Book 1, The Baroque Cycle - Volume One of The Baroque Cycle
This book can be downloaded and read in iBooks on your Mac or iOS device.
Quicksilver is the story of Daniel Waterhouse, fearless thinker and conflicted Puritan, pursuing knowledge in the company of the greatest minds of Baroque-era Europe, in a chaotic world where reason wars with the bloody ambitions of the mighty, and where catastrophe, natural or otherwise, can alter the political landscape overnight.
It is a chronicle of the breathtaking exploits of "Half-Cocked Jack" Shaftoe -- London street urchin turned swashbuckling adventurer and legendary King of the Vagabonds -- risking life and limb for fortune and love while slowly maddening from the pox.
And it is the tale of Eliza, rescued by Jack from a Turkish harem to become spy, confidante, and pawn of royals in order to reinvent Europe through the newborn power of finance.
A gloriously rich, entertaining, and endlessly inventive novel that brings a remarkable age and its momentous events to vivid life, Quicksilver is an extraordinary achievement from one of the most original and important literary talents of our time.
And it's just the beginning ...
From Publishers Weekly
© Publishers Weekly
This is the first in Stephenson's Baroque series that will bring you in to the world of 17th century adventure, science and intrigue. I could hardly put it down.
I just read Quicksilver for the second time in three years. Tackling the Baroque Cycle twice in three years? Shows how much I enjoyed it the first time through!
100 Words or Less
This is the case of rock solid research ruining an interesting story.
Stephenson’s setting and characters are vivid within their world. But too much so. It’s as if every detail he’s uncovered needs to be included. Every historical fact needs to be stated. Seemingly minor characters are encountered haphazardly, only to coincidentally emerge as important historical figures: an adolescent Ben Franklin? A young Newton?
It’s too much. I wanted a story that dropped me into that era. I ended up with a comical Who’s Who date book. I had to stop reading after about 50 pages.