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The Anvil (Book III of The General) Mass Market Paperback – Jun 1993

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback: 301 pages
  • Publisher: Simon & Schuster (Jun. 1993)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671721712
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671721718
  • Product Dimensions: 2.5 x 11.4 x 17.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,382,484 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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2 of 4 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on 31 May 1998
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Book 3 in the most excellent General series. Raj and his companions take on another foe of the Civil Government, the Brigade. Most excellent sci-fi
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 9 reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
Against the Brigade 8 Feb. 2014
By Arthur W. Jordin - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
The Anvil (1993) is the third SF novel in the Raj Whitehall series, following The Hammer. The initial volume in this sequence is The Forge.

In the previous volume, Raj returned to the catacombs and found Thom again. For Thom, the time since their last meeting had been only a moment, but Raj had spent almost two years fighting the Colonists. Center briefed Thom on the events during that time, but knowing was not the same as doing.

Raj returned to his suite with dust and grime on his clothes. Suzette figured that he had been in the catacombs, but focused on getting him ready for the audience. Barholm was conferring with his top military leaders about a Southern Expedition.

When Raj arrived, he found the military arguing against Barholm. None of them wanted to try to retake the southern provinces taken from the Civil Government. The previous expedition twenty years before had been decisively defeated and they don't view the endeavor as any more feasible under current conditions.

Raj, however, didn't see the mission as hopeless. The Squadron had not upgraded their fleet in recent years and hadn't fought a major action since the last Civil Government invasion. He stated that it can be done with thirty thousand troops and probably with only fifteen thousand.

In this novel, Raj Whitehall is a man from Drescott County. He is married to Suzette, an aristocratic woman. For his actions during the past year and a half, he has been promoted to General. He is the most successful general in generations. He is also the Sword of the Spirit of Man, working the Center for the reunion of the Federation.

Suzette Whitehall is a daughter of old and poor nobility in the Civil Government. She was raised at the court of the Governor and cut her teeth on intrigue and treachery. She is a close friend of Anne, the Consort of the Governor.

Barholm Clerett is the Governor of the Civil Government. He is wed to Anne, who has not given him an heir in fifteen years of marriage. He is paranoid and always afraid of a coup, especially from his most successful general.

Anne is the Consort of the Governor. She is a former acrobat and prostitute and is a close friend of Suzette. She is also well trained in intrigue and treachery, but is loyal to her friends.

Thom Poplanich is a friend of Raj. Thom is a scion of the previous Governor's family. Now he is being held in stasis by Center.

Robert Tsetzas is the Chancellor of the Civil Government. He is a powerful, venal and corrupt man.

Ehwardo Poplanich is Thom's older brother. Like Thom, he has no ambitions of becoming Governor. He commands the House regiment Poplanich's Own and is a Companion.

Gerrin Staenbridge is a Colonel in Raj's forces. He is a Companion.

Bartin Foley is a Captain in Raj's forces. He is a Companion.

Jorg Menyez is now an infantry Colonel. Although a noble, he is allergic to dogs and thus could not be a cavalry officer. He is a Companion.

Grammek Dinnalsyn is the Colonel of Artillery for Raj's forces. He has sixty 75mm field guns and a few mortars. He is a Companion.

Antin M'Lewis was a private when he first met Raj. Now he is a Lieutenant commanding the Forty Thieves, Raj's scout platoon. He is a Companion.

Ludwig Bellamy is the son of a former Squadron landholder. He is now the commander of the 2nd Mounted Cruisers, a unit of former Squadrone soldiers. He is not yet a Companion, but is definitely a candidate for the title.

Center is a Sector Command and Control Unit AZ12-b14-cooo Mk. XIV. He is a very advanced computer that had served the Federation before the Fall. Now he is using Raj to reunite Bellevue.

Cabot Clerett is the nephew and heir of the Governor. He is a Major in command of the 1st Residence Battalion. He deeply resents Raj and his reputation.

In this story, Raj visits Center in the tunnels under the New Residence. Thom has been fed information on Raj's actions during that time, but it is not the same as being there. He has also been taught much about Federation society and technology.

Afterward, the Governor is throwing a party with Raj as the guest of honor. Ehwardo, Gerrin, Bartin, M'Lewis, and the other surviving Companions are waiting with Raj outside the Audience Hall. Suzette sweeps in and they advance into the party, with the Companions following in a column of twos.

Raj's exploits are listed and his title as Savior of the State is announced. The crowd cheers enthusiastically. Barholm also tells Raj that there will be a war council after the affair.

Several items are on the agenda, but the main concern is another invasion of the lost territories. This time the Brigade lands are the target. Tsetzas tries to delay the invasion, claiming that the Civil Government lost money in the previous military venture. The administrator for the Southern Territories refutes this claim and itemizes benefits coming from the invasion.

Raj asks for forty thousand troops, but the Governor will not release that many soldiers. Raj finally receives about eighteen thousand soldiers. Most are taken from the occupation troops in the former Squadron lands. He is allowed to take all of the infantry trained by Jorg.

After a month of preparation, the Brigade invasion force sails to Stern Isle. When Raj and Suzette arrive, the camp has been established on the same grounds as their prior visit to the island. Raj calls a dinner for his officers and then briefs them after the ladies retire. Naturally, Suzette remains behind for the briefing.

Suzette manages the civilian side of the invasion. She also handles many of the spies. On the side, she maintains a pleasant relationship with the Governor's nephew.

The Brigade troop on the island are fewer than Raj's forces and shouldn't be a problem. The civilians are not likely to cause trouble. Yet, the fortress at Wager Bay is a major issue.

The fortress is modern, massive and designed to withstand artillery fire. It has even more, and larger, cannon than Raj's forces. It is a star design providing cross fire on any attacking troops. Its guns dominate the bay and out to sea.

Raj doesn't have a clue about taking the fortification. He sends the scouts out to recon Brigaderos fleeing toward the fortress. His troops take the refugee column. Then his forces occupy the town outside the fortress.

This tale puts Raj in a civilian ship sailing along the cliffs under the fortress. Grammek has come up with a way to attack the fortress without losing many soldiers. If the fortress guns don't sink them before they get there.

Notice Raj's title Sword of the Spirit. Reminds me of another title -- Sword of the Lady -- used in the Change series.

After taking Stern Isle, Raj takes his troops to the mainland against the Brigade primary forces. The next installment in this sequence is The Steel.

Highly recommended for Drake & Stirling fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of military conflict, creative strategy, and strong companionship. Read and enjoy!

-Arthur W. Jordin
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Excellent 5 Book Series 27 Sept. 2000
By silliman89 - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the standard by which I judge all military fiction. I have never found another that was it's equal. Even when the same author's 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 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.
An excellent story in the General series. 18 Nov. 2008
By EricS - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This is the third in the General series. I recommend reading them in order.
It is an excellent book, as are all the books in this series. It is a mixture of 19th century methods and tactics, with underlying political machinations.
Nothing disappoints - plenty of action and clever strategy. Recommended. 13 Feb. 2015
By Ralph E. Farmer - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Good addition to the series - nothing disappoints. If you've enjoyed the other books in the series, by all means get this one also. Plenty of action and clever strategy.
The general series 1 Jun. 2014
By Douglas K. Warren - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Same comments as for "Steel." Good series with good authors. As a Vietnam veteran, I enjoy combat-oriented novels combined with science fiction.
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