The System of the World (The Baroque Cycle, #3)
'Tis done. The world is a most confused and unsteady place -- especially London, center of finance, innovation, and conspiracy -- in the year 1714, when Daniel Waterhouse makes his less-than-triumphant return to England's shores. Aging Puritan and Natural Philosopher, confidant of the high and... show more
'Tis done. The world is a most confused and unsteady place -- especially London, center of finance, innovation, and conspiracy -- in the year 1714, when Daniel Waterhouse makes his less-than-triumphant return to England's shores. Aging Puritan and Natural Philosopher, confidant of the high and mighty and contemporary of the most brilliant minds of the age, he has braved the merciless sea and an assault by the infamous pirate Blackbeard to help mend the rift between two adversarial geniuses at a princess's behest. But while much has changed outwardly, the duplicity and danger that once drove Daniel to the American Colonies is still coin of the British realm. No sooner has Daniel set foot on his homeland when he is embroiled in a dark conflict that has been raging in the shadows for decades. It is a secret war between the brilliant, enigmatic Master of the Mint and closet alchemist Isaac Newton and his archnemesis, the insidious counterfeiter Jack the Coiner, a.k.a. Jack Shaftoe, King of the Vagabonds. Hostilities are suddenly moving to a new and more volatile level, as Half-Cocked Jack plots a daring assault on the Tower itself, aiming for nothing less than the total corruption of Britain's newborn monetary system. Unbeknownst to all, it is love that set the Coiner on his traitorous course; the desperate need to protect the woman of his heart -- the remarkable Eliza, Duchess of Arcachon-Qwghlm -- from those who would destroy her should he fail. Meanwhile, Daniel Waterhouse and his Clubb of unlikely cronies comb city and country for clues to the identity of the blackguard who is attempting to blow up Natural Philosophers with Infernal Devices -- as political factions jockey for position while awaiting the impending death of the ailing queen; as the "holy grail" of alchemy, the key to life eternal, tantalizes and continues to elude Isaac Newton, yet is closer than he ever imagined; as the greatest technological innovation in history slowly takes shape in Waterhouse's manufactory. Everything that was will be changed forever ... The System of the World is the concluding volume in Neal Stephenson's Baroque Cycle, begun with Quicksilver and continued in The Confusion.
Publish date: October 1st 2004
Publisher: William Morrow
Pages no: 892
Edition language: English
, Science Fiction Fantasy
, Science Fiction
, European Literature
, British Literature
, Historical Fiction
, Speculative Fiction
, Alternate History
Series: The Baroque Cycle (3 volume) (#3)
The third book in Neal Stephenson’s The Baroque Cycle is the best. Strangely enough Daniel Waterhouse, my least favorite protagonist, is the star and leads us to an exciting conclusion. The Baroque Cycle is a collection of eight books in three volumes; an opus of 3,000 pages to the Age of Enlight...
Review to follow.After this I read: Cold Days
Wrapped itself up very nicely after the previous book. Much more focused--Jack's storyline wasn't nearly as insane or hard to follow as in The Confusion (The Baroque Cycle, #2)...probably because this takes over a shorter period of time. But I liked how, so many decades later, the characters have al...
Phew - that was something, spending 3 months in these books. The last one did have some parts that dragged, but I was glad that he managed to wrap it up without falling into a big morass of WTF as often happens with Stephenson.
I was tricked into reading this, but I'm glad because why else would I have started in on this 2700 page trilogy? Years ago Neal Stephenson intrigued and thrilled me with his cyber-punk classic "Snowcrash" so that I could see where he was going with "Diamond Age" a neo-victorian culture in an incred...