Review of The Bloodline Feud: A Merchant Princes Omnibus by

Book cover for The Bloodline Feud: A Merchant Princes Omnibus

The Bloodline Feud is an omnibus edition of the first two books in Charles Stross’ Merchant Princes series. You can read about the origins of the omnibus from Stross himself.

Suffice it to say, even though I already read the first two books, I decided to pick up this one and start reading the series in its rebooted form. I don’t remember enough of the original books to catch what (if any) substantial changes Stross has made here; the overall story feels very similar though. I wouldn’t say you have to read this one if you’ve read the first two books and want to pick up the new version of the series for the rest of them—but I want all the nice covers on my shelf!

Speaking of covers, this is a great example of how branding changes the reception of a book. The cover for The Family Trade looks like such a medieval fantasy book, when in fact this is an intense sci-fi thriller—The Bloodline Feud definitely gives off that vibe. So kudos to the new cover design, the artist, and the publishers who let that happen.

If you want to read my thoughts on the two books within this one, check out my review of The Family Trade and my review of The Hidden Family.

I have very little to add or amend about those reviews. Reading these a second time around, as a unified story like they had originally been, was, if anything, even more enjoyable than my first reading. This is smart stuff, like almost on the verge of Doctorow-level infodumpy at times, but it’s matched by such a fast pace. It really is a thriller—and I say that as someone who almost snobbishly pans thrillers, yet it’s a compliment here. If you like SF that dabbles on the economic side of things, you really should check this out.

Engagement

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