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The Heretic (Raj Whitehall)
 
 

The Heretic (Raj Whitehall) [Kindle Edition]

David Drake , Tony Daniel
3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)

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Product Description

Product Description

ABEL DASHIAN'S WORLD DOESN'T NEED A HERO

Duisberg is one of thousands of planets plunged into darkness and chaos by the collapse of the galactic republic, but where other worlds have begun to rebuild a star-travelling culture, Duisberg remains in an uneasy balance between mud-brick civilization and bloodthirsty barbarism.

The people of Duisberg have a god: Zentrum, a supercomputer from the ancient past. Zentrum has decided avoid another collapse by preventing civilization from rising from where it is. And because even a supercomputer and the powerful religion which it founded cannot block all progress, Zentrum has another tool: every few centuries the barbarians sweep in from the desert, slaughtering the educated classes and cowing the peasants back into submission. These are the Blood Winds, and the Blood Winds are about to blow again.

This time, however, there's a difference: Abel Dashian, son of a military officer, has received into his mind the spirit of Raj Whitehall, the most successful general in the history of the planet Bellevue--and of Center, the supercomputer which enabled Raj to shatter his planet's barbarians and permit the return of civilization.

One hero can't stop the tide of barbarians unless he has his own culture supporting him. To save Duisberg, Abel must break the power of Zentrum.

With the help of Raj and Center, Abel Dashian must become . . . THE HERETIC!

At the publisher's request, this title is sold without DRM (DRM Rights Management).

About the Author

The Army took David Drake from Duke Law School and sent him on a motorized tour of Viet Nam and Cambodia with the 11th Cav, the Blackhorse. He learned new skills, saw interesting sights, and met exotic people who hadn't run fast enough to get away. Dave returned to become Chapel Hill's Assistant Town Attorney and to try to put his life back together through fiction making sense of his Army experiences. Dave describes war from where he saw it: the loader's hatch of a tank in Cambodia. His military experience, combined with his formal education in history and Latin, has made him one of the foremost writers of realistic action SF and fantasy. His books include the genre-defining and bestselling Hammer's Slammers series, the RCN series including "What Distant Deeps, In the Stormy Red Sky, The Way to Glory, "and many more. His bestselling Hammer's Slammers series is credited with creating the genre of modern Military SF. He often wishes he had a less interesting background. Dave lives with his family in rural North Carolina. Tony Daniel is the author of seven science fiction books, the latest of which is "Guardian of Night," as well as an award-winning short story collection, "The Robot's Twilight Companion" and Star Trek Original Series novel "Devil's Bargain." He is Hugo finalist for his story "Life on the Moon," which also won the Asimov's Reader's Choice Award. Daniel's short fiction has been much anthologized and has been collected in multiple year's best compilations. Daniel has also cowritten screenplays for SyFy Channel horror movies, incluing cult favorite "Beneath." During the early 2000s he was the writer and director of numerous audio dramas for critically-acclaimed SCIFI.COM's Seeing Ear Theatre. Born in Alabama, Daniel has lived in St. Louis, Los Angeles, Seattle, Prague, and New York City. He now lives in Wake Forest, North Carolina with his wife and two children.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 641 KB
  • Print Length: 287 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Baen Books (15 Mar 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S. r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BV9J7TY
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 3.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #215,480 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By Marshall Lord TOP 100 REVIEWER
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
"The Heretic" by Tony Daniel and David Drake starts a new story arc on the planet Duisberg in Drake's "The General" military SF series.

The stories in the universe of "The General" are nominally science fiction set a few thousand years in the future after the fall of a galactic republic which the heroes of the series are working to rebuild, one planet at a time. However, several of the plotlines are reworking of stories from classical military history: for example the original five stories set on the planet Bellevue are loosely inspired by the life story of the Byzantine empire's greatest general, Count Belisarius, on whom the character of Raj Whitehall is based, and the two stories set on the planet Hafardine are a retelling of the history of the Roman Republic in the century before the birth of Christ. With some modifications to the ending in each case!

"The Heretic" introduces a rather different type of opponent. Where on Bellevue Raj Whitehall "merely" had to defeat waves of waves of barbarians without his success causing his paranoid political boss to have him eliminated as a threat, and in "The Chosen (Raj Whitehall)" Raj and his agents had to prevent a nation of super-nazis from conquering the relevant planet, this time Raj and Center are up against another supercomputer.

On Bellevue an imperial battle computer, Center, had survived and was working by stealth through carefully selected humans to re-establish civilisation.

Like Bellevue, the planet Duisberg where "The Heretic" is set has a surviving pre-fall computer. But this one, called "Zentrum," has taken a diametrically opposite approach from that of Center.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A follow up to Raj Whitehall 26 Jun 2013
By Danny
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
A worthy successor to the general series. This promises to be a rip roaring series of books the start is defintely worth reading.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Declining Powers 17 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I'm a big fan of the Raj Whitehall / The General series and I heartily recommend the previous books to you
- however this one does not get my vote.

Raj & Centre appear in a different way to previous iterations - perhaps the idea of them guiding a child to maturity was a 'step too far' - Raj becomes a beardy grumbling guy and Centre a high pitched, lecturing, pedant.
The supporting cast - so well done in earlier books - are reduced in this one to two dimensional and , bluntly, uninteresting bystanders. Even the chief baddie is finally revealed, at his death, to be a rather pathetic puppet.

I hesitate to say it but I've finally met a Drake Battle scene that didn't stir me!

This is set up for a sequel - but as our hero is left in a clerical/ military school at the end, I'm left hoping for a stunning sequel, but fearing the worst.
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Amazon.com: 3.6 out of 5 stars  32 reviews
14 of 15 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Fourth and worst installment of the General/Raj Whitehall series 6 April 2013
By Olin - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
The is the fourth installment of the General/Raj Whitehall series. If you haven't read the others, you shouldn't read this one. The first three installments are 1) 5-book series introducing the Raj Whitehall character. First book is called The General:The Forge. They are currently released, I think in a 2 book set. 2) Second installment The Chosen. 3) Third is 2 books (The Reformer and The Tyrant). 4) The Heretic. The basic plot is humanity's civilization among the stars has fallen into barbarism on each planet, and the goal is to reinvigorate each planet - each installment is a different planet and different circumstances needing to be overcome - always involving wars and battles of course.The problem with The Heretic is the society and characters are just way too thin. I assume this is meant to be a multi-book set since this one ends without achieving the goal, but after this book I didn't have any feel for the society/civilization on this planet. One part of the problem may be that the author designed too simple an environment - think the whole civilization is based only on the river Nile, a long river valley surrounded by desert/wastelands inhabited by savage tribes/etc, and the only inhabitable terrain on the planet. Another 40-50 pages fleshing out characters and society would have gone a long way. If more books are coming, there may be time to do this. Again, if you haven't read the other installments, go there first and wait to see if this installment gets better.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Starts a new story arc in the universe of "The General" 18 Jun 2013
By Marshall Lord - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Hardcover
"The Heretic" starts a new story arc on the planet Duisberg in David Drake's "The General" military SF series.

The stories in the universe of "The General" are nominally science fiction set a few thousand years in the future after the fall of a galactic republic which the heroes of the series are working to rebuild, one planet at a time. However, several of the plotlines are based on classical military history: for example the original five stories set on the planet Bellevue are loosely inspired by the life story of the Byzantine empire's greatest general, Count Belisarius, on whom the character of Raj Whitehall is based, and the two stories set on the planet Hafardine are a retelling of the history of the Roman Republic in the century before the birth of Christ. With some modifications to the ending in each case!

"The Heretic" introduces a rather different type of opponent. Where on Bellevue Raj Whitehall "merely" had to defeat waves of waves of barbarians without his success causing his paranoid political boss to have him eliminated as a threat, and in "The Chosen (Raj Whitehall)" Raj and his agents had to prevent a nation of super-nazis from conquering the relevant planet, this time Raj and Center are up against another supercomputer.

On Bellevue an imperial battle computer, Center, had survived and was working by stealth through carefully selected humans to re-establish civilisation.

Like Bellevue, the planet Duisberg where "The Heretic" is set has a surviving pre-fall computer. But this one, called "Zentrum," has taken a diametrically opposite approach from that of Center. Instead of trying to rebuild civilisation, Zentrum has interpreted its' programming as a command to keep the planet in stasis, which it has done by establishing a restrictive, anti-innovation church with itself worshipped as God. Zentrum also maintains stasis in the long run by periodically deliberately allowing successful invasions of the civilised areas of the planet by barbarians. These devastating incursions are known as the "blood winds" and one of them is about to begin ...

Raj and Center make contact with a small boy called Abel. To prevent the massacre of everyone he loves, he will have to selectively disregard the teachings of Zentrum's all dominant religion and become a heretic. A crime which is punishable by burning at the stake ...

This story isn't quite as brilliant as the best of the previous books in the series but it's pretty unputdownable - I finished reading it the day I was given it and thoroughly enjoyed this book.

The books of the original five part series "The General," set on Raj Whitehall's planet, Bellevue, are

1) "Forge (The General 1)

2) "The Hammer (General Series)

(These two original novels have been published together twice, first as "Warlord" and again as "Hope Reborn")

3) "The Anvil (Book III of The General)"

4) "Steel (The General, Book IV)"

5) "The Sword"

(These three published together as "Conqueror.")

Then there are the two "Hafardine" books:

6) "The Reformer (Raj Whitehall)" (with S.M. Stirling)

7) "The Tyrant (Raj Whitehall)" (with Eric Flint)

And a stand alone novel co-written with S.M. Stirling, on which the eponymous bad guys are very similar to those in Stirling's "Draka" trilogy ...

8) "The Chosen"

"The Heretic" is the ninth book in the series and judging by the ending we can expect at least one sequel.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A bit better than OK but ... 14 April 2013
By Sharon - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Might give this another half star if that was an option but it is not up to the standards of the first books in the Raj Whitehall series. I have read all of the books so far in the series, which is the reason I got this one. It is a decent addition to the series but does fall short of most of the others for me, probably about on a level with "The Chosen".

Decent plot line and good characters for the most part but the Center/Raj entity just did not have the 'personality' I've come to expect with this series, also not character development or vivid battle scenes that make the earlier books so distinctive.

David Drake, Eric Flint and S.M. Stirling are all three masters of both characterization and military action and this book simply does not quite meet the high bar they set in the earlier books.

If you're a fan of the series, it's an entertaining read and I'll continue with it. There's another book coming, though the authors did wind this part of the book up well.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A decent continuation 17 July 2013
By AVM - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This is the beginning of the next Raj Whitehall series, and as such there has to be an expectation that the story in the book is not complete. I found the setting interesting and the characters while fairly simple were rather engaging. The Computer and Raj are different from the S.M. Stirling's take on them, and you can feel that quite clearly.

Unlike other books in the series where the Center basically assists technical progress, in this book it has a worthy opponent - another computer bent on technological stasis, which opens up a different field of problems and intrigues.

Overall a very decent read.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars He's no David Drake 13 Jun 2013
By Chris - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
There's no character development at all; it reads like a piece of ancient history run through three translators. Drake must make good money writing his own books (which are almost always great). Why farm out his characters to hacks?
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