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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lords of Rings meets Romeo and Juliet
This is a great book. It combines strong characterization, unfulfilled yet strong love, human struggle for freedom and destination. The author managed to maintain an aura of mystery, especialy about how Neal is going to overthrow and defeat the Reithrese empire, thus fulfilling his self-defined destiny.
After Neal untimely demise, Geneva the grandaughter of...
Published on 26 Dec 1997

versus
2.0 out of 5 stars Could've been better
I have to admit, I was somewhat disappointed with this book. I loved Stackpole's Star Wars books, especially I, Jedi, and am reading Talion Revenant and like it, but this book just didn't work for me. I didn't like how the author jumped back and forth across the centuries. I would read a chapter set back in the past with Neal, start to get interested and caught up...
Published on 31 Aug 1999


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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Lords of Rings meets Romeo and Juliet, 26 Dec 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Once a Hero (Paperback)
This is a great book. It combines strong characterization, unfulfilled yet strong love, human struggle for freedom and destination. The author managed to maintain an aura of mystery, especialy about how Neal is going to overthrow and defeat the Reithrese empire, thus fulfilling his self-defined destiny.
After Neal untimely demise, Geneva the grandaughter of Aarundel, raised Neal from the grave and ask for his help in saving the empire that Neal help to built by overthrowing the Reithrese empire.

This the one and only book that give romance, fighting, and magic an equal part. I strongly suggest this book to fantasy fans and romance fans alike.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Could've been better, 31 Aug 1999
By A Customer
This review is from: Once a Hero (Paperback)
I have to admit, I was somewhat disappointed with this book. I loved Stackpole's Star Wars books, especially I, Jedi, and am reading Talion Revenant and like it, but this book just didn't work for me. I didn't like how the author jumped back and forth across the centuries. I would read a chapter set back in the past with Neal, start to get interested and caught up in his story, then be forced to jump ahead 500 years and read about Gena. Just when I started to get interested in her, then the chapter would end and I would have to go back to Neal and try to remember what he'd been doing.
The book wasn't totally bad. There were a lot of good themes and storylines and, had the author selected a different writing style, I might have been totally captivated and fallen in love with this book. But this style of writing made everything seem disjointed. I knew that Gena's story and Neal's story were going to fit together somehow, and it was interesting to see how Neal was percieved by those in a future time, but I was never able to completely attach myself to the characters because I would always get jerked out of the story, put into a different time period, and forced to remember what the characters in this particular time period were supposed to be doing.
I think I shoud also warn that this book jumps back and forth between first and third person. Neal's story is told in first person, and Gena's is in third. I actually didn't find this disturbing, since this helped me easier adjust myself to which time period/person I was supposed to be reading, but I believe a warning is in order for people who may find that confusing.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stackpole can write fantasy, too., 1 July 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Once a Hero (Paperback)
This book is Mike Stackpole's efforts to move into fantasy as well as science fiction. Already a big fan of his Battletech novels, i completely fell in love with this book-- it has an excellent mix of battle, sorcery, romance, and tragedy. The ending is somewhat half-hearted, but I'd put this on the top shelf of fantasy books I have ever read.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Favorite Rereads, 27 Dec 2011
This review is from: Once a Hero (Paperback)
This is one of my Favorite Rereads. Though I have never been quite sure about the latin speaking elves, it does somehow work within the context of the book and does manage to convey that sense of formality and incantation that Stackpole wishes one to associate with elves. I also love the way he adapts his use of language to his characters for further narrative distinction and mood. The story, being split in time for the first half, can be disruptive first time you read it, but you come to understand the symmetry of the timelines as you read, and I found, I had a better appreciation for his way doing things second time round.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best since Tolkien!, 7 Dec 1997
By A Customer
This review is from: Once a Hero (Paperback)
I loved this book and I could never put it down. I haven't read any fantasy this thoughtful and intelligent since J. R. R. Tolkien, and I love his stuff to death! I don't know if I've ever really read a story in which I felt as though I was truly one of the characters, fighting alongside the heroes, but now, I know I have, and ONCE A HERO is it!
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great book, 28 Oct 2012
This review is from: Once a Hero (Kindle Edition)
Witty, clever, fast pacing, perfect time-slip (or not). One of the best heroic fantasy I've ever read. Two different timelines are criss-crossing and entwinning around themselves in a perfect story of love and war in the time of elves. I've read other books from the author, or more exactly, haven't, as I've finished only one other, but this one is a must for anyone with a thing for sword and sorcery. And this book has a point, too (you won't find this very often in todays books).
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5.0 out of 5 stars I couldn't put it down, 17 May 1996
By A Customer
This review is from: Once a Hero (Paperback)
Mr Stackpole has some interesting new twists on the Heroic
Fantasy theme that I haven't seen anywhere else. Plus the
relationships/conflicts between the races (Elves and Humans)
show a lot of insight and depth. I am looking forward to more
books like this one.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Not too shabby....., 21 Mar 1998
By A Customer
This review is from: Once a Hero (Paperback)
....but could have been better. If you like long fantasy stories that span 3-10 books, than this isnt for you. However if you like fantasy and dont care how long it is, this is good.....
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5.0 out of 5 stars Great for all, 9 July 1996
By A Customer
This review is from: Once a Hero (Paperback)
I loved this book... and i normally hate the genre.. so if you like this type of book or not, check it out.. Stackpole is a master, and a god in my opinion
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book was utterly brilliant., 14 Aug 2000
By A Customer
This review is from: Once a Hero (Paperback)
I must admit, fantasy has to be really good to get me to read it. To get me to love it, it has to be amazing, and this book was. While the long chapters describing troop movements in the war against the Reithrese can be boring, the rest of it is pure class. The idea of raising Neal from the dead was genius, and Stackpole deals with the issues that arise (no pun intended) from this development in his usual manner. The treachery at the end was completely unexpected. However, the beginning of Gena's new relationship is spoilt at the beginning by the little comments on the inside front cover, so don't read them. The relationship between Man and Elven kind was a refreshing take on the usual unimaginative Elves that are so common in fantasy (one of the reasons I stay so far away). This is another great book from Stackpole, and I don't regret buying it at all.
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Once a Hero
Once a Hero by Michael A. Stackpole
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