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Necessary Evil (Milkweed Triptych) Hardcover – April 30, 2013


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Frequently Bought Together

Necessary Evil (Milkweed Triptych) + The Coldest War (Milkweed) + Bitter Seeds
Price for all three: $46.67

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  • The Coldest War (Milkweed) $19.82
  • Bitter Seeds $7.19

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Product Details

  • Series: Milkweed Triptych (Book 3)
  • Hardcover: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Tor Books (April 30, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0765321521
  • ISBN-13: 978-0765321527
  • Product Dimensions: 9.5 x 6.4 x 1.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (28 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #929,522 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

For Bitter Seeds:

“A combination of Alan Furst’s  brand of historical espionage with the fantastical characters of graphic novelist Alan Moore.” 
New Mexico Magazine

“Exciting and intense… The clash of magic and (mad) science meshes perfectly with the tumultuous setting.” 
Publishers Weekly

“A white-knuckle plot, beautiful descriptions, and complex characters—an unstoppable Vickers of a novel.”
  —Cory Doctorow

“A striking first novel.” 
Locus

Bitter Seeds may rival Naomi Novik’s Tales of Temeraire as a sustained historical fantasy.” 
Booklist

About the Author

Necessary Evil  is the third title in Ian Tregillis's alternate history series, the first of which, Bitter Seeds, was highly praised. Tregillis lives near Santa Fe, New Mexico, where he works as a physicist at Los Alamos National Laboratory. In addition, he is a member of the George R. R. Martin Wild Cards writing collective.

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Customer Reviews

4.4 out of 5 stars
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Looking forward to Mr. Tregillis' next book.
mrsgagoom
I did find by the end of the series that it became a bit of a one-note story as the characters became very predictable.
D. M. Kemp
Great finish to the series, a very enjoyable read.
Mazen K Hamza

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

5 of 5 people found the following review helpful By Paul Genesse on June 9, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
(No spoilers)

I really loved this series and it was fun to read the third and concluding novel of the Milkweed Triptych, Necessary Evil by Ian Tregillis. The plot threads were nicely tied up, and I was constantly surprised with the direction of the book.

The first two, Bitter Seeds and Coldest War were amazingly good (see my reviews of both) and Necessary Evil kept up the tension. I won't ruin the first two books here, as the beauty of the series relies heavily on not knowing what's coming. Overall, I think the first two books had me more worried about the characters and their fates, but Necessary Evil was excellent. I still never knew what was going to happen.

Gretel, the character who can see the future is back and the interludes from her point of view were brilliant. The chapters when we get into her mind were my favorites. The turn her character takes later in the book was unexpected for me, but I can totally understand why it happened. I don't know what else the writer could have done with a goddess like character to make the rest of the novel work, but I wasn't expecting the series of events involving her shift. Never trust Gretel is still the best advice anyone can give.

This was a very unique and ambitious series, and book one, Bitter Seeds was an incredible achievement. Book two, The Coldest War blew my mind, especially the ending, and I wondered how the third novel would compare. For me, the second book was probably the peak of the series as far as high drama and tension, and Necessary Evil was not as epic in some ways, though it was a worthy conclusion. I think reading the three books back to back to back would be best, as there are clues in book one and especially two that will improve the experience of the reader in book three.
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7 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Peter S. Bradley on July 3, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Marsh is back...back in London of 1939.

If you have read the prior two instalments of the "Milkweed Tryptich" - and you should before reading this review - you know that Ian Tregillis has played out the ramification that a Nazi superscience program - based on giving human beings "battery-powered" abilities - has succeeded. This tipped the early days of World War II dramatically in favor of the Germans, allowing the Germans to destroy the British military at Dunkirk. The only thing that spared Britain from invasion were the warlocks, who dealt with Lovecraftian horrors, aka the "Eidoloen," from another dimension. With the warlocks, the Brits were able to defeat Germany, but this left all of Europe in Soviet hands in this alternate history...and the Lovecraftian horrors with the key to the destruction of the world.

Marsh - the protagonist of the first two books - is sent back in time through the eldritch powers of the Eidolen. His mission is to destroy the German program and the British program, and maybe spare his alternate self from the life of misery that he lived after his daughter was killed in the saturation bombing of a small British village. He's aided in his mission by Gretel, the German "mutant" with the ability to see, and control, the future. Gretel for some reason has decided that she loves Marsh and therefore must destroy Marsh's baby daughter and his wife.

Does Marsh succeed in his mission? Will the British army survive Dunkirk? Will the Eidolens eventually destroy the universe? Will we have the history we remember?

You can pretty much figure that out for yourself.

The strengths of the book was its conception of an alternate history, so similar but so different from ours.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By link rae on May 22, 2013
Format: Hardcover
Strangely enough (?) 'The Milkweed Triptych' turned out be one of the most heartrending love stories of the last decades; on a par with Philip Pullman's 'His Dark Materials'.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Corry L. Lee on May 15, 2013
Format: Hardcover
You know how sometimes you fall in love with a book--say Tregillis' first novel, Bitter Seeds? You love the WWII spycraft, you love the action, the Nazi superheroes and the British warlocks. You love the explosions and the way momentum is totally conserved. And then you're afraid that the rest of the series might not live up to the awesomeness that was the first book? Then you read book 2, The Coldest War, and it also totally rocks, but really, how likely is it that the third book in the series will leave you walking away satisfied, anxious to pick up the author's next book?

Well, Necessary Evil knocked the socks off my expectations. It surprised me, it wooed me, it had me biting my nails, and it made me cry. It's a phenomenal conclusion to the Milkweed trilogy. As always, Tregillis delivers awesome action, great intrigue, fascinating characters, and some of the best prose you'll find in the genre. I couldn't put it down--and had to fight off my husband to read it first. I'm glad I won.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Once you've read Bitter Seeds and The Coldest War, you have to read this book or you won't get the closure the characters and the plot requires. The book is great and it stays with you long after you're done reading it.
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By Matt Morgan on March 6, 2014
Format: Paperback
Not sure why so many seem to write so glowingly of this deeply disappointing end to a trilogy that started with such promise. It feels like Tregillis had some really great ideas and bounced them off a lot of very wise heads to get much-needed insights into making "Bitter Seeds" quite the compelling read, then went it alone with the next two books. The reasons for Gretel's schemes coming undone are poorly explained and unconvincing, the demises of the other REGP ubermenschen are hollow and forgettable, the escape from justice of people every bit as despicable as Marsh makes Gretel out to be (I'm looking at you, Stephenson) is galling, and the meshing of the alternate time line feels fumbled (deus ex tempora, if you will). Clearly I'm in the minority of opinions on this book; many readers must enjoy their adolescent black ops fantasies served with heaping helpings of petty vengeance and jingoism.
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