Into the Darkness (World at War, Book 1)

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9780812574722: Into the Darkness (World at War, Book 1)

When the Duke of Bari suddenly dies, the neighboring nation of Algarve, long seething over its defeat a generation ago in the Six Years' War, sees its chance to bring Bari into the fold...an action which the other countries surrounding Algarve cannot, by treaty, tolerate. As nation after nation declares war, a chain of treaties are invoked, ultimately bringing almost all the Powers of Derlavai into a war of unprecedented destructiveness.

For modern magic is deadlier than in ears past. Trained flocks of dragons rain explosive fire down on defenseless cities. Massed infantry race from place to place along a network of ley-lines. Rival powers harness sea leviathans to help sabotage one another's ships. The lights are going out all across Derlavai, and will not come back on in this lifetime.

Against this tapestry Harry Turtledove tells the story of an enormous cast of characters: soldiers and generals, washerwomen and scholars, peasants and diplomats. For all the world, highborn and low, is being plunged by world war...into the darkness.

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Review:

Harry Turtledove is known for his alternate histories; from The Guns of the South to The Great War: American Front, he's practiced at imagining the ways society would have changed if various things had been different in history. Sometimes it's a key figure surviving (or dying); other times it's a strange new variable, like aliens landing during World War II. With Into the Darkness, Turtledove investigates a new wrinkle in this successful field: What if a world war were fought using magic?

Although Into the Darkness doesn't take place on Earth, the characters are humans, and they react in plausible ways. In fact, the uses of magic for political ends are eerily similar to the ways weapons have been used to wage cold wars in our own world. And as the magic grows more powerful, the destructive cost of war to the people of Derlavai grows as well. This is no enchanting fantasy world where kindly old wizards use their magic to kill dragons and save fair maidens. Turtledove has envisioned a place where the humans are decidedly political and greedy, and where magic is just a way of getting what you want. --Adam Fisher

About the Author:

Harry Turtledove is the Hugo-winning author of many science fiction and fantasy novels. His alternate-history novels include the bestselling The Guns of the South, How Few Remain, the Worldwar series, and Ruled Britannia. He lives with his wife and daughters in Los Angeles.

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