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1635: The Eastern Front (Ring of Fire) Hardcover – 5 Oct 2010

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Baen Books; Reprint edition (5 Oct. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1439133891
  • ISBN-13: 978-1439133897
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 3 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 995,032 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

About the Author

Eric Flint is the author/creator of the "New York Times" best-selling Ring of Fire series, the most popular alternate history series today. With David Drake he has written six popular novels in the Belisarius series, and with David Weber collaborated on "1633," and "1634: The Baltic War," two novels in the Ring of Fire series, and on "Crown of Slaves," a best of the year pick by "Publishers Weekly," and its sequel, "Torch of Freedom." Flint received his masters degree in history from UCLA and was for many years a labor union activist. He lives in East Chicago, IL, with his wife and is working on more books in the best-selling Ring of Fire series.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

7 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Marshall Lord TOP 500 REVIEWER on 21 May 2011
Format: Hardcover
This is the ninth book in a series in which a small American town is sent back from around the turn of the millennium to Germany in the middle of the thirty years war. The books in this series are identified with titles which are, or begin with, the 17th century year in which each book starts (e.g. 1632, 1633, etc) and it is variously known as the "Ring of Fire" or "Assiti Shards" series.

(The "Ring of Fire" is how the inhabitants of Grantville described the event which brought their town back 370 years in time and a few thousand miles in space. The Assiti were the extraterrestial race whose thoughtless actions, described in the first book as akin to "criminal negligence," caused that event, though no human ever realises this.)

The books in this series differ very greatly in their style and focus, and I gather I am not the only reader who liked some of them very much more than others. The five which I did enjoy and can recommend to others, which include this one, can be read in sequence to give you an overall view of the history of the very different seventeenth century which Grantville's arrival in Germany in 1632 creates in the stories.

The five books which I personally recommend in this series to date are the ones which Eric Flint himself, in the afterword to "The Saxon Uprising" describes as the main line or spinal cord of the series. They are:

1632 (Ring of Fire)
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By TZ-173 on 8 Nov. 2010
Format: Hardcover
I am a fan of 1632 and Mr Flint's work in general. I think that you can tell when an author is enjoying what he's doing the original 1632 being a case in point. The Eastern Front has the difficult task of moving the players to their positions for the next 'act'. As such I think that the author found this to be more work than enjoyment. for a reader of the series this is an 'essential' read. It is just unfortunate that the by the last page our heroes have done little and lost much. If any one of the various strands had ended upbeat then this book would be five stars instead of three.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Fredrik Johnson on 19 Oct. 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
At last the saga is back on track. This book brings the 16XX story forward I will not spoil the your enjoyment by retelling the story, but the end makes you wish that the next book was availble now. The reason i have not given it 5 stars is two. The maps when a place is mentioned i expect to be able to find it on a map, the more so since there is 3 of them. Example: the first three words in the novel is "the upper vogtland". But that aera is not to be found. Better luck next time. Also, in the begining of the novel i felt that readin was getting hard as it was not mr. Flint writing. That soon disapeard and it was "pure flint".
if you liked 1632,1633,the baltic war buy this book as quick as you can !
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By Amazon Customer on 26 Jun. 2015
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Great, really enjoying it :-)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 61 reviews
44 of 46 people found the following review helpful
Setting the stage 4 Oct. 2010
By G. Peter Wityk - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book was a bit of a disappointment. Flint has done much better work in this series.

First, it is clearly a stage setting book. The amount of action feels less than the other books in the series. People are moved hither and yon according to the whims of a director and a script that we don't see. The stage is being set for the next book ( or two ) in the series.

Second, the narrative drags in places. There is too much expository, too much politics in action and too much dictation by Flint to the reader.

Third, Gustav Adolph was becoming the bull in the china shop which seems to limit what Flint wanted to do or where he wanted to go. The reader may or may not agree with Flint's solution to that issue.

That being said, I read it in one night just to know where the player were going and how the stage would be set for the next book. Flint is not yet at the stage where his laundry lists are interesting reading. But, he is getting there. If you are willing to accept the three caveats I list and want to be ready for the next book, then this is a must have.
40 of 44 people found the following review helpful
An excellent pallette cleanse, but I encourage a better edit 16 Oct. 2010
By Jason Wills-Starin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This book starts off with that same, perfect build up formula, those of you reading this review know is an Eric Flint joyride. For several painful books, this series has languished in Dreeson incident and political intrigues, but this is the 30 years war and it is again time to fight some battles. Flint does not disappoint here. He summarizes events for those who might be catching up, but you need 1632, 1633, the Ram's Rebellion, and maybe some of the Italian stuff to get the real feel for this, but the Dreeson incident gets 6 direct references, all couched in language that does not disappoint if you fell asleep during those novels.

*Minor Spoiler, mostly just an expansion on the blurb*

This is Eric Flint's book though, and he's got a ride for you. This is not a three stooges trek, this is a story in four main perspectives that follows the CoC, an Assassination plot, a war campaign featuring newly minted General Mike Stearns (and a new Colonel we all know) and something else that would be a spoiler. There are several other characters handled, but those 4 mains really move this story and advance us several months and several major plot points forward. I'd encourage anyone wanting to read this book to finish the earlier books through Canon law, at the very least, before challenging this, and Ring of Fire one and two, the Gazette 1 and maybe even Gazette's 2 and 3 first.

Why did I give it 4 stars?

Because like many books coming from Baen and even Tor where Weber is publishing, need a better copy editor. The first few sections are great, but while I am not a perfect grammarian, any copy that gets through this mangled hurts the readability of the book. We're buying hardback, please fix this before it gets to mass market or paperback. These aren't mere flubs, they're some passages that make you write the correction in the book in pen instead of pencil, so someone else doesn't have to stare at a page for a few minutes and try and figure out what that set of sentences meant. These are isolated incidents though, worsening in section 5 if I remember correctly and plaguing the book until the end with slightly less frequency. Other than that, this is a book for the keep pile, in dust jacket it joins the other books and I am again proud to continue reading the series.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Almost A Return to Form 23 Nov. 2010
By Jason Talley - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
The last book in the Ring of Fire series was about as enjoyable as swallowing shards of dirty glass. But with Virginia DeMarce no longer dragging things down like an anchor this book manages to bring back a lot of what is good about the 1632 books. Sadly, a few of the old problems linger.

In terms of good there's a lot to like. Mike Sterns is again at the forefront which is great since he's a character that's very easy to make things happen around. Mike's a bit uncomfortable in his new role as a general but he plays it smart like he always does and it's clear that in time he's going to be just as dangerous on the battlefield as he was in politics. Mike's tough solutions to problems are a bit of a theme in the story and seeing his own worry at just how ruthless he was willing to be provided a good and very needed human moment.

As is usual there are a lot of characters and a lot going on. I'll not remark on them all. But while the book does skip around a lot there's interesting things happening everywhere from Poland to Sweden to Saxony. And by fully taking back the story Flint even manages to salvage the Huguenot subplot from the last book.

On the downside I think that Flint isn't sure what to do with Gustav apart from have him running around taking over as much of Europe as possible. This seems a far cry from the very smart man we met in the first book. To be fair Flint seems to be trying to do something new with Gustav but just what is unclear.

The main problem with this book, however, is that it's clearly a set up. While there are some climaxes few things are fully sorted out. That leaves a LOT of things that will have to come together in the next book which is a bit worrisome.

Also on the downside Flint's asides into the history of the 17th century world, long-winded run downs on politics and who is related to who and how remain. But to his credit Flint seems to have realized that casual readers don't find all this as interesting as he does so the details on such things are keep much shorter which is most refreshing. Flint even takes a little poke at himself in that regards with Rebecca's own observation that the wordy title she's considering writing would "only be of interests to academics like herself." Thankfully both she and Flint opt to make their works a bit more accessible to the common person.

All in all if you're a fan of the Ring of Fire books pick this up. While not without flaws it's a return to much of what makes the series enjoyable.
11 of 11 people found the following review helpful
Flint Breathes New Life into Series while producing Penance for the DeMarce collaborations 12 Nov. 2010
By Amazon Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
As my long-winded title suggests, The Eastern Front breathes new life into the 1632 series and is also more than suitable penance for the atrocious collaboration with Virginia DeMarce, the Bavarian Crisis and The Dreeson Incident (the latter of which I couldn't actually finish). That said, if you haven't read them prior to this, DON'T. Flint includes entirely suitable precises to incorporate any vital information from them into the Eastern Front.

Honestly, because of those needless books, this series was on its last chance with me. If I hadn't so thoroughly enjoyed the Baltic War. That said, Flint was back in fine form. It inspired an "AGHH! There isn't enough book!" feeling for me I haven't had with this series since 1633. Flint does leave you craving more and I now eagerly await the Saxon Uprising
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Nice battle scenes but it takes too long getting there 10 April 2011
By booksforabuck - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Three years after the city of Grantville, West Virginia was mysteriously transported to the middle of Germany during the 30 years war, the Americans have played a powerful role in Swedish King Gustavus Adolphus's successes (and survival). Austria has been humbled and now licks her wounds, looking for a chance at revenge. The French, under Richlieu are reluctant to renew hostilities, but Gustavus has enemies available. Specifically, Brandenberg and Saxony have rebelled. Gustavus's plans go beyond those German principalities, though. He intends to conquer Poland as well.

After three years of warfare, the weapons, vehicles and tools that the Americans brought back with them have been exhausted. But the ideas and technologies they introduced to early 17th century Europe continue to spread. Rumor has it that the Turks have adopted a crash technology program. Certainly the French did, with their development of a primitive but effective breech-loading rifle--something not readily available even to the Americans and their allies. Ideas of religious liberty and freedom have also spread. In particular, the Committies of Correspondence promote democracy everywhere, even (perhaps especially) in areas where they are unwelcome.

Further Swedish conquests certainly appear to offer potential for more liberty, more democracy, a faster spread of the kind of Enlightenment civilization the Grantville Americans have attempted to bring to Europe. But former union leader and now general Mike Stearns knows that democracy is tough to impose by force and that democracy remains threatened even in the "United States of Europe" (which encompasses most of what is now Germany).

Author Eric Flint continues the series he began with 1632. This book starts slowly, with long scenes involving people talking to one another, explaining things that they probably should already know, admiring what beautiful houses they now own, and generally going on with lives that may be highly satisfactory but don't really interest me. The story picks up when Flint finally throws us into the war with easy conquests of Saxony and Brandenburg, but increasing problems in Poland.

In the sub-genre of time-travel technology-related stories, the 1632 series does an excellent job dealing both with the benefits and limitations of late 20th century technology in the 17th century context. Ultimately, it isn't the miracle weapon that defines history, it's the people and their ideas. Flint does a good job discussing the spread of Enlightenment-era ideas such as freedom of religion and democracy, together with a recognition of the evils of slavery and serfdom, and the horrors of anti-Semitism. Intriguingly, Flint's heroes are not great political geniuses (although Stearns is moving in that direction) but ordinary people thrown into unusual circumstances and forced to cope. For the most part, even his villains are not really bad people (although many of them are rather stupid). Rather, they see themselves as people forced to take extreme measures to do the right thing. The group of French Hugonauts intent on framing France for assassinations to create a war they believe will destroy Richlieu are a great example.

After several books written by Flint with co-authors, it's interesting to see Flint taking a solo effort. Unfortunately, some of the dialogue-heavy nothing happening but talking heads style that Flint colaborator Virginia DeMarce brought to the series seems to have stuck. The first half of this book could have been trimmed dramatically without losing any story value and with major improvements to readability. 1635: THE EASTERN FRONT has some thought-provoking ideas, and it represents what I think is a conscious (and welcome) break from the style of writing that puts a superhuman protagonist through her paces. I just wish Flint's editors pushed him harder to get to the story.
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