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Mass Market Paperback Falkenberg's Legion Book

ISBN: 067172018X

ISBN13: 9780671720186

Falkenberg's Legion

(Part of the CoDominium Universe Series and Falkenberg's Legion (#1) Series)

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Format: Mass Market Paperback

Condition: Acceptable

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Customer Reviews

5 ratings

Damn good stuff

A million years ago, back when I was a poor college student, I decided to forgoe the b-movie of the week and venture into the local Supercrown. Since I had already read Jerry's collaborations with Niven, I thought I'd give this book a chance. I did, and I got a real kick out of it. I've heard others describe Jerry's books as fascist, and his politics to the right of Attila the Hun, but they're lacking in brain cells, or have never read his work in the first place. Falkenberg's Legion (actually two novels in one) deals with the hard decisions a military commander has to make. It is in no way preachy, but sort or amoral, in attitude. It has to be or it would not be entertaining. JC Falkenberg is a great character, one I'll long remember. Jerry's Empire of Man deals with an alliance between the US and Soviet Union called the CoDominium, and the fall of the CoDominium and the wars between factions. I know the Soviet angle may sound dated, but I am sure with a little history under your belt you can appreciate it. Jerry has a great understanding of politics and history (often one in the same) and has created one of the most believable future histories in SF. If you dig RAH you'll dig Pournelle. He's damn good.

A great start to a great series

This book is the first of four novels, the next three being Prince of Sparta, Go Tell The Spartans, and Prince Of Mercenaries. When I finished reading the series I remembered a reviewer's comment about H. Beam Piper's classic book Space Viking. "First you read it for the story, then you read it for the characters, then you read it to see how a civilization dies, then you read it to see how a civilization is born." This is a ripping good yarn. Unlike many writers who do military Science Fiction Jerry Pournelle has been there, done that. The battle scenes have the ring of authenticity. The details of conventional and unconventional warfare are presented well and realistically. This is not a great literary classic that will be taught in English LIt classes, but the characters are well thought out and well written for an action adventure novel. By the way, did anyone else catch the similarities between Skilly and Two Knife and Modesty Blaise and Willie Garvin in the Modesty Blaise stories by Peter O'Donnell? The fall of the CoDominion and what is left of a stagnant Terran civilization is written in a manner that is disturbingly dark and realistic. This is a world that might have been. Jerry Pournele's vision of military adventures in the twilight of empire owes much to history. The notorious stadium massacre on Hadley is based on the Nike riots in Byzantium. If you want a really good description of what happened in Byzantium read David Drake's intro to his book Caught In The Crossfire, That's one of the best descriptions I've run across. In his novel Jerry fleshes out the bare facts with some political analysis which sheds some light on what may have led to the riots in Byzantium. I've always been suspicious of the official historical accounts.Finally this series shows how a civilization can rise out of the ashes of a dying one. The fears, hopes, actions, and motivations of the characters are well fleshed out. They aren't two dimensional cardboard figures. Even the antagonists have good reasons for what they do. These are people who literally have their world dying about them.All in all I recommend this series. It's a great read.

One wonders...

One wonders how many nights Jerry Pournelle stayed awake to dream up the frighteningly stagnant universe that Falkenberg's Legion resides in. From the alternately-historical Codominum (realistic in it's very ponderosity) to the clarity in which he sees the changes and stasis in warfare, his visionis not as powerfull in and of itself as much as the writing that supports it. What is a deceptively simple story becomes some thing of an extended propaganda pitch (albeit one that the reader doesn't mind) in which the dirtily innocuous word "mercenary" is rendered to a shine. By the time you finish the novels of Falkenberg's Legion (Falkenberg's Legion, Prince of Mercenaries, Prince of Sparta), you will not only want the protagonists to succeed, you will want to meet them, to fight alongside them, even though they are only words on paper. I'm not saying that this is an English classic, to be taught in comp class. I am saying that this book has failed to disappoint me, even when I can read a page in so much as an eyeblink, because I've read it so many times that it's more familiar than the carpet I walk on. In sum? Mr. Pournelle does not glorify war, nor the feelings that drive it. He does, however, manage to glorify humanity.

A masterstroke of military genius, prowess and loyalty.

JP does a remarkable job of combining the realities of modern combat with the age old traditions of honor and loyalty. Faulkenberg would have been at home in any century of Terran battle. The Legion is one of the best sci-fi adeventure books going!

Exciting and thrilling

I love this book! Although I don't understand much of military tactics I was fascinated by this book. The story and how it is told is one of the most interesting I ever read. And the best thing is: all the other books in this series are as good as Falkenberg's Legion.
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