1636: The Kremlin Games (Ring of Fire)
by Eric Flint, Gorg Huff, and Paula Goodlett
Cover Artist: Tom Kidd
Review by Bill Lawhorn
Baen Hardcover ISBN/ITEM#: 9781451637762
Date: 05 June 2012 List Price $25.00 Amazon US / Amazon UK
Product Description: #14 in the multiply bestselling Ring of Fire Series. After carving a place for itself among the struggling powers of 17th century Western Europe, the out-of-time modern town of Grantville, West Virginia must fight for its life in a war-torn Europe just emerging from medieval skullduggery.
1636. Grantville has bounced back and established its new mission and identity, but it seems some have been left behind—people like Bernie Zeppi, courageous in the battle, but unable to figure out what to do with himself in a world that's utterly changed. Then Russian emissary Vladimir Gorchacov arrives in Grantville and hires Bernie to journey to Moscow and bring the future to a Russia mired in slavish serfdom and byzantine imperial plots. Bernie jumps at the chance. He figures it to be an easy gig, complete with high pay and hot-and-cold running women.
But one thing Bernie hasn't counted on is the chance to find his purpose in Mother Russia, from fighting the needless death of children from typhoid to building the first dirigible in Russian history. And then there’s love. Just as Bernie realizes his feeling for a certain Russian noblewoman may have gone way beyond respect, he finds them both enmeshed in the deadly politics of Kremlin power struggles.
War with Poland is afoot and Russia itself is about to get a revolution from within–three centuries early. Bernie Zeppi, former Grantville auto mechanic, is going to have the chance to prove he's not the loser he believed himself to be. For now Bernie's task is to save the woman he loves and the country he has come to call his own from collapse into a new Dark Age.