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Empire of the East Mass Market Paperback – Oct 1979

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Mass Market Paperback, Oct 1979

Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Ace Books (Oct. 1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441205623
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441205622
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2.5 x 12.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 6,577,965 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description

Essef - Omnibus which contains: 'The Broken Lands', 'The Black Mountains' and 'Changeling Earth'. In the distant future, society has crumbled. Dark forces now rule the land, keeping all humans under their oppressive thumbs. In the darkness of the shadows and whispered on the winds, there is talk of a rebellion. In the swamps, a small band has formed. Determined to regain their freedom, the rebellion, heavily outnumbered, plans to overthrow an army of thousands... with the help of one incredible weapon. It is only a legend, a story left over from the Old World before magic and the wizards came to the land. A weapon of technology. It is the mystical Elephant, and whoever masters it holds the key to freedom, or defeat. One young man, determined to avenge the death of his family, sets out to join the rebellion and find Elephant. What he discovers will change everything.

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8 of 8 people found the following review helpful By Ghostwheel on 12 Nov. 2003
Format: Paperback
This is a compilation of an original trilogy, set in the world that Saberhagen later developed for his better known "Swords" novels.
The mythic themes that are a trademark of the author are balanced here by originality and a human story. This story is set in our own future, where technology is almost forgotten and magic is commonplace. This concept and its eventual, pseudo-scientific explanation might feel a little forced at times, but this is a price worth paying to avoid the usual fantasy cliches.
Empire of the East has all of the wonderful imagery and characterisation of Saberhagen at his best, and feels less formulaic than his later novels. While many works of fantasy continue to be written in three volumes for no reason other than habit, this story actually benefits from the trilogy format. The fight against the oppression of the Emperor develops from local to continental scale, the characters grow in maturity and purpose, and the subtle workings of the "god" Ardneh comes more sharply into focus as the tale progresses from enigmatic beginning to one of the best endings I have read. An epic.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 39 reviews
30 of 32 people found the following review helpful
A Fundamental Change of Laws 5 Mar. 2003
By Arthur W. Jordin - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Empire of the East is an omnibus edition of a fantasy trilogy that includes The Broken Lands, The Black Mountains, and Ardneh's World (the last story is a revised version of Changling Earth). This series follows the adventures of Rolf, a sixteen year old peasant boy in the lands of the Satrap Ekuman. When his parents are killed and his home destroyed, Rolf goes looking for the killers and his sister Lisa. He meets the peddler Mewick, who helps him bury his parents, and then accompanies the peddler until they are stopped by three soldiers of the Castle. While the soldiers are distracted by the contents of the peddler's pack, Rolf goes beserk and throws a rock at the closest trooper. Although he misses, Mewick doesn't, and they kill all three soldiers. However, their actions are seen and they immediately have to run from other soldiers. Through these deeds, Rolf became a member of the Western resistance.

In The Broken Lands, Rolf and his teammates search for the Elephant, a very powerful thing or creature of the Old World.

In The Black Mountains, Rolf and his teammates follow Lord Chup and a golden charm to the Black Mountains, where they encountered a demi-god.

In Ardneh's World, Rolf dreams of Ardneh and the transformation of the Old World of science into a new world of magic, and follows his dreams to Ardneh itself.

This series is one of the most enthralling tales of magical adventure that I have ever encountered. All of the Swords and the Gods books are based on this series, but, while quite enjoyable in themselves, the sequels have never really achieved the same level of fascination.

Recommended for Saberhagen fans and anyone who enjoys well crafted tales of sword and sorcery.

-Arthur W. Jordin
27 of 31 people found the following review helpful
No-Frills Fantasy at its Best! 21 April 2006
By Brian J. Kirkell - Published on
Format: Paperback
Anytime I get sick of the over-written, under-edited garbage that many publishing houses pass off as fantasy literature these days, I turn to my 1979 Ace Books edition of Empire of the East.

Saberhagen's sparse, fast-paced style may seem harsh to people who grew up with the 90's and new millennium bloated literary vomit of Robert Jordan and his ilk; however, anyone who is willing to step past the "more words = better writing" mindset will be happily surprised by the energy, characterization, plotting, and true sense of proper conclusion that Empire of the East provides.

Empire of the East is a fine example of late 60's, early 70's fantasy: characters grow in direct correlation to their deeds and not through some unappetizing mechanism of video game-like power levels that has become the norm these days; moral and ethical issues are explored through the stories and not through the preachy 40-page socio-political rants made famous by Terry Goodkind; and, best of all, it's a rousing good tale that you can get through in a few days and walk away from deeply satisfied.

I would recommend Empire of the East to anyone, but would also warn that it is not for everyone. Most people who only know fantasy that reads tolerably well when skipping one page in eight will need to develop a taste for books like Empire of the East. Still, it is well worth doing if you are looking for an exceptional book that can be read and re-read once every five or so years over your entire lifetime.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
An incredible blend of sorcery and science 16 Sept. 1997
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Paperback
This is the book which gave rise the the "Swords" series. An wonderful tale of a peasant boy caught up in a world of magic which is not quite what it seems. This is without a doubt the one of the best fantasy books ever written. It is down to earth (no passing through realms the human mind cannot grasp) but written so well and with such real characters that few books ever compare. Characters are not black and white and a "villan" can later become a "hero" as each person must answer to their own code of ethics. Also any dog lover has got to fall in love with Draffut who perfectly captures the unconditional loyalty of mans best friend. If you enjoy fantasy this is a must read.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
He never wrote this well again 23 Jan. 2003
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
I read this book over 20 years ago and, along with most of Moorcock, is one of my few teenage fantasy faves to hold up to an adult rereading. The characters are three-dimensional and the plot progresses in a logical fashion. I later read the first three Swords Books and found them to be progressively unreadable. In contrast, Empire (to be reprinted in '03) tells a story that is honestly compelling rather than volume after volume of endlessly overwritten product for sale. How many trilogies/series can you say that about?
7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
Fantasy and high technology 28 Dec. 2003
By W Boudville - Published on
Format: Paperback
Fred Saberhagen is best known for his grim depiction of hard science fiction, in his Berserker series. So much so that sometimes you hear of the "Berserker hypothesis", as to why there might not be much sentient life out there. Yet, for decades, he has also written well received fantasy. This book is a recent reissue of what was originally several short stories seemlessly stitched into one organic narrative.
A strange and original blend of fantasy with high technology. True, this is strictly a fantasy. But Saberhagen seemingly places it in the far future after a devastating nuclear war. We see a still functioning tank, nuclear powered, though not as capable as Keith Laumer's Bolos. Plus, throughout the text, there are continual references, and instances of surviving technology.
These are sometimes invoked with deliberate hilarity. As when a magic spell sets fire to a villain's court. He then calmly uses a bright red fire extinguisher to snuff it out. The utter incongruity of this scene would make marvellous filming!
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