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The Reformer Hardcover – 1 Apr 1999

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Product details

  • Hardcover: 304 pages
  • Publisher: Baen Books (1 April 1999)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0671578049
  • ISBN-13: 978-0671578046
  • Product Dimensions: 24.3 x 16.9 x 3.4 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,659,461 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Product Description


"David Drake is now the king of military science fiction."-- Philadelphia Weekly Press

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The High City of Solinga had been the core of the ancient town once; first a warlord's castle, then the seat of the city council. Read the first page
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10 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Peter Cowan on 26 Mar. 2001
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Once again Raj and Centre try to reverse the Fall. In this case Hafardine has fallen further and so gives rise a story set in a Graeco-Roman world. The are civilised city-states exhausted by years of fighting, a militaristic Confederation oppressing them and semi-civilised pirates. The Confederation itself is riven by internal disputes amongst its rulers. Into this mix, Raj and centre choose a young scholar.... Basically it is the same story as in "The General" series or "The Chosen", but why change a winning formula. In itself it is a rattling good yarn with a nice blend of action and narrative. Other than the overall situation there seem to be fewer parallels with our history, that I could see anyway, although I did enjoy the take on the way the Siege of Tyre progressed (as Alexander would not have wanted). Overall, if you already like Raj and Centre, you should enjoy this. If not, read this and then try the others.
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By peter foxton on 21 Oct. 2014
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 26 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
The Reformer 13 Jan. 2000
By Edward H. Merry - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Agree that this book is not in the class or breadth as The Chosen.
But it was never intended to be. Rather, The Reformer is more along the lines of the first books of the General's series. -- The Forge.
Also the authors followed their trend of translating ancient engagements into this new science fiction military context. The Forge and what followed tracked with a Byzantine general's , Belasarius, actual exploits.
In The Reformer, Stirling and Drake examined Alexander the Great's actual siege of Tyre and created a plausible alternate ending.
Still a good read. I'm looking forward to the next one.
8 of 9 people found the following review helpful
does not belong on the same shelf with their other works 27 April 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Hey, guys, what happened? The two of you are my favorite authors. But this book bears little resemblance to the preceding series, either in style or in entertainment value. It would be fun to watch Raj and Center and two cronies rip through the Roman Empire . . . but I have absolutely no sympathy for either of the main characters, and Raj/Center play only a tiny role in the story.
You also didn't give us a book! This thing is hardly four chapters of material, and ends in roughly the first third of what I would otherwise consider a novel.
I read it at my local bookstore. It was short enough to read in the store. I'm very disappointed and did not buy it.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
OK,but I expected better 2 April 1999
By A Customer - Published on
Format: Hardcover
I have to place this one purely in the middle of the pack. I was expecting something like the others in the series (The General, The Steel, The Chosen, etc.) and instead I get something more like a novella than a novel. Yes, it does clear 200+ pages, but the book feels like it was part of a larger one and set out before it was fully finished and polished. After all the first 10 of 14 chapters are available for reading on Baen's website. What I liked - seeing Drake and Stirling work with a pseudo-Roman empire. The peek into the world of the mind. What I didn't - Not enough development of characters. Felt too rushed in reading. And it was too short for a hardcover.
All in all I'd have been happier buying this in paperback, and I suspect you will too.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Doesn't end so much as just stop 18 Aug. 2000
By silliman89 - Published on
Format: Hardcover
There are two big problems with this book, and they are reallyas much the publisher's fault as the author's. As others have pointed out, this is only half a story. Actually it may be even less, depending on how many books there turn out to be in this series. My guess would be that this is a third of a story. This wasn't a problem in the GENERAL series. This hasn't bothered either of the two authors in other series they've written. There is some logic for ending this book where they did (I'm sure it looked great in outline). The authors never really developed a big culmination though. This book just kind of stops after one fight scene. It isn't even a battle as far as I am concerned.
This problem was compounded by Baen putting all but the last 4 chapters on their web site for free. After reading all that for free, I expected the pay story to go on for a while. It doesn't. I haven't counted pages, but I would estimate that there's only another 10% as far as length is concerned... If I thought the authors intended to leave things like this, I would only give this book one or two stars. The story is a follow-on to the GENERAL series, the same as "The Chosen" was. It is set in the later Roman Empire -- not a similar period, the actual Roman Empire. This Roman Empire just happens to have a different name, and be on a different planet, sometime in the future. (This is a little hoke, as some other reviewers have mentioned.) The characters are better developed than they were in "The Chosen", although not as well as they were in the GENERAL series.
My recommendation would be to read the Baen web page and pass on the book until there is a sequel, or better yet a boxed set.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
The Reformer 12 Jun. 2001
By Reader - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
A very good all-round read; developed male AND female personalities, civilian and military, not more stereotypes than real-life, and the historical links are great fun - if you don't know history, then it might spur you to check it out (hey, education is GOOD, check out military history or classical history under Google search engine). And if you DO know history, you may well groan a bit (they take a few liberties -- cleverly) but, hey, gentlepeople, was it really like that or not? Remember, history is writtem by the survivors (egos all). Anyway, prime reason to buy -- it makes you think.
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