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Great Kings War
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23 of 24 people found the following review helpful
on March 17, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have owned a copy of this book for five years, and reread it at least once every month or so, along with my ancient copy of 'Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen', of which it is a sequel. The book deserves to be reprinted, plus, its two sequels, of which only a hint has been published - a chapter in a Jerry Pournelle anthology indicating that all is not well in Hostigos. The characterisations, military lore and exciting plot make this a stand alone novel to be enjoyed on its own merits. We had to wait many years for this sequel, I hope that the authors of these posthumous tributes to Piper's Paratime Universe will soon find publishers for their next works.
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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2006
Format: Hardcover
In Great Kings' War, John F. Carr and Roland Green pay homage to H. Beam Piper's Paratime hero Lord Kalvan, a.k.a. Corporal Calvin Morrison. An authorized sequel to Piper's only Paratime novel, Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen, the novel begins with Kalvan, the former Pennsylvania state trooper, unwilling cross-dimensional interloper, and now Great King of the newly-formed Kingdom of Hos-Hostigos, facing the might of the theocratic Styphon's House as it supports Great King Kaiphranos of Hos-Harphax in his attempt to reclaim the princedoms Kalvan and his allies had carved from Hos-Harphax, in part by having used Kalvan's knowledge of how to produce gunpowder to break the "fireseed" monopoly of Styphon's House. Carr and Green introduce several new characters, including the mercenary Phidestros, Captain of the Iron Company, who emerges as a major figure as the "Fireseed Wars" play out in this novel and its sequels, Kalvan Kingmaker and Siege of Tarr-Hostigos.

Meanwhile, those responsible for Kalvan's accidental transposition to the alternate Aryan-Transpacific Sector of Fourth Level Paratime continue to take a special interest in Kalvan's exploits and their effect on events on his new timeline. Verkan Vall, newly-elevated to Chief of Paratime Police, reprises his "out-time" masquerade as Trader Verkan, a close advisor to Great King Kalvan. And the First Level University of Dhergabar has created the Kalvan Study Teams, groups of undercover researchers sent to Aryan-Transpacific Sector to study the first-ever identified point of divergence for a new Paratime timeline. But all is not as it seems among the Paratimers and Home Time Line political machinations underlie what are at times competing interests of the Paratime Police and the University researchers.

Carr, editor of four anthologies of Piper's work (Paratime,Federation,Empire, and The Worlds of H. Beam Piper) and described by long-time collaborator Jerry Pournelle as "a recognized authority on the life and works of H. Beam Piper," uses his extensive familiarity with Piper's Paratime setting to craft a compelling story that begins to move beyond Kalvan's ongoing struggle with Styphon's House to a brewing crisis at the very heart of First Level Paratime civilization.
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7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
on October 15, 2002
Format: Mass Market PaperbackVerified Purchase
In the top 5 of military sci fic/fantasy books I've ever read! I stumbled across this book years ago and could not believe it was so faithful to the orginal story by H Beam Piper (Lord Kalvin of Otherwhen) Its a fascinating period of Terran history grafted onto a realistic alternate world and done with style and swerve! I have written both Mr Carr & Green about the followup but it seems stalled. Both of them did their research on this one however and it shows. No miracles from the "real" world to help, tons of political intrigue, realistic characters etc etc. For anyone who likes good deep stories and hard realistic fighting will enjoy this read. You can actually smell the gunpowder and hear the thunder crash of steel on steel!

(Aug 2006 update) This book has been expanded with the addition of some 100 or more pages. The expanded version is really worth the purchase price(from Pequod Press) It explains more of the political situations Kalvin is facing and the internal wrangling of the opposing Styphon's House and its allies. Even the battle scenes get some additional work and unlike some of Carr's work this time he does a good job of illustrating the complexities of the fighting. We also see the character and background of mercenary captain Philidestro get more mention. There is alot more insight into the Paratime home culture and it's politcal ramifactions in Kalvin's timeline. Though either version is a must read, this new edition is the better money spent! Mr. Carr has done some excellent work here!
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 27, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I first read Lord Kalvan when I was about 8, I searched for years for the sequel. When I found Great Kings War I managed to read it in a few hours....that was back in 87 and I've hungered for the next one since. I even wrote Pournelle and Carr asking about if the excerpts printed in the Men at War series would be published and fleshed out. I was assured they would be but that was back around 93. <sigh> Till then I simply keep rereading and hoping.....I rate this as one of the best series to ever come out, in league with the CoDominion and the Draka series.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on January 30, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A rare, rare novel for four reasons: 1) It's a really good alternate-history SF novel. 2) It's a really good military SF novel. 3) It's a sequel that's as good as, if not better, than the original, and -- 4) What it's as good as or better than is a classic H. Beam Piper novel, 'Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen.' A nice piece of work...
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on July 4, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is a very rare book,There are a very few Alternative histories novels which approach the feel of this novel. It is a sequel to "Lord Kalvan Of Otherwhen" by H. Beam Piper. I feel it is just as good or maybe better than the original.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Format: Mass Market Paperback
H. Bean Piper wrote Lord Kalvan Of Otherwhen and then passed on before he could finish the story. In "Great King's War" John Carr and Roland Green have continued the story and in the process expanded the Piper Universe. This is an outstanding book, well worth any military science fiction/alternate history fan's attention. The paperback from Ace is getting hard to find in good or better condition, but a hardback edition can be purchased from Mr. Carr at Hostigos.com. It is well worth your time and money. Mr. Carr has also published two additional volumes in the Kalvan saga; Kalvan Kingmaker and Seige Of Tarr-Hostigos. If you enjoyed Lord Kalvan of Otherwhen, I think you will enjoy the follow on books.
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8 of 10 people found the following review helpful
on June 27, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have read and re-read this book so mant times that I could probably recite it from memory. This book was truly equal to the original story. There is a sequal coming out around Dec 2000 / Jan 2001. John Carr is doing this on his own. To find more information e-mail Otherwhen.com @aol.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on January 15, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Rarely do sequals live up to the origional, and even rarer still when the sequal is not by the origional author, but Great King's War is as good Piper's origional Lord Kalvin.
Fun to read, and so vivid it brings you there, just the origional.
I have only two complaints: 1) You can't read it without setting aside a few days, becuase you won't want to put it down. 2) It's out of print. Perhaps someday, Piper's worlds will be back in print.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on November 2, 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Great book, bought it by accident. Then I went and read the H Beam Piper orginal, great flow of stories even though written years apart by two different sets of writers. Still looking for the next book in the series as previewed in Men at War series by J. Pournelle.
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