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Fortune's Stroke (Belisarius) Mass Market Paperback – Jul 2001

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster Inc; Reprint edition (July 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671319981
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671319984
  • Product Dimensions: 17.3 x 2.3 x 10.7 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 2,080,906 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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When they reached the crest of the trail, two hours after daybreak, Belisarius reined in his horse. Read the first page
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 14 Jan. 2001
Format: Hardcover
With his sword, his paladins & his genius, the great Roman General Belisarius & his wife & co-commander, Antonia, face the overwhelming Malwa forces as the armies of Good & Evil gather on the fertile plains of Mesopatamia.
Meanwhile a supercomputer from the future has used the tools of terror & war to forge the Evil Malwa Empire coming out of the vast Indian subcontinent & a jewel in which is encased a human soul that has no other power than the truth for which Good, General Belisarius with move mountains.
Eric Flint & David Drake have brought to life the breadth & depth of that time with humor & hair-raising detail; taking from real history its politics & brutality & expanding on the possibilities that existed then.
Though I may not wax eloquent nor strive to place these books on my shelf for ever & ever, they have given me food for hours & hours of thought & have made reading history much more enjoyable. I do recommend this series.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Arch Stanton TOP 1000 REVIEWER on 11 Jan. 2013
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Still in Persia, but this time Belisarius is going up against Damadora and Rana Sama. This means that there are fewer epic successes and much more dangerous battles. This book continues the fun adventure set up in the last one as Belisarius helps drive the Malwa out of Persia. Good, basic fun.

This book is a sequel to Destiny's Shield, but I'd be amiss if I didn't mention that the entire series has been released in better editions. Aside from the free ebooks available at the Baen website, they've released the series as a trilogy with two books to each volume. Belisarius I: Thunder at Dawn contains the first two books, Belisarius II: Storm at Noontide this one and Destiny's Shield, and Belisarius III: The Flames of Sunset the final ones. I'd recommend buying them that way since these books really work better in twos than on their own. The first two books take place in Rome/India, the second two in Persia, and the final two in India. A clear division.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 20 reviews
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
A Nice Ride Over-all 25 May 2000
By Dianna Deeley - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
If you've read the first three of these, you know the plot outline: Deadly with a blade, is Belisarius. Well, with an army, really. There are a couple nice little plot twists, which I'm not going to give away. There are a couple lightly romantic subplots, which I did enjoy.
There is, really, nothing seriously wrong with this book. It's fun, and I certainly don't regret buying it in hardbound.
You realize you are not hearing unqualified praise, here. The first two were unalloyed pleasure for me, and the third was pretty good. My problems have everything to do with what I'm beginning to classify as Eric Flint's verbal tics. I didn't before, because I hadn't enough acquaintance with his work to say. While David Drake has a certain grim, economical style of his own, Flint writes like a high school history teacher should speak, with both the enthusiasm and the weaknesses implied by that.
He is engaged with his material, he enjoys showing us how these people in the past, who were just as smart as we are, did things. He does fail on the same point that I've never really been able to get across to young people: they weren't like us. I'd put that in caps, except that I don't approve of shouting.
Furthermore, I noted this in Flint's 1632, I'm getting tired of certain characteristic phrases, like "mind you," and habits like, "tense. Tense. Tense." "Bad, bad move." And so on. In one character's mental voice, I could abide it. But have mercy! At least once a chapter, the thrice-repeated word? I started muttering, "And what I tell you three times is true."
Another verbal tic, and whose fault this is, I don't know, but the word "huge" must be excised from somebody's vocabulary. Using the adjective huge twice in one paragraph? Oh, dear. I am officially declaring this to be a dead word.
Perhaps it's simply the fact that I know that a complex series of maneuvers is going to lead to triumph for Belisarius, but the book just felt too predictable, and the neat details of armament, animal handling, and technology weren't there this time. Nor did the territory covered feel more than sketched in.
Yeah, I liked it. Yeah, I don't feel cheated. But I'd love to see the writers pay a little more attention in the next book, or I will feel disappointed.
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
You're sending Belisarius? Sire, that's ALL you had to say! 15 Jun. 2000
By Oso Blanco - Published on
Format: Hardcover
This is the fifth Eric Flint book I've read. I suppose it's possible that some day he'll write a bad book, but I won't be able to review it because the shock will have killed me.
This one didn't disappoint me in the least. Belisarius doesn't figure as centrally in this one as in the previous three books, simply because Flint gives more room to the vitally-needed Rome-Axum alliance and to Shakuntala, Rhagunath Rao, and the Deccan Revolt. With the possible exception of Churchill, nobody has ever changed the course of a war single-handed, and even Belisarius can't manage this one alone. Fortunately, Belisarius has friends, without whose help he would find himself out on the end of a long tree limb, and find the Malwa standing behind him with chainsaws. Antonina, Eon, Ousanas, Shakuntala, Irene Makrembolitassa, Kungas, and Rhagunath Rao are all people well worth spending time with. I'd have liked to see a bit more of Byzantium and what's going on back there in this book, but that can wait. We'll be going back.
The really neat thing about this book is that Flint understands that, while wars aren't won without combat, the true battle is always in people's minds and souls. Two scenes in the book bring this out starkly. In one scene (no spoilers here) Belisarius does more damage to the Malwa in ten minutes with his wits, wisdom and words, than in the entire Battle of Charax. He did it so neatly that I didn't even realize the Malwa had been stabbed through the belly until the book was almost over. In the other scene, we encounter the *true* depths of the Malwa evil. The key section occupied only two paragraphs, but when I finished them, I felt as if somebody had dripped icewater down my spine. This is *writing*!
The book is, of course, part of a series, so we don't see how the whole story comes out, but the ending, like those of the earlier books, is both logically and emotionally satisfying. We are allowed to rejoice with our friends even as we realize that the REAL work lies ahead.
There are now three living authors whose new books I'm willing to buy sight unseen on the strength of their names. Poul Anderson, Lois McMaster Bujold, and now, Eric Flint. Once more, thank you Eric. I'm looking forward to the next Belisarius book, to "Rats, Bats and Vats" later this year, and "1633" next year. Peace and blessings.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Belisarius strikes again! 3 Jun. 2000
By Pamala Kuhn - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Eric Flint and David Drake make a great team. I thoroughly enjoed this book. I have read the three previous books in this series and this one continued the story very well. It was worth waiting for.
I love the characters and the plot is fascinating. I have always been interested in this time period, and this series has brought the cultures of this time and place to life for me. I think that I have learned more about india and the people who lived there than I ever did in school. In addition, the authors do a good job of introducing modern military hardware (rockets and guns) and tactics while adjusting them for the capabilities of the period. The military, political and social details in this book add considerable background and depth to the plot.
The only problem was that the book did not hold my interest as intensely as the earlier books did. There were also a few places where I would have been happier with a more detailed build up to a scene. I wanted to know more about what happened to the characters on the way; I wanted richer descriptions. I would have been thrilled if the book had been a hundred pages longer.
This is not a serious problem. The series as a whole is still a rich and enthralling alternative history and I am looking forward to the nect book.
6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
Another excellent installment in this series 22 Jun. 2000
By Glenn H. Reynolds - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Got it. Read it in one long sitting. Wasted a whole day. Except it wasn't a waste, because it's an excellent book. There's more action among the other characters, but Belisarius remains at the center of this story. Aide becomes more humanized (and occasionally a bit *too* cute), and the story continues. If you liked the earlier books, you'll like this one; it's every bit as good. Also, this book (very much like early Heinlein) is not only a great story, but one with a moral point. It's not heavy-handed, but it's there, and it's good. Bravo!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
The tension is building... 1 May 2001
By N. Dodson - Published on
Format: Hardcover
FORTUNE'S STROKE is the (action-packed) fourth installment of this series. This time around, Belisarius doesn't have such an easy time defeating the Malwa. The advance of Damodora places him up against Rana Sanga, a warrior he likes and respects. After their encounter in the mountains of Persia, he will respect him even more. Elsewhere, tragedy in Ethiopia spurs on the Axum-Roman alliance, and Antonina furthers her education in the ways of war.
Despite the sheer carnage that forms the center of the book, much of the focus is on human relationships. True Love blossoms for Eon, Shakuntala, Holkar, and Irene, while the devotion of Belisarius and Antonina is unshaken. Just as gratifying is the continued development of Aide into a character with a mind and voice of his own.
It can be taken for granted that the Malwa forces in Mesopotamia and India suffer tremendous losses in this installment. While it's not exactly a cliff-hanger, there is incentive to read the next book. The authors dangle a carrot at the end of the book in the form of the (imperial) ambitions of Narses, now firmly entrenched in the Malwa camp. (For that matter, when will we hear more about Photius and the Roman empire!?) I for one will be haunting the bookstores until THE TIDE OF VICTORY arrives to--well, tide me over.
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