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Belisarius II: Storm at Noontide Hardcover – 3 Apr 2009

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Baen Books (3 April 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1416591486
  • ISBN-13: 978-1416591481
  • Product Dimensions: 15.5 x 4.3 x 23.5 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,916,959 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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About the Author

David Drake is one of the grand masters of military science fiction, known for his best-selling Hammer's Slammers series and many other novels. A Vietnam veteran, he employs his first-hand experience with the military life and combat to give his work the vivid images and feel of battle that have won him a huge readership. He was attending Duke University Law School when he was drafted. Upon his return from the U.S. Army, he completed his law degree at Duke and was for eight years Assistant Town Attorney for Chapel Hill, North Carolina. A full-time writer since 1981, his other books for Baen include the RCN-Leary series, the latest being "In the Stormy Red Sky," and the Belisarius series, written in collaboration with Eric Flint, the second and third novels of which are now combined in this volume. Eric Flint is the co-author of three "New York Times" best sellers in his "Ring of Fire" alternate history series. His first novel for Baen, "Mother of Demons," was picked by "Science Fiction Chronicle" as a best novel of the year. His "1632," which launched the Ring of Fire series, won widespread critical praise, as from "Publishers Weekly," which called him "an SF author of particular note, one who can entertain and edify in equal, and major, measure." A longtime labor union activist with a Master's Degree in history, he currently resides in northwest Indiana with his wife Lucille.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
Having foiled the Malwa once, Belisarius must face them in strength as they invade Persia. This is easily my favorite of the three. Knowing the real history it's nice to see Persians and Romans working together instead of destroying each other, and unlike the last book this one is occupied exclusively with epic battles. The first half features them facing off in Mesopotamia while the second has them in northeast Iran.

This volume has my favorite moments from the series. It's always nice to see everything come together, and the way things work out with almost miraculous precision is great. As I said in my previous review, it's not a particularly realistic series. None of the characters ever rise beyond one or two character traits and Belisarius' constant string of victories is just ever so slightly implausible. What it is is rousing action followed by more rousing action with maybe a little more rousing action thrown in on the side. Are there a few too many cliches and endlessly repeated in jokes and one-liners? Sure. But nobody said the series was high art. Odds are if you like it you'll REALLY like it, and if you don't then you probably won't get this far anyway.

What makes these books so much fun is not the overarching plot as much as the little moments. These are bits that are so cool it makes you silently go "Yes!" And this book has more of those moments than any other in the series. Sure there are plenty of not so good ones (an escape down a qanat for example) but the books seem to operate under the policy that if you throw enough cool stuff at the readers some of it will stick. That it does stick more often than not is a credit to the writers.
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By Mr P C Wootten on 23 Jun. 2013
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Eric is up to his best in this double length episode of the Belisarius story, reimagining the past with a twist.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 29 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Rome's Best General in Persia 11 Jan. 2013
By Arch Stanton - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Having foiled the Malwa once, Belisarius must face them in strength as they invade Persia. This is easily my favorite of the three. Knowing the real history it's nice to see Persians and Romans working together instead of destroying each other, and unlike the last book this one is occupied exclusively with epic battles. The first half features them facing off in Mesopotamia while the second has them in northeast Iran.

This volume has my favorite moments from the series. It's always nice to see everything come together, and the way things work out with almost miraculous precision is great. As I said in my previous review, it's not a particularly realistic series. None of the characters ever rise beyond one or two character traits and Belisarius' constant string of victories is just ever so slightly implausible. What it is is rousing action followed by more rousing action with maybe a little more rousing action thrown in on the side. Are there a few too many cliches and endlessly repeated in jokes and one-liners? Sure. But nobody said the series was high art. Odds are if you like it you'll REALLY like it, and if you don't then you probably won't get this far anyway.

What makes these books so much fun is not the overarching plot as much as the little moments. These are bits that are so cool it makes you silently go "Yes!" And this book has more of those moments than any other in the series. Sure there are plenty of not so good ones (an escape down a qanat for example) but the books seem to operate under the policy that if you throw enough cool stuff at the readers some of it will stick. That it does stick more often than not is a credit to the writers.

As with the last volume this one was originally two books, Destiny's Shield and Fortune's Stroke. It's the middle volume of a three volume trilogy, Belisarius I: Thunder at Dawn and Belisarius III: The Flames of Sunset being the other two. I'd recommend that you start with the first book since this one really doesn't explain the backstory. Nonetheless, it's perfectly possible to start here. I did.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Well based alternate history with a touch of fun 10 April 2014
By Experience - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This as the second book surpassed the first. It fits in well and launches the third book very nicely. An amazing amount of human character displayed, compared to others even of the same author. good show!
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Belisarius Defends Persia 18 Feb. 2009
By Arthur W. Jordin - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
Storm at Noontide (2009) is the second SF omnibus in the Belisarius series, including Destiny's Shield and Fortune's Stroke. In this series, Belisarius has gone to the Malwa Empire and met many of the ruling family. He has also taken some steps to make allies, creating potential chaos. Then Malwa agents blind Justinian so that he cannot be emperor.

Destiny's Shield (1999) is the third novel in this series. Photius -- Antonina's eight year old son -- is adopted by Justinian and Theodora and then acclaimed as the Emperor. Theodora will be his regnant and Justinian his advisor. Hypatia will be his governess and Justin his chief bodyguard. Belisarius will be his strategos and Antonina his comfort.

Baresmanas of the Suren is the new Persian Ambassador. His audience is the first public appearance of the new emperor. He worries Photius until the young emperor makes a slight mistake in his greeting for the ambassador. When Baresmanas smiles warmly at his recovery, Photius is relieved. Baresmanas suddenly reminds Photius of his stepfather Belisarius.

After putting Photius to bed, Antonina joins a conference with the Persian ambassador. Baresmanas is just concluding a long and involved speech warning the Romans against interfering in the secession in Persia. As he is finishing his remarks, Irene Macrembolitissa ushers in a Persian officer, who whispers in the ambassador's ear.

When the ambassador withdraws to speak to his own entourage, Irene passes on the gist of the news. Persia has been invaded by the Malwa. Khusrau -- the new King of Kings -- has instructed Baresmanas to ask for Roman aid.

In this story, Belisarius leaves for Persia with his troops and the Persian ambassador. He and the Persians will face an army of two hundred thousand men. Only the Malwa could raise and support as army of this size.

The King of Kings is encamped within the ruins of Babylon. The bulk of the Malwa army has his army under siege, but cavalry units are scouring the rest of the country. Only Belisarius and his forces are available to counter these Malwa troops.

Antonina is leading the expedition against their opponents within Egypt. She has the Theodora Cohort, an infantry legion and five hundred cataphracts as well as hundreds of the newly formed order of the Knights Hospitaler. She also has Ashot as her military advisor and Irene as her intelligence advisor.

Empress Shakuntala is having problems with her maternal grandfather. He is demanding her departure from Kerala and is neglecting to block assassination attempts against her. In talks with his advisors, the empress agrees to leave if her grandfather pays for transportation and supplies. Otherwise, her Marathas may well take his kingdom from him.

Fortune's Stroke (2000) is the fourth novel in this series. Belisarius faces Lord Damodara and the Rajputs in the Zagros mountains. He scouts out the terrain and almost gets caught by an ambush set for him by Rana Sanga, but Belisarius and his bodyguards elude the Rajputs. Belisarius certainly deserves the rebukes he receives from his friends for underestimating his opponents.

Antonina is getting a tour of the city of Axum with Eon while his father Kaleb is consulting with the imperial advisors about the proposals from Rome. They are returning to the royal compound when she sees three men -- one an Indian -- running away from the compound. Then Ousanas tackles both Eon and Antonina and takes them to the ground just as a huge explosion destroys the buildings.

The negusa nagast and his eldest son died in the explosion. Now Eon is the only remaining heir to the throne. After a brief -- and largely symbolic -- trial of the dawazz Ousanas, Eon is conferred with the title of negusa nagast. He immediately begins planning for revenge against the Malwa and their dupes.

In Suppara, Irene Macrembolitissa -- Roman ambassador to the rebels in southern India -- literally runs into Kungas in the halls of the palace. She has been briefed by Belisarius, but doesn't expect much from an illiterate barbarian. Then she learns a little more about him and gains ample respect for the man. He is certainly illiterate, but he is not a barbarian. So she starts teaching him to read.

In this story, Rana Sanga realizes that Belisarius is blocking them from turning to the south. Lord Damodara agrees and the two decide to continue to the north into whatever trap Belisarius has contrived. When the Ye-tai object to marching rather than attacking the pass, Damodara gives them the honor of leading the march. Let the Ye-tai bear the brunt of the next ambush.

Then Belisarius discovers that the Malwa army under Damodara has built its own armament industry in Marv using Kushan artisans. Now Damodara is not dependent upon the supply lines from northern India for powder, shot and rockets. Worse yet, the new rockets have venturi to control their flight and are much more accurate.

Eon prepares to put down a revolt within his forces. Three regiments are supporting their own candidate for the negusa nagast. Garmat -- the only surviving advisor to Kaleb -- recommends that they concentrate on gaining the support of the Quraysh in Mecca. Ousanas agrees wholeheartedly with Garmat.

This tale takes Belisarius into a parlay with Rana Sanga where he privately reminds the Rajput to remember the exact words of his oath. Then Belisarius takes his army off the battlefield and pursues other plans. Meanwhile, Antonina is sailing for a rendezvous with her husband.

These stories have the Romans supplying cannons to their allies as well as for their own forces. They also include every form of armed conflict other than the use of weapons of mass destruction. But Belisarius creates his own weapon of mass destruction. Read and enjoy!

Highly recommended for Drake & Flint fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of military and naval combat, political intrigue and a touch of romance.

-Arthur W. Jordin
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Belisarius II: Storm at Noontide 2 Mar. 2014
By nasknit - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I've been looking for this book for quite some time, so I could read the Whole series. It's well written, and an interesting view of an alternate "Roman Empire".
reprinting is rip-off but if you haven't read Belisarius series worth it 1 Mar. 2009
By David G - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Hardcover
This is a great series, fun and a must read for fans of fantasy battles, what if histories or just plain action books. Unfotunatley it is also a reprint of previously published books. My excitement bubbled over when I saw a new release in what I thought was a completed series. At least the publisher had the integrity to state in synopsis this was reprint of the previously published books. I hate spending money only to find I have rebought a book I own with new title and cover. Publishers should be ashamed of this tactic.

If you don't already own the series by all means buy it; but compare prices on this edition versus buying the separate books. It's worth owning, but not paying for twice.
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