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Through the Darkness (Earthlight) [Paperback]

Harry Turtledove
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)

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Book Description

2 April 2001 Earthlight
Book Three - World War 2 meets epic fantasy...As th4 war which consumes Dervelai drags on, the reserves of Algarve are ever more stretched. King Mezentio's armies become sucked into the huge landmass of Unkerlant. As more and more of the hated Kaunians are sacrificed for blood magic, conquered races are indected into the Algarvian army, and their fighting edge becomes blunted. While at home, both men and women come to doubt the war and its purposes. Harry Turtledove's blending of World War Two with fantasyhas already gained enormous praise. As a myriad of characters deal with reality, this is a tapestry of the finest writing the genre can create.

Product details

  • Paperback: 471 pages
  • Publisher: Earthlight (2 April 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0684860074
  • ISBN-13: 978-0684860077
  • Product Dimensions: 23.2 x 15.2 x 3.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (9 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 1,623,990 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.

Product Description

Amazon Review

Harry Turtledove's novels of world war in a world of magic--Through the Darkness is the third of the sequence--are a corrective to any view of fantasy as fluffy or emotionally soft. These tales of mass slaughter to fuel magical explosions, of dragons and behemoths and great sea creatures as instruments of death that scream and bleed as they die, tell us that, when it comes to human inhumanity, magic is just another way of conducting business as usual. Sometimes, as with the persecution and slaughter of the blond blue-eyed Kaunians or the bloodthirsty paranoid King Swemmell, the parallels with the history of the 20th century are a little too pat. More often, Turtledove finds something interesting to say about the slow drift of compromises that becomes a treasonable collaboration, or the subtle sleights of hand by which people survive in the middle of deadly enemies, or the ways in which hatred makes the inadequate feel better about themselves. As with his alternate-world military-history series--Worldwar, Colonization and The Great War, Turtledove manages a vast cast of characters with considerable efficiency. We rarely need the character list at the front of the book to keep track of all these people and their awful destinies. --Roz Kaveney


"Turtledove's clever series impresses with its sheer scope and intricacy."--"Publishers Weekly" "Turtledove ... produces a complex and richly detailed epic of war and magic that should appeal to fans of alternate history and military fantasy."--"Library Journal" "Turtledove's fantastical version of World War II continues to be original and absorbing."--"Booklist" --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.

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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read: slightly too long 25 May 2002
Just like the previous two books, this is a fantastic saga. The way Turtledove manages to juggle all the various viewpoints is amazing. It is difficult to find any absolutes in this book. We feel empathy for almost everyone. The conflicting emotions often made me doubt my own judgement. It ably conveys the nature of war: they are no complete villians, no good guys, and the worst danger can all too often come from one's own side. The gritty realities become all too apparent, and the differences between the social classes are hitting, from the courts of Swemmel and Mezentio to the near-death experiences of Leudast on the front. However, as the third book, I was hoping this would tie up the story. Whilst the Kuusamans' discovery of their 'new magic' is exciting, it becomes a little too gradual to hold the reader's interest indefinitely. We almost become too bored. I'm looking forward to the fourth book with impatience, but hope that it ties everything up before we all lose interest. Maybe Turtledove is trying to make us feel the fatigue of the front-line soldiers?
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Episode III of a fantasy World War Two 24 July 2006
By Marshall Lord TOP 500 REVIEWER
"Through the Darkness" is the third part of Harry Turtledove's reworking of the World War Two story set on a planet where technology is based on magic rather than machines.

Dragon riders replace aircraft, Behemoths replace tanks, East and West have been transposed, Eurasia has been moved to the Southern hemisphere so that Scandinavia becomes equatorial, and names and superficial national characteristics have all been changed. But this is real history, not alternative history. Again and again the terrible events of the book are based on real historical incidents.

Some of the changes to racial characteristics are impishly amusing, such as the fact that the people who correspond to the Finns live in an equatorial climate and look like Zulus, while the Saraha Desert becomes "the land of the Ice people," the Gyongyosian people who correspond to the Japanese are physically large, and the Kuusamans who correspond to Americans have epicanthic folds.

Other changes are rather more biting - the "Kaunians" who correspond to Jews are tall, blue-eyed, and blonde.

What Turtledove appears to be trying to do with this series is to study how different people responded to a time of great evil. Some people were sucked into taking part in that evil, some fought against it, others just tried to live through it. The changes to the names and characteristics of the participants seem to be intended to give the reader an opportunity to leave behind some of our emotional baggage about the holocaust so that we can try, not to justify the wrongs which people did in terrible times, but to understand how it could have happened.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Very enjoyable, guessing who's who is fun 17 Jan 2002
I really enjoy Harry Turtledove books and I feel this series is his best to date. I have read all three books and have enjoyed the way he moves the plot in a highly novel way, always as a first perspective view. The way he slowly draws the reader away from their fictional names and into the real Second World War with the Algarvians and Unkerlanters fairly obviously Germans and Russians but the other nations are similar to countries as well and I'm still debating whose who.
Very enjoyable read, can't wait for the next and probably final part of this story. I for one will be very interested in how he handles the development of the Kuusmanian sorcery and its obvious A bomb similarity and the Kaunians I'm really interested in how he handles this storyline.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
By A Customer
Third book in this series which continyes the story of a fantasy world in the midsr of a world war. Turtledoves attention to detail enables him to make what should be a ludicrous concept work. The entire European theartre of the war is included included parrells of the North African desert and Russian campaigns.
This book is only spoilt slightly by the knowledge of which side will win the war. A small drawback which doesn't really detract from the scope of the novel
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3.0 out of 5 stars On it plods 6 Sep 2013
Turtledove's not terribly fantastic fantasy epic rolls on through the doldrums of the saga. The characters are gradually dying off, so at least that's something. Plus each chapter in this book is around 5 pages shorter than in the previous volumes making it around 17% smaller. I sincerely hope that trend continues.

There are a few interesting characters but the problem is that it's all too formulaic. Turtledove is merely rehashing characters and plots from his other books. My top tip regarding him is to pick only one of his epic series to read and then you'll probably be quite happy.
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