could have taken place centuries ago if Brutus could have got his head out of ass circa 1066. But the aftermath and the non-ending of this book leave a vile taste in the mouth. Noah and Stella are insignificant, some villains are still on the loose and it becomes all about Grace and Brutus and their pain. Brutus and Grace are so selfish and self-obsessed at the end, it is nauseating.
This quadrilogy is not recommended, read books 1&2 but avoid books 3&4. Never have so many selfish characters annoyed so much.
1634: The Bavarian Crisis by Eric Flint & Virginia DeMarce
The saga of the small American mining town full back in time into the middle of the 30 years war continues.
This isn't a book, more of a massive info dump on 17th century German history. A spoiled and stupid Archduchess decides to change history and runs away from her betrothed, various people are kidnapped and it all resolves itself sort of, over 600 pages later. What started out as a fun AU saga, is being undermined by glaring and repeated flaws.
This book is a disappointment, hopefully the upcoming entry in the series will be an improvement.
The up-timers know way too much about 1634 Europe. Co-author DeMarce has a ph.d in early modern history but the Grantville library is way too big and way too extensive for a small town. Grantville barely features, everything takes place outside it. Richelieu hasn't featured heavily in a book since '1633'. After being set up as Grantville's big enemy, he is ignored. Julie's dying baby has been left hanging as a plot point since '1633'. The Archduchess is a spoilt, selfish brat who causes the deaths of so many people during her antics, but is lauded as a heroine instead of being given the ass-kicking she deserves. Rebecca, after her set-up as the heroine of the saga in '1632' and '1633', is packed off to the sidelines to birth babies and be ignored. Mike and Rebecca's first child is forgotten about. Also their adopted son has been forgotten too. The up-timers are too smug. Grantville has still not been effected by plague, smallpox or diphtheria. Whole chapters of this book are giant info dumps.