This is a mighty book, of significant length, wide and ambitious plot, and global scope. It is one of those works of Alternate History that never lets the threads escape, and is masterful example of how the butterfly effect can work, and can work in the most unexpected ways.
The basic plot is that Vladimir Zhirinovsky becomes Russian leader instead of Yeltsin, but the book is so much more than that. Whilst the butterflies unleashed mostly have their origin inside Russia/CIS lands (as we would term them), their effects have dramatic consequences in the Balkans, in the Baltic states, and across Africa, not to mention within the USA itself.
Characters we know from history play greatly varied roles, some similar to their real ones, some vastly different as the butterflies multiply and the knock-on effects of history gather momentum.
But this book is far from dry, and in fact there are tremendous moments of emotional tension, moving scenes, heart-rending stories and heart-warming stands. The power of the emotive response that this book evokes is a significant testament to its author.
There is throughout a curious sub-plot, epitomised by one Mr Putin as a conspiracy theorist, but are things always what they seem?
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