At first I thought this book was just a descriptive work about a decidedly interesting alternate culture. That would have been in line with a lot of the Baroque Cycle. However, this book is so much more. There is an adventure store, some really interesting philosophy, and even a bit of romance. I enjoyed this book, even if it took ages to read its over 900 pages.

[isbn: 9780061474101]
[awards: nominee hugo 2009; nominee prometheus 2009]