I am very impressed with this book. The author has taken an immense amount of material on all the warring realms of the Europe in the mid 18th century and distilled it into a brilliantly executed and entertaining dissertation. The author maintains very clear objectives, discusses ramifications, maintains a global context and manages to keep the reader entertained throughout. The war which was really comprised of a number of regional conflicts and revolving alliances established a new order in Europe at the time. It was sparked by greed, opportunity and a change in national fortunes. Careers were made and destroyed and the balance of power in Europe was altered forever. Maps augment the text and I was particularly impressed with the author's ability to weave in details about the intricacies of warfare, of commerce and of society in the 18th century while not distracting from a structured discussion of the battles and their outcomes. Highly recommended.