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Swords of Legion (Videssos Cycle) [Mass Market Paperback]

Harry Turtledove
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
RRP: 6.99
Price: 5.15 & FREE Delivery in the UK on orders over 10. Details
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Book Description

1 Dec 1992 Videssos Cycle (Book 4)
In Videssos the city, tribune Marcus Scaurus was bored. The legion that had been magically transported to this strange world was far away. But the Emperor's niece Alypia was near -- and willing.
When their secret trysts were betrayed, Emperor Thorisin Gavras was forced to condemn Marcus as a traitor -- but with a promise of freedom and Alypia, if he could reclaim a rebel province from a fanatic usurper, with no military aid. With only centurion Gaius Philippus, Marcus set out to try the seemingly impossible task.
But the fates conspired against them, driving them further westward, into the innermost sanctum of Videssos' great enemy Yezd -- and toward the torture chambers of the evil, deathless wizard-prince Avshar.
But behind them, without orders, the men of the legion were on the march!

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Swords of Legion (Videssos Cycle) + Legion of Videssos (Videssos Cycle) + Emperor for Legion (Videssos Cycle)
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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 30 pages
  • Publisher: Del Rey Books; paperback / softback edition (1 Dec 1992)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0345330706
  • ISBN-13: 978-0345330703
  • Product Dimensions: 2.6 x 11.4 x 17.1 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 997,820 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.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The final tale of the legion. 19 Feb 1997
By A Customer
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In this book, the lead character and his lieutenant are sent to do the impossible after his affair with the princess is uncovered. Politics are ripe in Videssos as the embodiment of evil siezes power over the nomads, allied nomads move in on the capital of Yezd, and the legion marches- without orders- to the rescue of their commander. This book brings together what seperated in the previous novel and sets the stage for a do-or-die climax. Like the others, Turtledove has written a book that is difficult to put down, a story that pulls you in to the complex web that is Videssos.
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4.0 out of 5 stars The Final Battle 2 Jan 2013
Format:Hardcover
The final faceoff with Yezd is at hand. Scaurus is in deep trouble and must accomplish an impossible task to keep his head and have any chance at gaining the girl he loves. Viridovix and Gorgidas are off with the khagan Arigh, who is leading a basically Mongolian army into Yezda. Basically, everything is going down and you can feel the series coming to its conclusion. This concludes the Videssos Cycle which began with The Misplaced Legion and continued through An Emperor for the Legion and The Legion of Videssos.

There were a number of surprises here, not least of which is that it becomes a bit more of a one-man adventure story again when Scaurus and Philipus are off on their own against the world. It actually reminds me of the first book more than any of the others. You also get to see a good deal more of the world than you did previously. The first book was the only one with any real exploring. The third one had the steppes to examine, but they felt kind of like you'd expect them to. Here we get to go into the heart of Yezd itself. Right into the royal palace in fact. The other surprise for me was the realization that these characters have all grown much deeper than they were when the series began. Some of them feel like actually developed personalities.

I've said it before and I'll say it again: Romans do not make good POV characters for this sort of thing. They're basically intended to represent the audience, but they really don't.
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Amazon.com: 4.8 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars is Not Enough 29 Aug 2000
By silliman89 - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Harry Turtledove has said that his life was shaped and molded by reading "Lest Darkness Fall" by L. Sprague De Camp. To my mind this first series by the master of alternate history is a time travel book based loosely upon that previous classic. Elements of one of Caesar's legions are transported forward in time to the Byzantine Empire. Only it's not the Byzantine Empire, it's the Videssos Empire in another universe where magic works. Aside from that, it's the Byzantine Empire written by a Byzantine historian. Aside from just surviving, the hero must prevent his new homeland from being overrun by barbarians "Lest Darkness Fall". For this reason I consider this the best time travel series to a fictitious universe ever written, as well as the best series about a Roman Legion. It is a must read for anyone interested in the Roman Empire, the Byzantine Empire, or time travel.
One of the many things which make this series interesting is that the heroes are from Caesar's Rome. Rome is young energetic vibrant and, most of all, expanding at this time. They are transported to the Byzantine/Videssos Empire while it is in a period of decline. (If it were the real Byzantine Empire, it would be the final decline, but we can still hope for a revival of the Videssos Empire.) The decadence brought by a thousand years of Empire is sharply contrasted with the vibrant patriotism of our heroes who remain unknowing that this is the destiny of their empire too.
This isn't just a military book where the legion moves from battle to battle. This is a much more realistic and complete world where the hero is thrust into the middle of court politics, and has to fight to overcome the shear inertia of the Empire's slide towards collapse. The hero spends more time facing corruption, political intrigue, distrustful monarchs, intolerant monks, and tax collectors than he does facing mounted cavalry units.
I don't want to repeat the excellent review about the warfare in this series written by Robert, 12 MAR 99, under "The Misplaced Legion" (Videssos Cycle, Book 1). I would like to add though, that this is not a series about a general. This is not a David Drake/S.M. Sterling series about Belisarius. As Robert points out, the hero of this series stands in the middle of the battles, and seldom knows more of what's going on than immediately to his left and right. The battles themselves are mostly standup fights where two sides hack at each other. This is really much more realistic though. Most battles, especially in the Roman era, were fought this way. Even though nowadays it seems like every book we read is about Belisarius, brilliant generals with innovative battlefield ideas come along only once in a thousand years or so. Most battles are fought without them.
"The Misplaced Legion" (Videssos Cycle, Book 1) is followed by "An Emperor for the Legion" (The Videssos Cycle Book, 2), "The Legion of Videssos" (Videssos Cycle, Book 3), and "Swords of the Legion" (Videssos Cycle, Book 4). There are two prequel series about Videssos. The first is the Tale of Krispos series, beginning with "Krispos Rising." This is actually a two book story, which is excellent, and a third follow on novel which is very good. The other prequel, The Time of Troubles series, begins with "The Stolen Throne". This series is entertaining, but not really as good as the first two series.
Although there are ten other books about Videssos, there can never be enough. And there are only four books about the Misplaced Legion. There needs to be a sequel series not another prequel. Perhaps "Legion of Videssos: Next Generation" where Marcus's son, born and raised in Videssos, can become Emperor, with Dad and his Legion helping out of course. This could lead to a new golden age for Videssos, and maybe even . . .
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The conclusion keeps the spirit of the series alive and well 30 July 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
This fourth and final book in the Videssos Cycle concludes the epic adventures of the Roman Legion with a flourish. Many new characters with their own skills and shortcomings are introduced, adding to the atmosphere of humor that surrounds the whole series. An overweight pen-pusher forced to fight when a diplomatic mission runs into trouble and a band of homosexual armored knights are only a couple of examples.

The final battle is a savory medley of might and magic at their finest, as Avshar, the Videssians and the Makurani fight for power and freedom. Meanwhile, our heroes attempt to make the ultimate sacrifice. . .

The only thing that upset me about this book is that it is the last in the series. The story was neatly tied off in the end, but it left me wanting more.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The final tale of the legion. 19 Feb 1997
By A Customer - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
In this book, the lead character and his lieutenant are sent to do the impossible after his affair with the princess is uncovered. Politics are ripe in Videssos as the embodiment of evil siezes power over the nomads, allied nomads move in on the capital of Yezd, and the legion marches- without orders- to the rescue of their commander. This book brings together what seperated in the previous novel and sets the stage for a do-or-die climax. Like the others, Turtledove has written a book that is difficult to put down, a story that pulls you in to the complex web that is Videssos
5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Awesome! 24 Aug 2001
By Matt Dedinas - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Harry Turtledove wraps up what may be his best series ever written in this, the fourth book of the Videssos Cycle. It is a classic tale of good and evil, light and darkness. Dr Turtledove brings to life the medieval Byzantine Empire in a fantasy world through his Videssos. As a lover of Byzantium, I have had few good fiction works to read about it. Dr Turtledove gives us a brilliant picture of this fabled-yet-neglected city in all his Eastern Roman works. He should be commended highly for bringing to the forefront this forgotten city.
4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars One of the best fantasy books... 7 Jan 2001
By "fourstringmagic" - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Mass Market Paperback
A great fantasy story by one of the genre's finest masters. The story is fast paced, intriguing, full of interesting twists. A Roman legion and a Barbarian army unit are magically transformed into an alien world where Magic is a common thing. The legioneers try to blend in with the locals while preserving their own culture at the same time.
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