|1636: The Devil's Opera|
|Publication date||October 15, 2013|
|Preceded by||1635: Music and Murder|
|Followed by||1636: Commander Cantrell in the West Indies|
1636: The Devil's Opera (2013) is a novel by Eric Flint and David Carrico in the 1632 series. Unlike other novels in the series, it is localized; the entire novel takes place in Magdeburg. It is set between December 1635 and March 1636, and extends somewhat beyond the end of 1636: The Saxon Uprising; some of the events of February and early March of 1636 are described from other perspectives and/or with additional detail. For example, the parade for Kristina and Ulrik is seen from the perspective of the musicians who had to write the music and assemble the band on short notice. However, while reaction to the events in Berlin is part of the first two-thirds of the book, which covers December 1635 to February 1636, the specific events themselves are generally part of the background.
It is the year 1636. The United States of Europe, the new nation formed by an alliance between the Swedish king Gustavus Adolphus and the West Virginians hurled back in time by a cosmic accident, is on the verge of civil war. His brain injured in the war with Poland, the USE's emperor Gustavus Adolphus is no longer in command. Enter Swedish chancellor Oxenstierna, a leader of aristocratic reaction against democracy. His goal: to assemble the forces of the hidebound ruling class in Berlin and drown the revolution in a bloodbath.
In Magdeburg, the capital of the USE, Mike Stearns' wife Rebecca Abrabanel is organizing popular resistance to Oxenstierna's plot. As part of the resistance, the American musician Marla Linder and her company of down-time musical partners are staging an opera that will celebrate the struggle against oppression. Princess Kristina, the heir to the USE's throne, is now residing in Magdeburg and is giving them her support and encouragement.
But another plot is underway--this one right in the heart of the capital itself, and with murder as its method. The only people standing in the way are a crippled boy and the boxing champion who befriended him, and an unlikely pair of policemen. Can the American detective Byron Chieske and his down-timer partner Gotthilf Hoch thwart the killers before they succeed in their goal?