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Swords of the Legion (The Videssos Cycle, Book 4) Mass Market Paperback – September 12, 1987


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Swords of the Legion (The Videssos Cycle, Book 4) + The Legion of Videssos (Videssos Cycle, Book 3) + An Emperor for the Legion (Videssos Cycle)
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Product Details

  • Series: Videssos (Book 4)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 408 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey; 1ST edition (September 12, 1987)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345330706
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345330703
  • Product Dimensions: 4.2 x 1.1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 5.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #539,232 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Inside Flap

In Videssos the city, tribune Marcus Scaurus was bored. The legion that had been magically transported to this strange world was far away. But the Emperor's niece Alypia was near -- and willing.
When their secret trysts were betrayed, Emperor Thorisin Gavras was forced to condemn Marcus as a traitor -- but with a promise of freedom and Alypia, if he could reclaim a rebel province from a fanatic usurper, with no military aid. With only centurion Gaius Philippus, Marcus set out to try the seemingly impossible task.
But the fates conspired against them, driving them further westward, into the innermost sanctum of Videssos' great enemy Yezd -- and toward the torture chambers of the evil, deathless wizard-prince Avshar.
But behind them, without orders, the men of the legion were on the march!

More About the Author

Harry Turtledove is the award-winning author of the alternate-history works The Man with the Iron Heart; The Guns of the South; How Few Remain (winner of the Sidewise Award for Best Novel); the Worldwar saga: In the Balance, Tilting the Balance, Upsetting the Balance, and Striking the Balance; the Colonization books: Second Contact, Down to Earth, and Aftershocks; the Great War epics: American Front, Walk in Hell, and Breakthroughs; the American Empire novels: Blood & Iron, The Center Cannot Hold, and Victorious Opposition; and the Settling Accounts series: Return Engagement, Drive to the East, The Grapple, and In at the Death. Turtledove is married to fellow novelist Laura Frankos. They have three daughters: Alison, Rachel, and Rebecca.

Customer Reviews

4.8 out of 5 stars
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You must read all four volumes of the series.
Dale Johnston
Most battles, especially in the Roman era, were fought this way.
silliman89
A great fantasy story by one of the genre's finest masters.
"fourstringmagic"

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

14 of 14 people found the following review helpful By silliman89 on August 29, 2000
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Harry Turtledove has said that his life was shaped and molded by reading "Lest Darkness Fall" by L. Sprague De Camp. To my mind this first series by the master of alternate history is a time travel book based loosely upon that previous classic. Elements of one of Caesar's legions are transported forward in time to the Byzantine Empire. Only it's not the Byzantine Empire, it's the Videssos Empire in another universe where magic works. Aside from that, it's the Byzantine Empire written by a Byzantine historian. Aside from just surviving, the hero must prevent his new homeland from being overrun by barbarians "Lest Darkness Fall". For this reason I consider this the best time travel series to a fictitious universe ever written, as well as the best series about a Roman Legion. It is a must read for anyone interested in the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, or time travel.
One of the many things which make this series interesting is that the heroes are from Caesar's Rome. Rome is young energetic vibrant and, most of all, expanding at this time. They are transported to the Byzantine/Videssos Empire while it is in a period of decline. (If it were the real Byzantine Empire, it would be the final decline, but we can still hope for a revival of the Videssos Empire.) The decadence brought by a thousand years of Empire is sharply contrasted with the vibrant patriotism of our heroes who remain unknowing that this is the destiny of their empire too.
This isn't just a military book where the legion moves from battle to battle. This is a much more realistic and complete world where the hero is thrust into the middle of court politics, and has to fight to overcome the shear inertia of the Empire's slide towards collapse.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on July 30, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This fourth and final book in the Videssos Cycle concludes the epic adventures of the Roman Legion with a flourish. Many new characters with their own skills and shortcomings are introduced, adding to the atmosphere of humor that surrounds the whole series. An overweight pen-pusher forced to fight when a diplomatic mission runs into trouble and a band of homosexual armored knights are only a couple of examples.

The final battle is a savory medley of might and magic at their finest, as Avshar, the Videssians and the Makurani fight for power and freedom. Meanwhile, our heroes attempt to make the ultimate sacrifice. . .

The only thing that upset me about this book is that it is the last in the series. The story was neatly tied off in the end, but it left me wanting more.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on February 18, 1997
Format: Mass Market Paperback
In this book, the lead character and his lieutenant are sent to do the impossible after his affair with the princess is uncovered. Politics are ripe in Videssos as the embodiment of evil siezes power over the nomads, allied nomads move in on the capital of Yezd, and the legion marches- without orders- to the rescue of their commander. This book brings together what seperated in the previous novel and sets the stage for a do-or-die climax. Like the others, Turtledove has written a book that is difficult to put down, a story that pulls you in to the complex web that is Videssos
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Matt Dedinas on August 23, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Harry Turtledove wraps up what may be his best series ever written in this, the fourth book of the Videssos Cycle. It is a classic tale of good and evil, light and darkness. Dr Turtledove brings to life the medieval Byzantine Empire in a fantasy world through his Videssos. As a lover of Byzantium, I have had few good fiction works to read about it. Dr Turtledove gives us a brilliant picture of this fabled-yet-neglected city in all his Eastern Roman works. He should be commended highly for bringing to the forefront this forgotten city.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By "fourstringmagic" on January 7, 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A great fantasy story by one of the genre's finest masters. The story is fast paced, intriguing, full of interesting twists. A Roman legion and a Barbarian army unit are magically transformed into an alien world where Magic is a common thing. The legioneers try to blend in with the locals while preserving their own culture at the same time.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on June 9, 1999
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The videssos series rates in my top 3 series along with drizzt stories and Tom Clancys books.I like the fact that magic is incorporated into the story as opposed to the story being written around the magic. many diverse characters and the interaction of those characters has u excited one moment, sad the next, and laughing the next. All around EXCELLENT :)))
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By General Pete VINE VOICE on January 25, 2006
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This fourth book of the Videssos Cycle concludes the best series that Harry Turtledove every wrote. The books are great because the characters for once are three dimensional and Dr. Turtledove manages to wrap up all the loose ends quite nicely. I wish he would return to Videssos and stop with his grand alternate World War series that just seems to get worse and worse.

Overall-Read this book
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