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In the year 1689, a cabal of Barbary galley slaves -- including one Jack Shaftoe, aka King of the Vagabonds, aka Half-Cocked Jack -- devises a daring plan to win freedom and fortune. A great adventure ensues -- a perilous race for an enormous prize of silver ... nay, gold ... nay, legendary gold.
In Europe, the exquisite and resourceful Eliza, Countess de la Zeur, is stripped of her immense personal fortune by France's most dashing privateer. Penniless and at risk from those who desire either her or her head (or both), she is caught up in a web of international intrigue, even as she desperately seeks the return of her most precious possession.
Meanwhile, Newton and Leibniz continue to propound their grand theories as their infamous rivalry intensifies, stubborn alchemy does battle with the natural sciences, dastardly plots are set in motion ... and Daniel Waterhouse seeks passage to the Massachusetts colony in hopes of escaping the madness into which his world has descended.
This P.S. edition features an extra 16 pages of insights into the book, including author interviews, recommended reading, and more.
Neal Stephenson continues his extraordinary Baroque Cycle in this sequel to his bestselling Quicksilver, bringing to life a cast of unforgettable characters in a time of breathtaking genius and discovery. It is the late 1600s, on the high seas. A group of Barbary galley slaves plot as they ply the oars of a pirate ship, hatching a daring scheme to find an enormous cache of Spanish gold. Amazingly, they succeed - leaving some very unhappy men behind who vow to hunt down the vagabonds and bring them to justice, no matter the cost. Meanwhile, back in France, the beautiful Eliza - toast of Versailles and spy extraordinaire - attempts to return to London with her baby, a child whose paternity is shrouded in mystery. Making her way home, her ship is stopped by a French privateer and she is returned to the Sun King's court.
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