THE MAELSTROM THAT IS EUROPE, COMPLICATED BY IRON, LOVE AND 20TH CENTURY AMERICANS
The Thirty Years War continues to ravage 17th century Europe, but a new force is gathering power and influence: the United States of Europe, forged from an alliance between Gustavus Adolphus, King of Sweden, and the West Virginians from the 20th century, led by Mike Stearns, who were hurled centuries into the past by a mysterious cosmic accident.
This troubled century was full of revolutions and plans for more revolutions before the Americans arrived, and gave every would-be revolutionary an example of a revolution that succeeded. Europe is a pot coming to a boil, and Mike Stearns finds himself walking the fine line between keeping the pot boiling while keeping it from boiling over and destroying the USE in the process.
The USE has the know-how of 20th century technology, but needs iron and steel to make the machines. The iron mines of the upper Palatinate were rendered inoperable by wartime damage, and American ingenuity is needed on the spot to pump them out and get the metal flowing again—a mission that will prove more complicated than anyone expects. First, because the expedition sent to revitalize the mining industry in the upper Palatinate walks into the middle of a ferocious battle between the USE and the Duke of Bavaria. Second, because in the maelstrom that is Europe, even a 20th century copy of the Encyclopedia Britannica can precipitate a crisis from the most unexpected quarters. The young and beautiful daughter of the Austrian emperor, sent to marry the Duke of Bavaria for reasons of state, comes to an unforeseen conclusion based on her study of up-time history. The decision she makes as a result transforms the Bavarian war into a crisis for all of Europe.
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