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Editorial Reviews. From the Inside Flap. Since the Roman legion had been mysteriously Videssos Cycle: Volume Two: Legion of Videssos and Swords of the Legion (The. Videssos Cycle: Volume Two: Legion of Videssos and Swords of the.
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After the publication of this dramatic and sustained tale, Turtledove came into his own as the most famous and most prolific authors of Alternate History sequences; though some of the later series come dangerously close to repeating the techniques and motifs of earlier work, two long-running multi-section multi-volume narratives do stand out. Both are remarkable for their ingenuity, and for their almost unremitting and sometimes savagely melodramatic focus on War.


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The Worldwar sequence is perhaps the more appealing of the two, in that much of the internecine intensity of Turtledove's treatment of purely planetary issues is here partially escaped. Before an ultimate stalemate can be painfully achieved, Germany becomes an ally of America with consequences close to those encountered in many Hitler Wins tales , nuclear conflict devastates the planet, and the aliens come to occupy most of the world beyond the realm of the beleaguered allies, dominant among them being America, Germany and Russia.

The second series — the Worldwar: Colonization tales comprising Colonization: Book One: Second Contact , Colonization: Down to Earth and Aftershocks — takes place in the s, with the two races occupying the planet vying constantly for supremacy, a conflict in which advances in Technology tend to turn the tables fairly often.

Homo sapiens , in line with a deep-rooted American Genre SF assumption, is much quicker-witted and adaptive than the alien foe, who are comfortingly obtuse and very clearly described in accordance with the traditional view that invading alien armies would necessarily be commanded by hidebound, reptile-thick bureaucrats — though in this series individual aliens do show an alarming ability to take on human characteristics, including a passion for Baseball.

In the midst of all this, a continuing human campaign to develop a slower-than-light Starship points readers to the final volume of the overall sequence, Homeward Bound , in which human forces arrive on the alien planet, Home, a threat to the balance of power that almost leads to a mutually destructive final war, though the arrival of a second human force in a Faster Than Light ship tips that balance in our favour.

The second multi-volume sequence, an Alternate History whose surtitle is Southern Vision , is based as usual in Turtledove on an ingenious Jonbar Point : when the Union does not discover General Lee's plans to invade Maryland the historical Special Order did fall into Union hands, and arguably turned the course of the American Civil War , the Confederacy wins the war, maintaining a racist hegemony over much of America during the course of the following war-torn decades see Race in SF , not finally losing to the USA until the s.

The sequence begins with an initiatory tale, How Few Remain , set in , featuring the defeated Abraham Lincoln has become a socialist preacher, and Samuel Clemens see Mark Twain , still in California , as a radical newspaperman. The following volumes — beginning with The Great War: American Front and ending with In at the Death , see Checklist for breakdown into sub-series — are much darker than Worldwar and depict a reality significantly bleaker than our own.

The sequence depicts at great length the century after as subject to almost constant War , with extended episodes being couched in Military SF terms. In the meanwhile, on the larger scene, World War One begins, though much of Turtledove's attention is focused on the increasingly savage final conflict between the North and the South, which is recounted in terms of the same futile trench-warfare stalemate that marked the European conflict for years.

After , Canada, now an American colony under harsh control, suffers through the Governor-Generalship of General Custer. World War Two then breaks out, with the resurgent Confederacy attacking the North; during this war, Germany and other nations develop nuclear power: bombs duly destroy St Petersburg, Paris, London , and many other world cities. Later sf series, as indicated above, tend to repetition, though it may be that fantasy analogues — such as the Darkness sequence, beginning with Into the Darkness and ending with Out of the Darkness , where a version of World War Two is fought in a universe where Magic exists — may have moments of genuine freshness; this may also be the case with the War Between the Cronies sequence, beginning with Sentry Peak and ending with Advance and Retreat , where the Civil War is also fought in a world with magic.

The Videssos Cycle is the perfect fusion of the two. At the moment the weapons touch, Marcus and his legion find themselves under a strange night sky, full of unfamiliar stars, where Rome and Gaul are unknown.

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They are in an outpost of the embattled Empire of Videssos—a world that will test their skill and courage as no soldiers have ever been tested before. There, behind great walls that have always made the city impregnable to storm or siege, he rules with the aid of dark sorcery. Overthrowing him seems impossible and the imperial army has already fled in panic from the savage victors.

But there is no panic in the legion. Now Marcus Scaurus leads his men through the chaos and enemy hordes in search of winter quarters, to regroup and do the unthinkable: take the untakeable city. Get A Copy.

Videssos - Book Series In Order

Paperback , pages. Published April 2nd by Del Rey first published January 1st More Details Original Title. Other Editions 4. Friend Reviews. To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up. To ask other readers questions about Videssos Cycle, Volume One , please sign up. Be the first to ask a question about Videssos Cycle, Volume One.

Lists with This Book. This book is not yet featured on Listopia. Community Reviews. Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Nov 29, Phil rated it it was amazing Shelves: fiction. This is an old favourite which I've returned to after many years. Harry Turtledove, of course, is a past master at the alternative history or historical fantasy genres and, while this is one of his early efforts, the Videssos Cycle is one of his best. Set in the Empire of Videssos, an empire which bears more than a passing resemblance to the Byzantine Empire, except with a dualistic religion and effective magic.

The plot turns around the commander of a detachment of Romans who magically were tra This is an old favourite which I've returned to after many years. The plot turns around the commander of a detachment of Romans who magically were transported from Caesar's Gaul to Videssos. This volume holds the first two books in the series. Personally, I find the story gripping and I have more than a soft-spot for Scaurus, a Stoic in Videssos. Turtledove draws his characters convincingly and interestingly.

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I enjoy the weaving in of Byzantine history, but that is an odd taste, I recognize. Definitely worth reading! Slow going The Videssos Cycle was very slow moving and barely of interest to me. It began with a Roman legion in close combat with Gauls. At the peak of confrontation, the Roman leader is challenged to single combat by the Gallic chieftain. During the duel, as the men's warded swords clashed and locked together ,the men are suddenly transported. To another dimension, a strange but similar feudal land. Oddly, the Roman soldiers are transported , along with the Gallic chief, but not the Ga Slow going The Videssos Cycle was very slow moving and barely of interest to me.

Oddly, the Roman soldiers are transported , along with the Gallic chief, but not the Gauls. For the following pages nothing much happens, and it happens slowly. The reader is introduced to to Videssos society, law, lore and customs, not to mention court intrigue.

The Legion of Videssos

There is a bit of action, but only a bit. The lead characters are flat, and the abundance of newly appearing characters with similar names from a multitude of countries with various alliances hardly fuse one's eyes to the page. The author had evidently read up on Greek and Roman military history as he often sprinkled the text with Greek and Latin terms. But the attempts to add authenticity were unable to hide the lack of good story telling.

Reading the book, I began to feel as if I was one of the soldiers, plodding through the arid plains and vast deserts of Videssos, waiting for the promised battles.

They were good, but it was like having to eat a bowl of kale before you got to the ice cream. But I wish that I had my buck back. This volume contains the first two books in a four book series. A Roman legion fighting a Celtic tribe is about to be overrun. Marcus, the Roman Tribune leading the legion is in one-on-one combat with the leader of the Celts. Both have longswords inscribed with magical runes by Druids.

When the swords clash, magic transports the legion and Viridovix, the Celtic leader, to a planet far from Earth. Viridovix and Marcus set aside hostilities in the face of this situation. Left with no other choice, This volume contains the first two books in a four book series.

Videssos Cycle, Volume One: The Misplaced Legion / An Emperor for the Legion

Left with no other choice, the legion agrees to serve as mercenaries for the empire in which they land. The plot is a blend of very detailed accounts of battles, politics, and romances between the Earth soldiers and local women. I found the portrayal of the military campaigns oppressively long-winded and tiring. The politics and cultural differences were interesting. Characterizations were good, and there was some evolution of characters, though I hesitate to call it growth; just adaptation to new circumstances.

Magic was limited to religion-based powers, both good and evil. There was no magic "system" per se. One reason I read fantasy is to be entertained by magic systems, so I was disappointed in that. Who would like this book? Mostly readers who enjoy descriptions of military life and combat. I liked it enough that I bought the other volume containing the third and fourth books in the series.

Sep 30, Michael Bracken rated it really liked it.

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Loved this series and the idea of a lost Roman unit transported through dimensions. There was a lot of politics to go through but it was an excellent story with plenty of detail for the imagination. I hope that future books build off this series, possibly on the children of the emperor and the Romans. I was a little sad the writer did not sort out what happened to certain family members at the end but again I hope that's a possible tie in for another series to build off of this one to progress t Loved this series and the idea of a lost Roman unit transported through dimensions.