This book is somewhere between a novel and an anthology. It began as groups of stories that could have gone into the Grantsville Gazette. However, Eric Flint saw that these stories could be pulled together to form something like a novel. This story is focused on the question of how the individuals, both uptimers and downtimers, would deal with the problems the Ring of Fire created.
It is divided into four sections. The first is a pair of stories by Gorg Huff and Paula Goodlet with bridge chapters by Eric Flint. It shows uptimer farmers integrating with downtime German farmers. The second section is from a collection of different authors and shows how the “Ram” story develops. The third section is a collection of stories, mostly by Virginia DeMarce, that shows how the Ram Rebellion comes into being along with the opening moves. The final section is a novella by Eric Flint and Virginia DeMarce that deals with the full blown peasant farmer revolt in Franconia against the local petty lords.
As a book it is probably best understood as an anthology and, like the Grantsville Gazette, it is not a good entry point into the history. Having said that, this is a good book for someone who has already read and enjoyed “1632” and “1633” at least. Moving forward events described in this book are obliquely mentioned in later books, like “1634: The Bavarian Crisis”.