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Into the Darkness (World at War, Book 1)

Turtledove, Harry

1,295 ratings by Goodreads
ISBN 10: 0312868952 / ISBN 13: 9780312868956
Published by Tor Books, U.S.A., 1999
Condition: Near Fine Hardcover
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First printing. Map endsheets. Book One of the World at War series with DJ art by Bob Eggleton. Unread, fine in like DJ. 540 pp. Bookseller Inventory # 13592

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Bibliographic Details

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

Publisher: Tor Books, U.S.A.

Publication Date: 1999

Binding: Hardcover

Book Condition:Near Fine

Dust Jacket Condition: Near Fine

Edition: 1st Edition.

About this title


Hailed for bestsellers like The Guns of the South, the World War series, How Few Remain, and The Great War: American Front, Harry Turtledove has become one of the most popular authors in SF today. Whether writing "alternate history" tales, or fantastic adventures tinged with real history like his Videssos novels, Turtledove writes with the confident and authoritative voice of the best SF writers: strong storytelling, a fantastic imagination, and a deep understanding of authentic human history.

Now Harry Turtledove turns his hand to a story of epic dimensions: the story of a World War in a world where magic works. 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 his small country back, as they see it, into the Algarvian 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 into a war of unprecedented destructiveness.

For modern magic is deadlier than in eras past. Trained flocks of dragons rain explosive fire down on defenseless cities. Massed infantry race from place to place along a sophisticated 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.


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

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