The Cannon Law

Book - 2006
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Rome, 1635, and Grantville's diplomatic team, headed by Sharon Nichols, are making scant headway now it has become politically inexpedient for Pope Urban VIII to talk to them any more. Sharon doesn't mind, she has a wedding to plan. Frank Stone has moved to Rome and is attempting to bring about the revolution one pizza at a time. Cardinal Borja is gathering votes to bring the Church's reformers to a halt in their tracks, on the orders of the King of Spain. Meanwhile, trouble is brewing in the streets, shadowy agitators are stirring up trouble and Spain's armies are massed across the border in the Kingdom of Naples, Cardinal Barberini wants the pamphleteers to stop slandering him and it looks like it's going to be a long, hot summer. Except that Cardinal Borja has more ambitions than his masters in Madrid know about, and has the assistance of Spain's most notorious secret agent to bring about his sinister designs.
Publisher: Riverdale, NY : Baen Books ; New York : Distributed by Simon & Schuster, c2006.
ISBN: 9781416509387
Branch Call Number: SCIFI Flint Eric
Characteristics: 420 p. :,maps ;,25 cm.
Additional Contributors: Dennis, Andrew 1971-
Alternative Title: Sixteen thirty-five

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Mar 07, 2014

I have to say that I loved re-reading this book. This Ring of Fire series is a great Alternate History series, on par with Harry Turtledove's Worldwar/Colonization series. Eric Flint and his fellow writers make the historical figures come to life in a way that reading history books normally don't. I really enjoy the way they weave in the many technological advances from the year 2000 from a small US town to the 1630s world of Europe. The attitudes of these American refugees is very different from the normal citizens of the world they have landed in. Europe and its many monarchs and rulers are profoundly changed when they read about the future they might have had. There are heartbreaking moments as well as very funny ones, just like life has. I would definitely recommend this book for anyone who enjoys reading what-if books.

This story follows Frank and Giovanna Stone (a young couple introduced in a previous book) in their move from Venice to Rome and setting up their new life. The young couple and their family and friends have set up a tavern for the less fortunate to meet and talk about the general situation. We also find Sharon Nichols (now as the USE Ambassador to the Vatican) and her fiance Ruy as they navigate the treacherous world of Italian/Spanish politics in 1635. It is a dangerous time to be a rebel in Rome when the Spanish Inquisition is alive and well. The Pope is toppled from his position and Frank and Giovanna are captured. There are some heartbreaking as well as funny moments. Characters from previous books make an appearance to try to save the day with mixed results. Will Frank and Giovanna be rescued and will the Pope live to continue his attempt to make his world better than the history books from Grantville show that it was in their past?


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