- File Size: 2256 KB
- Print Length: 576 pages
- Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
- Publisher: Baen Books; 1 edition (December 10, 2013)
- Publication Date: December 10, 2013
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00AP91WRQ
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #271,236 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Warlord (Raj Whitehall combo volumes Book 1) Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
This framing story isn't terribly important, however. The books that make up this series are about the campaigns to unify Bellevue, and the soldiers that fight in them. This is very good military science fiction, full of strongly drawn characters smacking the heck out of each other. The battles are written with energy and verve, the names of characters and places are in-jokes half the time, and the authors make clear their opinion that politics is more dangerous than open warfare.
The authors shamelessly pilfer ideas from different eras of military history in order to tell a good story. The military technology used falls somewhere between the US Civil war and the first World War; with bolt/lever action repeating rifles and breach loading field cannon. The campaigns are modeled after those faught by the Roman General Bellisarius (sometimes leading to confusion between this series and Drake's "Bellisarius" novels). The tactics used by Raj are closer to those of the British armies in the Napoleonic wars, with weapons a century advanced over Wellington's.
Raj also has the advantage that most of the time his enemies are Medieval in weaponry & tactics, simplifying his job a bit. Still, his government is so stingy in the troops it gives him that he always ends up vastly outnumbered and barely able to win the day.
Like I said; it's really good military science fiction...
I almost begrudge the fifth star in my rating because of a poor job in typesetting in this edition, but it doesn't seriously detract from the story.
Raj Whitehall is an officer in the army of the Civil Government of Holy Federation. He has recently been promoted to Captain for his role in suppressing rioting in the streets. He and his friend Thom Poplanich, a scion of the previous imperial dynasty, were exploring the catacombs under the Governor's palace when they found a Sector Command and Control Unit, a pre-Fall military/political computer facility.
The Center has been trying to break the downward slide of civilization, but lacked a suitable agent. It offered the ambitious young officer the chance of a military career beyond his wildest dreams if he allowed it to advise him; when Raj agreed, it provided the capability of instant mental communication by voice and pictures to and from Raj. When Raj returned to his duties, Center would present him with detailed, lifelike scenarios for various projected actions.
Center calculated that Thom would be executed when the Governor's heir took the throne, so he was retained in suspension within the Center, learning the skills of governing.
In The Forge (1991), the first novel in the series, Raj is given command of the Fifth Descott Guards, a hill unit from his homeland, during a coordinated feint with other Civil Government forces against the Colony borderlands. Raj has proposed the feint to force the Colony to react to a perceived raid and thus reconsider their plans to invade Civil Government lands.
In The Hammer (1992), the second novel in the series, Raj commands the Expeditionary Force attempting to retake the Southern Territories.
This series was created by Drake and fleshed out by Stirling. It was loosely based on the career of Belisarius, the Eastern Roman Empire general, who may have been the best fighting general in all history. Belisarius came to the attention of the current Emperor when he crushed the Nika rioters. His nemesis was the Imperial heir, and subsequent Emperor, Justinian, who was a brilliant administrator, but a poor general, and who saw Belisarius as a rival for the throne. Thus, Justinian repeatly set up Belisarius for failure, yet somehow the general kept winning.
The story of Belisarius has fascinated many people down through the ages and several other SF works have been inspired by his life. None, however, has ever generated the same degree of wonder as the original. This series, however, comes close.
Recommended for Stirling & Drake fans and anyone else who enjoys military SF set in a early industrial milieau.
If publishers somehow think that making it hard to buy and read books properly somehow increases their sales than they are smoking strong stuff.