Well, that was like trying to eat my way out of a porridge dungeon with chopsticks. I sure hope this book is more interesting the first time you all read it than it was the 30th time I did.
Blood and Iron, for the record, is my most-rewritten book. The original concept dates from the eighties; the first draft of portions from oh, 1990 or so, the first complete draft from winter 2002. That first complete draft was irretrievably broken. I rewrote it extensively twice (including unpersoning characters and major plot changes) and gave it a pretty thorough line-edit twice before arcaedia saw it. Segue to 2003, when she told me it was still broken. At which point I took it apart, restructured it heavily, cut 40,000 words or so, added 60,000 words or so and two POV characters (and removed one), and rewrote it again, followed by another clean-up pass. At which point we agreed that maybe it wasn't broken any more.
Then we sold it. And I rewrote it again, for Liz.
Another fairly heavy rewrite. Plus spot revisions. And then a clean-up pass. And a CEM. And the page proofs.
I can't even remember what happens in which version of the damned thing any more. But at least most of the story is onscreen now.
So anyway, reading this damned thing is like archeology at this point. It has strata.
You guys are going to have to let me know if it's any good, because I have not the foggiest.