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.
With barely time to exhale, Stephenson has returned with Volume 2 of the Baroque Cycle, The Confusion, and it is every bit as rollicking and overstuffed as its predecessor … The Baroque Cycle is like the Nerf-style jousts one sometimes passes on campus quads: creatively anachronistic, oddly unembarrassed and emphatically not for everyone. But it's also brimming with a hail-fellow-well-met good cheer, at the heart of which lies a genuinely fun pirate romance. Stephen Metcalf