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In the Service of Princes by Michael Arram

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The late Ian Fleming, creator of James Bond, said that if you got all the details correct people would accept whatever you wrote at fact, or at least words to that effect.  In "In the Service of Princes" Michael Arram is getting the details correct. The story is set in the latter part of the 18th century and he uses the term German Sea to refer to what we now call the North Sea. That was the correct terminology for the period. As his use of the term Dutch to describe a visitor from Ruritania. At that time the term Dutch meant  'of the German', and was used to refer to anybody whose native language was one of the many dialects of German, be it low or high German. It did not mean an inhabitant of the Netherlands, as it was to come to mean in the following century. Michael Arram, also refers to the stink of horse manure in the streets of London. Another detail which so precisely sets the scene, as does he description of the mire and meers of the Norfolk wetlands.

By these means we are given a firm foundation for the world of James Rassendyll the Earl of Burlesdon  and his half brother, Heinz, the younger son of the King of Ruritania. Once again Michael Arram takes us in the the web of politics that surround that land, which he has brought so much to life in his stories. 

This one has got off to a great start and I am interested in seeing where it is going to go. Wherever it is going, one can be assured it is going to be a good read, coming as it does from the pen, or rather the keyboard, of Michael Arram.

You can find it here: https://awesomedude.com/mike_arram/in-the-service-of-princes/index.htm

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2 hours ago, Rutabaga said:

This is a new story, not a republication of an earlier one, correct?


It is totally new, set about 250 years ago. 

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I am impressed with Michael's second chapter. I have lived and worked in Munich and know the modern city fairly well. At least the central city. It has a feel to it which is different to other German cities that I know well, Stuttgart, Dusseldorf, Frankfurt and Rattingen.  It has a specific Bavarianess about it that Is difficult to describe or put ones finger on but makes you feel that you are in somewhere which is not quite German. In Michael's description of the arrival in Munich and the subsequent experience of carnival, he touches on that same spirit of Barvarianess, that things are not the same as elsewhere. Although he is describing the city of over two hundred years ago, it is a city I know and one which I can relate to. Somehow he has managed to capture something of the essence of Munich, which undoubtedly was there years ago and is still there today.

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  • 2 months later...

Chapter XXIV and the end has come.  Quite an accomplishment: Ben Franklin and angels together in the same story!  Plus interplanetary travel.  Plus numerous challenges to students of human biology.

This has fast become one of my favorite Rothenian tales from the hand of masterwriter Mike Arram, who achieves a grand tie-off of loose ends and gives us a tantalizing glimpse of Henry the seraph, about whom it all began.  Will there be more to come?  Something to hope for, indeed.

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