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Conqueror (Raj Whitehall combo volumes Book 2)

Conqueror (Raj Whitehall combo volumes Book 2) [Kindle Edition]

David Drake , S. M. Stirling
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description


With the aid of a sentient battle computer from before the collapse of interstellar civilization, Raj Whitehall has come close to reuniting the entire planet of Bellevue. Because of his victories and because of the way he won them, Raj is loved by the people—and his army would follow him to Hell. Even those closest to him, his band of sworn companions and his wickedly subtle but utterly loyal wife, hold him in awe.

And that's the problem. For though Raj battles only in the name of his emperor and has proven his loyalty again and again, still the half-mad jealousy and fear of Barholm Clerett is about to give Raj no choice but to revolt or face death by torture. Raj Whitehall, Hammer of the Barbarians, Sword of the Spirit of Man, has always been ready to bear any burden, pay any price for final victory.

Now his fate is on him.

At the publisher's request, this title is sold without DRM (Digital Rights Management).

S.M. Stirling instantly became known as a talented new writer of military SF for his highly acclaimed, widely-read "Draka" series, which began with Marching Through Georgia. His collaborative novel with Anne McCaffrey, The City Who Fought, was a national bestseller. In addition to his popular General series, written in collaboration with David Drake, he has also collaborated with Jerry Pournelle on both the best-selling Man-Kzin Wars series and the Falkenberg's Legion series, recently collected in one volume as The Prince. His alternate history series which began with Island in the Sea of Time has also been very popular. He lives with his wife in Santa Fe, NM.

Vietnam veteran, former lawyer, former bus driver, and now bestselling author, David Drake tells a military story like no other. His readers recognize that he can take them where no one else can, with gut-wrenching description that puts them face-to-face with the enemy, and in the midst of the action right on the battlefield. He helped create the audience for mercenary military science fiction with his best-selling "Hammer's Slammers" books. Drake graduated Phi Beta Kappa from the University of Iowa, majoring in history (with honors) and Latin. His stint at Duke University Law School was interrupted for two years by the U.S. Army, where he served as an enlisted interrogator with the 11th Armored Cavalry in Vietnam and Cambodia. Drake has a wife, a son, and various pets.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1819 KB
  • Print Length: 640 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Baen Books; 1 edition (10 Dec 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00APA4Q6E
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #105,035 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5.0 out of 5 stars excellent story 3 Nov 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this story its well written the world building excellent the pace dose not flag the tech levels
Ment works well as well
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5.0 out of 5 stars just as described. 13 July 2013
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
Product exactly as described. Delivery as stated, on time. Very happy with purchase. Book is just as I had expected in terms of the story line.
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5.0 out of 5 stars 3 Brilliant Books by two great authors 11 Mar 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Conclusion of the Series (started in 'The Warlord'). Previously available as Anvil, Steel and Sword of 'The General' series. Drake and Stirling's world (Bellevue) is complex and believable with the battles portrayed in their brutal complexity. The characters are interesting and feel gritty and authentic.
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0 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars ardcover is best 23 Mar 2011
I first came accross these book in softback form an excellant series, been reread so many times getting thread bare & falling apart so upgrading to hardcover version.
The softcover form was a bit on the cheap side, all fail apart at spine so need to update.
Plus hardcover looks better on book self.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  15 reviews
38 of 38 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Using the Reputation 11 Jun 2003
By Arthur W. Jordin - Published on
Conqueror is the second omnibus edition in the General series, containing the third, fourth and fifth novels. Eleven centuries after the Fall of the interstellar civilization called the Federation of Man, the planet Bellevue is in a downward spiral toward barbarism. The Civil Government controls only a portion of the planet and has been pushed out of the Old Residence, the original capital. Other areas are controlled by the Brigade and the Colony.

Raj Whitehall is a General in the army of the Civil Government of Holy Federation. He has foiled an invasion by the Colony and retakened the Southern Territories from the Squadron. He has been aided in these endeavors by the Center, a pre-Fall military/political computer facility. It has the ability to communicate by voice and pictures to and from Raj and can present detailed, lifelike scenarios to him for various projected actions.

His friend Thom Poplanich, a scion of the previous imperial dynasty, is being retained in suspension within the Center, learning the skills of governing.

In The Anvil (1993), the third novel in the series, Raj commands the campaign against the Western Territories and the barbarians of the Brigade, who hold the Old Residence.

In The Steel (1993), the fourth novel in the series, Raj has taken Lion City and continues his march toward the Old Residence.

In The Sword (1995), the fifth novel in the series, Raj has taken the Old Residence, but his wife Suzette has shot the Governor's young heir, Cabot Clerett, when the man tried to shoot Raj. The Governor is about to reduce Raj to quivering protein, but is interrupted by news that the Colony has invaded the Eastern provinces, taking Gurnyca. The military situation looks hopeless, so Raj is reprieved and given command in the East, with full Viceregal authority.

This story presumes a level of technology -- i.e., ships, armaments and equipment -- at about the pre-Civil War stage, much higher than that of Byzantium during the time of Belisarius, but still not as devastating as that of World War I. Thus, the force multipliers of firepower and mobility increased the damage that could be done by smaller forces against the more primitive Squadron and Brigade forces. However, the forces lead by Whitehall did not have such technological superiority over the Colony forces and, indeed, had a numerical disadvantage, so Raj used superior maneuvering, massed artillery fire, and defensive positions against them.

Recommended for Stirling & Drake fans and anyone else who enjoys military SF set in a early industrial milieau.

-Arthur W. Jordin
28 of 31 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Good Military 'Alt-History' Series 27 Feb 2003
By A Customer - Published on
This hardback reprint from Baen includes the final 3 books in David Drake's/S.M. Stirling's "The General" series about Raj Whitehall (in an alt-history role replacing the Byzantine general Belisarius). The books were first released in paperback ~ 10 years ago, glad to see them back in print. This hefty 3 volume sequel follows up to the first two books, also combined and released in hardback as 'Warlord'.
I enjoyed these books when they first came out, I remember being very frustrated each time I'd finish a book because I had to wait months before the next book in the series came out. Play your cards right and you'll have all the enjoyment, none of the frustration. As it should be.
After you've finished these books you may find yourself curious about the history behind this alt-history series. If so, I also recommend 'Count Belisarius' by Robert Graves.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent 5 book series, now in 2 volume omnibus 4 Jan 2005
By silliman89 - Published on
This is the standard by which I judge all military fiction. I have never found another series that was it's equal. Even when the same authors got together again for books 6 and 7 (which I have reviewed separately) they couldn't recreate the magic of this series.

THE GENERAL series (now released in a two volume omnibus edition - Warlord and Conqueror) is about a fallen interstellar society which has climbed it's way back up to the technological level of the American Civil War. The hero, Raj Whitehall, has to reunite the planet in order to reach the stars again some day. This involves a lot of fighting and empire building. What gives Raj his edge is the pre-fall computer he has linked with that can see through his eyes.

This series has outstanding character development, a solid and well thought out overall plot line, and good story resolution in each book. The two things that really make the series the top of its genre are the interaction between the computer and the hero, and the realism of the situation. The interaction is a delicate balance that the authors perform magically. If the computer (Center) contributes too much, then the hero has too much of an edge, he doesn't have to try, and the story becomes boring. Without the computer, the hero is just this god like superhuman character that can do no wrong. The computer assistance makes Raj identifiable to the reader, even after he overcomes overwhelming odds to defeat the enemy. The realism comes from the fact that Raj is based on the life of a real person. The whole story is very similar to the story of Byzantine General Belisarius who conquered most of the Mediterranean world for his Emperor after the fall of the Western Roman Empire. That makes it very believable. The characters are very real. Their actions really happened a millenium and a half ago.

This is a must read for any fan of military fiction or empire building.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Conqueror and Warlord 11 Feb 2013
By Charles F. Kartman - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
"Conqueror" and "Warlord" are the two collections of Raj Whitehall novels co-authored by S.M. Stirling and David Drake. It has been written elsewhere that Drake outlined them and Stirling did most of the wordsmithing, but I can't verify that. I can say that these books are typically fine Stirling forays into military sci-fi.

The premise is that mankind has fallen from the civilization that took him to the stars, but a supercomputer on one colonized planet, Bellevue, has waited thousands of years for the right time and right man, Raj Whitehall, to end the fall and start to reclimb. The computer somehow inhabits Raj, and provides him with advice and data. Bellevue is at a tech stage roughly at the level of the American Civil War, its local fauna are dinosaur-like, and cavalry dominates -- except that instead of horses there are half-ton dogs. The colony has fractured into several warring states, the reunification of which is the task the computer gives to Raj. Conquering each makes for the basic structure of the series of stories, or military campaigns, and in the background is the growing jealousy/paranoia of Raj's boss, the Emperor, err, the Governor. It is no secret that Raj is written to evoke Belisarius; the other fallen states of Bellevue are usually referred to as "barbs". The Civil Government has a small tech advantage in its conflicts, but Raj is always sent into the field with too few men with his annihilation an acceptable outcome.

These books are full of superbly written and plausible campaigns, gripping battles that fill dozens of pages with the realistic details that are a Stirling trademark, and excellent maps to help the reader follow along. Also typical of Stirling if less welcome are the marching songs and other "flavor" touches that part of his total commitment to whatever world he is creating.

Others have expressed some unease with the character of Raj's wife, Suzette. I enjoyed the presence of someone who is, well, complicated. The computer is another matter. As far as I can remember, it gives Raj only one tech suggestion -- a "splat gun" that is sixteen rifle barrels fastened together and playing a role roughly akin to the Gatling gun. Where the blurbs suggest that the computer gives Raj access to the history of other, famous military campaigns, it instead shows Raj images of outcomes if he follows certain courses. These scenes that don't occur except in Raj's mind's eye are well done but got a bit tiresome for me. Nonetheless, the computer is an interesting character that displays a certain amount of "personal" growth as the stories progress. Personally, I thought the dinosaurs and dogs were more window dressing than anything else, in place to make sure the reader understood this was not earth. And the history of Bellevue is hinted at but never really developed until the final volume when the Islamic presence is explained. But the Brigade and Squadron are really just names.

Be forewarned, these books contain a single plot that is slowly played out with multiple, exhausting military campaigns. It is extremely well done if that is your cup of tea, and should not be missed by those who like quasi-historical military sci-fi.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Books 3-5 24 Dec 2013
By Amazon Customer - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
well written by two very good authors keeps you wanting more. very interesting who these two worked together. I am ready for more.
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