Thanks very much for your comments. They reflect some of the feedback I've had from earlier drafts; namely an assumption that readers will be aware of the events leading up to the ending f the Cold War, Perestroika, Glasnost etc. Somehow, I want to bring through the amnesia or total lack of knowledge of what happened; and, above all, that it was not such a clear case of winners and losers. I'll take your advice concerning Guy Gavriel Kay. Thanks again for taking the time to comment. Very useful.