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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read: slightly too long
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...
Published on 25 May 2002 by Richard Chalk

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3.0 out of 5 stars On it plods
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...
Published 13 months ago by Mr Gordon Davidson


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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A great read: slightly too long, 25 May 2002
By 
Richard Chalk (Southampton, UK) - See all my reviews
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 (Whitehaven, UK) - See all my reviews
(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.

All but two or three of the characters in the first few books books are fictional - Hitler is King Mezentio of Algarve, Stalin is King Swemmel of Unkerlant, and Marshal Rathar gradually morphs into Zhukov. This actually makes the story more exiting, as the characters are presented well enough that you care about them: we all know how World War II turned out but the readers has no such certainty about the fate of the fictional characters.

The six books of the series each corresponds very roughly indeed to about a year's real historical events. The third book, "Through the Darkness", covers events from the start in May 1942 of Operation Blue, Hitler's drive on the Caucasian oilfields, to the German surrender at Stalingrad ("Sulingen") in February 1943.

The series is best read in the correct sequence. All the books of this series have the word "Darkness" in the title, but the publishers refer to it as the "Derlavi" series, this being the name given in the book of the great continent which corresponds to Eurasia. The full sequence of books in their correct order is:

"Into the Darkness"

"Darkness Descending"

"Through the Darkness"

"Rulers of the Darkness"

"Jaws of Darkness"

"Out of the Darkness".

Bottom line: the mood is as black as the titles indicate, but the series is a very exciting read.
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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
By 
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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4.0 out of 5 stars Another great book by Mr. Turtledove, 10 July 2001
By 
Mr. A. J. D. White - See all my reviews
(VINE VOICE)    (REAL NAME)   
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This review is from: Through the Darkness (Earthlight) (Paperback)
OK if you ain't read the preceding books in this set then stop reading this review and go get the 1st two books and read those instead.... You won't regret it.
If you have already read the previous two books I am sure you ain't gonna bother with checking reviews before you buy this book to read... but as this is a review section I will review it anyway.
Mr Turtledove continues with his WW2 based fantasy tretology in his usual character swapping all encompassing story... moving swiftly from well one fleshed charater and supporting set of characters to the next telling you the story of a world riped to bits by the brutalites of war but never losing the thread of humanity, each character is real, has his or her good and bad points no one really is an out and out hero or villian ust people trying to survive and make the best they can.
I was a little narked by the way that the book went at times, it felt like it was being tagged to closely to what happened in WW2 such as with the snippers most obviously but also with the way the Unkerlant / Algarve war moves. These seem a little false in his fantasy setting. Although I can forgive him these minor quibbles due to the fact that this book is breath taking in its scope and reach, the amount of "real" people he writes about and the numerous plot threads that are juggled effortlessly, showing us a World war from the perspective of a World War. No punches are pulled in the brutality of this war, even if he avoids the gory details the horror is evident.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good continuation of the darkness set., 19 April 2001
This review is from: Through the Darkness (Earthlight) (Paperback)
Finally a Turtledove set that is keeping to his promise of tertraologies. The last two sets (World War:Colonisation and The Great War) both finished on the third book when promised 4 in the beginning.
This is the third book in the darkness set basing WW2 using a fantasy setting. Again this book is in the standard turtledove style of many characters from all sides and again showing his ruthlessness in killing them off if need be. Sections of the book also concentrates on the equivalent of the Stalingrad siegeand in fact I had just seen Enemy through the Gate before reading this book and the imagry of that film is echoed thoughout this novel. It sets us up beautifully for what I think will be the final novel in a well created land which is easy to relate to.
It is also not of the same fantasy style as many authors like where everything is wonderful for the good guys and evil for the bad here both sides show their dark and light sides and human being are just that. Even so you still "root" for some of the characters and hope others die painfully although all the characters may not be on the same side. This he does by building the characters over time rather than keeping them 2 dimenional hero's and villans.
I have also just read "The case of the toxic spell dump" an older book by Turtledove where the magic he uses in the darkness set is used in in equivalent earth modern times a recommended read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Terrific transplant of ww11 fact into a fantasy world., 6 May 2001
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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5.0 out of 5 stars Still going strong, 8 Jan 2004
By 
The war with Algarve continues. Algarve conquers more of the world and the straits of the Kaunians are worsened. Ealstan and Kanai have escaped and Kanai will have to be disguised. Her blond hair betrays her. The Kaunians are driven to death camps, where they are used to fuel blood magic.
Algarves main enemy is now Unkerlant. Unkerlant are trying to find allies, but are having a difficult time of it. They too embrace the blood magic of Algarve, but use their own peasants as fuel.
Other countries, such as Lagoa, know that they are next in line, so they are trying to develop their own magical weapons.
Underground movements in conquered lands are actively seeking the destruction of Algarvians.
Turledove still manages to keep my attention and I want to read the next installment.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Good but geting predictable, 6 May 2001
By 
Luka Novak "luxxi" (Ljubljana, Slovenia) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Through the Darkness (Earthlight) (Paperback)
This volume covers what was 1942 in WW2. Algarve tries with another ofensive and gets boged down in graet city on a great river. First book was interesting because it didn't open war as WW2 did but now things are becoming more and more like WW2 with small exceptions. As Mezentio is willing to give ground to gain troops (you will see what I'm talking about when you get there) one can expect war woun't be same. But good and interesting read
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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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Through the Darkness (Earthlight)
Through the Darkness (Earthlight) by Harry Turtledove (Paperback - 2 April 2001)
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