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4.4 out of 5 stars48
4.4 out of 5 stars
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 26 September 2007
This is in my modest opinion the second best book by Tom Clancy, bested only by the "Hunt for Red October".

This incredibly courageous technothriller is centered around two topics: a Soviet officer who is spying for Americans since the 60s and a new, powerful weapon, developped by USSR - a laser gun able to destroy satelites. This second topic is partly inspired by the true events - such an installation, destined to blind (not destroy) US satelites, was really build in the last years in USSR close to Duchanbe in todays Tadjikistan, but never tried on an American target.

As one of the previous reviewers pointed, this is a very pro-US book, and that is precisely the reason I call it courageous: most spy books usually try not to design one of the blocks (East or West) as being on the good side and another on the bad side. Which is not true in my modest opinion, because let's face it - during the Cold War there was one alliance made of democracies and it faced a totalitarian empire and its unwilling satelites. That alone shows which side was right and which one was wrong. And this book, as its predecessor, takes exactly this position.

The plot itself is also very daring - I do not want to give any spoilers, but towards the end my jaw dropped. Three times in a row. I was like "Oh my God, he dared to write THIS?" And I think that even now, 16 years after the end of Cold War, this books still packs an impressive power to surprise and shock you. And it is also a really good read. I recommend it warmly, as the second best technothriller ever, a perfect second part of the amazing "Hunt for Red October".
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on 22 April 2015
There is something magical about Clancy's writing about Cold War. Gives a sort of mysticism of that age, and Jack Ryan is well adjusted in his CIA role, which won't last long. Resolves some plot points from Red October, and has great repercussions in future books, especially Executive Orders.
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TOP 1000 REVIEWERon 27 September 2007
I do not like Tom Clancy as a person. I despise his totalitarian amoral politics and I canNOT stand him slapping his readers with them in his latest oversized and underwritten duds.

However, Tom Clancy was once an EXCELLENT technothriller writer. He might not have invented the genre, yet he launched it into the stratosphere.

This is HIS BEST BOOK and it is actually very good.
The mid-80's Cold-War atmosphere, the paranoia, the double-agents, the clandestine methods and the hardware are all expertly presented.
Now, him being, well...Clancy there still are stereotypes and bigoted characters galore. Deciding to overcome this however, the reader can actually enjoy this one.

Do not judge CARDINAL OF THE KREMLIN based on his deteriorated career.
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VINE VOICEon 20 November 2002
This was the best Jack Ryan book so far.
Combining four tales, each intertwined with the others until the final climax is reached, the action is unrelenting, and it's edge of the seat stuff throughout.
The main plot involves a longstanding US spy in the higher echilons of Soviet goverment, but there's also the "secret" weapon both sides are developing, the political machinations within the Soviet hierarchy, and the Afghan rebels planning a decisive assault on a Soviet base.
Love it.
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on 31 March 2016
This is a great spy thriller. Tom Clancy's early works are great reads, and this one is no exception. It is however a little dated now in terms of the technology described in the book but that can't be helped as it was written a couple of decades ago. On rereading it now it still remains a fast page turner with surprises enough to still make it feel like i'm reading it afresh. The usual Clancy frustrations still exist of course, with characters all having the same way of speaking and other small things that bug me but may not annoy other readers. Overall though this is still a great, fun book to read.
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on 13 September 2013
this is a classic. fast paced, 3 dimensional and gripping.
I lost my book many years ago and was keen to get a replacement...worth the wait...even if I knew the ending.
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on 17 May 2007
I recently read "Cardinal of the Kremlin" for a second time, having first enjoyed it about 10 years ago. I was pleased to find that it was still a good read. Unlike some of Clancy's other novels, the story gets going almost immediately and the characters are all quite believable. There are some occasional moments of implausibility in the plot, but nothing too serious.

Despite being written and set in the time of the cold war, the book holds up well today. Clancy's opinions about the status of the Soviet economy, which must have been largely speculative when he wrote them in the mid 1980s, have been shown by events to be largely accurate. I feel the Russians are portrayed quite sympathetically for the most part, even if the Americans always seem to get the upper hand.

It is thought provoking to read Clancy's descriptions of the Mujahadin warriors in Afghanistan and their motives for fighting the Soviets. Twenty years later, another generation of Mujahadin warriers are now fighting western troops in Afghanistan.

Altogether a very good novel, especially for those with a penchant for cold war stories.
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on 3 March 2012
The story takes place in the '80's when the US and USSR were developing "Star Wars" technology. There is the added plotline of a long term spy in the Soviet Defence Ministry working for the Americans who passes on the infomation. Eventually the spy is blown and is caught by the KGB. So a desperate race is on to get him out of the Soviet Union by blackmailing the chief of the KGB. Jack Ryan is in Russia with the negotiating team for US - Soviet disarmament talks and is caught up in the ensuing mayhem.
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on 9 September 2008
Thriller about international espionage by the author of "The Hunt for Red October", "Red Storm Rising" and "Patriot Games". The superpower arms negotiations appear to be making progress, but a US spy satellite reveals that the Soviets are building a massive laser-defence system.
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on 2 October 2002
What can i say about this book!Absolutely Fantastic!!
After reading and watching Tim CLancy's 'The Sum of All Fears' i decided to follow it up by reading 'The Cardinal of the Kremlin' and i wasnt disappointed.
It follows the story of a spy in the highest ranks of Soviet Unions Government and follows the trauma of the CIA and Jack Ryan trying to get him out of their once he has been captured. It follows the story of various KGB and CIA agents all after their personal goals.
Its very clever in the way it follows four different peoples stories and concludes with a compelling last 100 pages or so when all hell breaks loose...
My favourite character has to be the Archer purely for his reasons behind doing what he's doing and the description that goes with it...
A fantastic and epic story of Espionage.
Shuld be put on th eBIg Screen ASAP.
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