marycatelli (marycatelli) wrote,
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marycatelli

A Midsummer Tempest

A Midsummer Tempest by Poul Anderson

A clock chimes in Shakespeare's Julius Caesar, which is impossible, since clocks that chimed were a medieval invention, but Poul Anderson took it and ran with it.  This book takes place during the English Civil War and the Industrial Revolution.  Both.

Prince Rupert is captured.  One soldier in his force, Will Fairweather, keeps after him, and his captor's niece, Jennifer, helps him escape -- to meet Oberon and Titania, who offer him and Jennifer magical rings powered by their love.  Alas, Jennifer is caught sneaking back, and her uncle and his forces chase after Rupert and Will, and Jennifer is forced to reveal all by sleep deprivation.  Her uncle sends men to chase him, making use of the magic of the ring.

Meanwhile Rupert stumbles on the Old Phoenix, where he meets someone from another world who tells him how the English Civil War went.  With that inspiration, he decides to follow Oberon's advice and find those magical books that Prospero drowned. . . .

The chase is on, and through magic and adventure, Rupert and Jennifer wind through Europe and back again to England.

People who like steampunk may find it especially intriguing, since it has anachronistic steam technology, albeit in the early stages.
Tags: fiction reviews: alternate world fantasy, fiction reviews: high fantasy, fiction reviews: historical fantasy, fiction reviews: steampunk, genre: alternate history, poul anderson, william shakespeare, world-building: technology
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