The Misplaced Legion Paperback – 18 Feb 1988
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From the Inside Flap
As they faced one another in a duel of survival, the Roman tribune Marcus Scaurus held the spell-scribed sword of a Druid priest, and the Celtic chieftain Viridovix held a similar sword, bespelled by a rival Druid sorcerer. At the moment they touched, the two found themselves under a strange night sky where no stars were familiar and where Gaul and Rome were unknown. They were in an outpost of the embattled Empire of Videssos--in a world where magic and dark sorcery would test their skill and courage as no Roman legion had ever been tested before. --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
About the Author
Harry Turtledoveis the award-winning author of the alternate-history worksThe Man with the Iron Heart, The Guns of the South, andHow Few Remain(winner of the Sidewise Award for Best Novel); the War That Came Early novels: Hitler s War, West and East, The Big Switch, Coup d Etat, andTwo Fronts;the Worldwar saga: In the Balance, Tilting the Balance, Upsetting the Balance, andStriking the Balance;the Colonization books: Second Contact, Down to Earth, andAftershocks;the Great War epics: American Front, Walk in Hell, andBreakthroughs;the American Empire novels: Blood & Iron, The Center Cannot Hold, andVictorious Opposition;and the Settling Accounts series: Return Engagement, Drive to the East, The Grapple, andIn at the Death. Turtledove is married to fellow novelist Laura Frankos. They have three daughters: Alison, Rachel, and Rebecca." --This text refers to an out of print or unavailable edition of this title.
Top customer reviews
The misplaced legion becomes a precious mercenary force in service of Videssos and is soon put to the test of many wars waged by the powerful but vulnerable empire. The leader of the legion, Marcus Scaurus, attracts also the personal hostility of a horribly malevolent and greatly powerful warlock (no more details here to avoid the spoilers) and there is no certainty that he can survive this challenge.
The master of alternate history, Harry Turtledove, is also a professor of history and his speciality is the Byzantine empire - and it shows very much in this book. The ennemies (Makurans, equivalents of Persia and Ksatrish, the steppe nomads) and allies (Vaspurakaners, who are the local version of Armenians and Halogans, who are the equivalent of the Varangian guard) of Videssos are also very well described.
This is a very well written, original, smart and very erudit fantasy book, with many surprising twists in the action. I enjoyed it greatly and I recommend it warmly.
This book is the first book of a 4 part videssos cycle by Harry Turtledove. Turtledove has become wellknown for his alternative history/SF books. Full of what ifs. But this series is different from that.
In my opinion this is one of the best series ever written. Might i say the magnum opus of Turtledove. From book 1 till book 4...there is no letdown in quality. Intrigue,politics, romance, battles, adventure, alternative history it's all in this book. It's simply unbelieveble how he was able to combine all these facets in one series. JUST AMAZING. I have read this series so often...and I still enjoy it when i read it all over again.
In this series turtledove was able to buildup the world of videssos, but also buildup the characters involved. Where at the beginning some characters are memorable as archetypical characters...as the series goes on they were fleshed out so much that you learn to care and love them....the goodies and even the baddies.
This series has also one of the most brilliant villains since Darth Vader.
Worldbuilding is excellent , also because Turtledove takes the time to take the readers into the everyday life in videssos. With the romans you are able to learn more and more of the world they have come to. Giving you a peek to how it would be if you are living there.
Even though he used the byzantime world as the template for videssos , it's admirable about the knowledge and details he knows of the people. Like the innerworking of legions. The steppe bow. etc etc.
Sadly people have already mentioned that the videssos world is actually based on the byzantine empire. But this is more than just an alternative world book. When i started this book/series...I did not even actually realise/know it. So i read it purely as just another fantasy book with battles , magic etc etc.
In time I start to realise that videssos is based on byzantine world.. And then the added depth of turtledove's writing come to the fore. The comments/views of the romans takes a whole different meaning. Is like getting 2 books for the price of one.For me it was a very nice surprise.
What I also admire is the topics turtledove involved in this series....from religious strife/war, to rascism and genocide to homosexuality. Not topics u find in alot of other fantasy/science fiction book.
So to finish this all...if you have never read this book/series before. I can't advice you more strongly to give this book/series a chance. You will not be dissappointed and hopefully you will get as much enjoyment out of it as I do.
Sad thing is...being the magnum opus of a writer. Other of his books will dissappoint. Not many writers are able to continue there excellence...but we can always hope.
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