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Misplaced Legions (Videssos Cycle) Mass Market Paperback – Feb 1991

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 30 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey Books; Reissue edition (Feb. 1991)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345330676
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345330673
  • Product Dimensions: 10.6 x 2.4 x 17.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 945,597 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Harry Turtledove is the award-winning author of the alternate-history works The Man with the Iron Heart; The Guns of the South; How Few Remain (winner of the Sidewise Award for Best Novel); the Worldwar saga: In the Balance, Tilting the Balance, Upsetting the Balance, and Striking the Balance; the Colonization books: Second Contact, Down to Earth, and Aftershocks; the Great War epics: American Front, Walk in Hell, and Breakthroughs; the American Empire novels: Blood & Iron, The Center Cannot Hold, and Victorious Opposition; and the Settling Accounts series: Return Engagement, Drive to the East, The Grapple, and In at the Death. Turtledove is married to fellow novelist Laura Frankos. They have three daughters: Alison, Rachel, and Rebecca.

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By muehj007@mail.uni-mainz.de on 16 Jan. 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This book opens a wonderful 4-part series on the fate of some 1500 Roman soldiers and one Gallic warrior that are magically transported to another world. They become a mercenary force in the army of the Empire in which they find themselves, quickly becoming embroiled in the battles and political feuding. Mr. Turtledove is the master of alternate histories, and it shows in these books. One advantage of setting this series in an imaginary world, is the ability to mix-and-match military units and fighting styles that would be totally anachronistic on our world. We see "Norman knights", "Viking axemen", and "Mongols" fighting next to our mini-legion. This provides fascinating food for thought for any armchair generals. Sadly, it is food without any seasoning provided by the author. The tactics used in the battles are not well described. All the battles are decided with a ruse, with hardly any blood shed, or fought out in first-person perspective with little more tactical description than who's to the left of whom at the start. Mr. Turtledove has an incredible knowledge of our history and ancient literature, but I'm not so sure of his _military_ history knowledge. We don't seem to see any brilliant _maneuvers_, just straight up hack-and-slash with a little magic thrown in. The other advantage that Mr. Turtledove finds in his use of an imaginary setting is the ability to explore religion and those who follow it, without offending anyone. Don't misunderstand me, this is done with a light hand, and is not at all preachy, but you definitely see the difference between tolerance and extremism. The magic of this book and series, though, is in Mr. Turtledove's characters.Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Maciej TOP 500 REVIEWER on 22 Aug. 2007
Format: Paperback
Imagine a roman legion from Ceasar Army which disappears and is transported to an alternate world, which looks mostly as the Mediterranean world around 600 AD. In this world the strongest and richest (although not exactly dominant) power is Empire of Videssos, which is actually a mirror image of Byzantin Empire in VII century AD (with some minor anachronisms), except that the magic in this world is real.

The misplaced legion becomes a precious mercenary force in service of Videssos and is soon put to the test of many wars waged by the powerful but vulnerable empire. The leader of the legion, Marcus Scaurus, attracts also the personal hostility of a horribly malevolent and greatly powerful warlock (no more details here to avoid the spoilers) and there is no certainty that he can survive this challenge.

The master of alternate history, Harry Turtledove, is also a professor of history and his speciality is the Byzantine empire - and it shows very much in this book. The ennemies (Makurans, equivalents of Persia and Ksatrish, the steppe nomads) and allies (Vaspurakaners, who are the local version of Armenians and Halogans, who are the equivalent of the Varangian guard) of Videssos are also very well described.

This is a very well written, original, smart and very erudit fantasy book, with many surprising twists in the action. I enjoyed it greatly and I recommend it warmly.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
Hi all,

This book is the first book of a 4 part videssos cycle by Harry Turtledove. Turtledove has become wellknown for his alternative history/SF books. Full of what ifs. But this series is different from that.

In my opinion this is one of the best series ever written. Might i say the magnum opus of Turtledove. From book 1 till book 4...there is no letdown in quality. Intrigue,politics, romance, battles, adventure, alternative history it's all in this book. It's simply unbelieveble how he was able to combine all these facets in one series. JUST AMAZING. I have read this series so often...and I still enjoy it when i read it all over again.

In this series turtledove was able to buildup the world of videssos, but also buildup the characters involved. Where at the beginning some characters are memorable as archetypical characters...as the series goes on they were fleshed out so much that you learn to care and love them....the goodies and even the baddies.
This series has also one of the most brilliant villains since Darth Vader.
Worldbuilding is excellent , also because Turtledove takes the time to take the readers into the everyday life in videssos. With the romans you are able to learn more and more of the world they have come to. Giving you a peek to how it would be if you are living there.
Even though he used the byzantime world as the template for videssos , it's admirable about the knowledge and details he knows of the people. Like the innerworking of legions. The steppe bow. etc etc.

Sadly people have already mentioned that the videssos world is actually based on the byzantine empire. But this is more than just an alternative world book. When i started this book/series...I did not even actually realise/know it.
Read more ›
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By M. Barton on 9 Jan. 2012
Format: Kindle Edition
The original series set in the world where Turtledove has created some 10 books in total and each one is excellent.
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