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1. Berserkers: The Beginning
2. Dominion (The Dracula Series)
3. The lost swords: The first triad
4. Thorn (The Dracula Series)
5. The Holmes-Dracula File (The Dracula
6. An Old Friend of the Family (The
7. A Coldness in the Blood
8. Berserker Man (Berserker, Bk.
9. Empire of the East (Bks. 1-3:
10. Berserker (Berserker, Bk. 1)
11. Berserker Wars
12. The Berserker Throne
13. Rogue Berserker
14. Berserker's Planet
15. Shiva In Steel (Berserker Series)
16. The Complete Book of Swords, Comprising
17. A Question of Time (The Dracula
18. The Face of Apollo (Book of the
19. The Lost Swords: Endgame
20. Third Book of Swords

1. Berserkers: The Beginning
by Fred Saberhagen
Mass Market Paperback: 384 Pages (1998-06-01)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$2.94
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0671878840
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Complete at last in one volume--the beginning of the war against the berserkers! The death machines are programmed to destroy all life in the Galaxy. But one branch of Galactic humanity, descended from a world called Earth, stands in the way. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (9)

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Saberhagen
I'm a Fred Saberhagen fan and this is a good story of the Berserkers.Worth a read.

5-0 out of 5 stars just imagine if Weber had written some Berserker tales
Saberhagen died 2 years ago, so no more Berserker stories, under his name at least. The collection of stories in this book are decades old and now classic. Of all the fantasy and science fiction that Saberhagen wrote, he is best associated with the Berserker stories. If you haven't had the chance, read these. They are timeless tales.

But one thing has happened in the years since their first publications. If you compare the stories here, especially those of space naval actions, with what David Weber has written, then you can see that Weber would have been able to write some superb Berserker stories. With better verisimilitude than Saberhagen. Who knows? Maybe one day Weber can get permission from Saberhagen's estate to continue the Berserker saga, not unlike how Keith Laumer's Bolos kept rolling on. And, by the way, Weber did write an entire Bolo book. So we can only hope...

3-0 out of 5 stars An Old Compendium of Shorts
Decades ago, Fred Saberhagen created a universe where humanity and a few other species are at war with a race of machines. Nobody knows too much about the machines except that they are programmed to destroy all life. The supposition is that they were created for an ancient war and that they eventually destroyed their creators. Now they are the problem of the entire galaxy.

This is not one story. Instead, it is a collection of shorter stories. Some are very compelling and some were, to me, a bit tedious. This impression may just be because of the mood I was in while I was reading them. They are all old but very timeless. This was a major series in its time and it is still worthwhile today. It is not my favorite but I have no regrets in having read it. I will probably read all the others as well.

5-0 out of 5 stars The Best of SF
If you haven't read Fred Saberhagen's stories about the Berserkers, you haven't read some of the best science fiction ever writen.Buy this book--you won't be disappointed!

5-0 out of 5 stars Can't We All Just Get Along?
Saberhagen's Berserkers have been scaring you pitiful humans for years. Powerful, insensate, planet-sized warships dedicated to wiping out all life everywhere. Now, I come to you as a representative of a powerful machinecivilization to offer you peace. Berserkers are only a myth. We robots areperfectly friendly. There is no need to fear. Hemphill, put down thatblaster! Argh! Help, goodlife! Save me! ... Read more

2. Dominion (The Dracula Series)
by Fred Saberhagen
Mass Market Paperback: 320 Pages (2010-03-02)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$2.98
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0765364840
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description

When two ancient, ruthless beings, locked in a struggle for the ultimate magic Weapon, bring their blood feud to New York, Vlad Tepes races to hide the coveted weapon.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars Fred Saberhagan's Best Ever
It's all very well to say that Fred Saberhagen's Dracula series is always enjoyable, as I have seen one reviewer state, but this particular book is phenomenally good. It is number five in the series, but can be read as a standalone story as I did the first time. Dracula (a good guy) meets Merlin, still ensorceled by Morgan La Fay and a pathetic shell of himself. There are details in the book that I found truly chilling, as I seldom do in fiction (the only other good example was Peter Straub's "Ghost story"). To see what I mean, follow the subplot of the stage magician (not a real magician) giving a performance at La Fay's castle, and how he learns about his heritage. ... Read more

3. The lost swords: The first triad
by Fred Saberhagen
Hardcover: 602 Pages (1988)
-- used & new: US$12.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B00071EV5M
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (2)

5-0 out of 5 stars good
My grandson said to read these books and as usual he was right they are a good read.

2-0 out of 5 stars Not Free SF Reader
This is an omnibus edition of three books. Woundhealer's Story, Sightbinder's Story and Stonecutter's Story, or the first, second and third books of lost swords.

In general, I found these stories fairly dull. Prince Mark runs around, with the swords ominpresent, seeing what they can do. ... Read more

4. Thorn (The Dracula Series)
by Fred Saberhagen
Mass Market Paperback: 304 Pages (1990-02-15)
list price: US$4.95 -- used & new: US$6.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812503163
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
The immortal Count Dracula--Vlad Tepes, Prince of Wallachia--hunts the murderous art thieves who have stolen the portrait of his lost love. But the thieves are after more than art. From the Master Vampire they would steal the very secrets of life--and death! ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

5-0 out of 5 stars A kinder softer Dracula.
I love a good alternative Dracula, and this is as good as any.Saberhagen really makes Dracula come alive (as it were).

5-0 out of 5 stars Dracula not as a monster but as a man,an immortal
As I closed the cover of this book I loved the man I came to know.Not a soul-less monster but a man whose life and love was immortal.A person full of fire and passion for life, art and the wonder of the world aroundus. It make one wonder, what could humankind learn in several lifetimes andthen ask why haven't we.

5-0 out of 5 stars Another of the Dracula series.
Thorn was one of the eariler Dracula books and the first that dwelled extensively in two times.Half of Thorn tells the story of Dracula's life, before he became undead and provides an acurate (within reason) portrayal of the period. The other half is set in the present day southwest and brings in the characters developed in the 14-15th century.

A very good read. ... Read more

5. The Holmes-Dracula File (The Dracula Series)
by Fred Saberhagen
Mass Market Paperback: 256 Pages (2010-06-29)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$3.27
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0765366134
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Product Description

World-famous “consulting detective” Sherlock Holmes faces a terrible crisis: a ring of criminal masterminds has threatened to loose thousands of plague-infected rats into the streets of London.  But the Black Death isn’t Holmes’ only problem.  A lone killer haunts the city.  His calling card is a trail of corpses, drained of blood to the last drop. 

The key to solving both crimes rests in the hands of a mysterious nobleman recently returned to London on a personal matter.  His name is Dracula.  The Count is quickly entangled in a web of evil that even his immortal powers may not be enough to breach.  Holmes and Dracula soon come to the peculiar realization that they may be each other’s only hope.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Thought-Prokoking Must for Holmes Fans
Fred Saberhagen's Benevolent Bloodsucker: Vampiric Honor in The Holmes-Dracula File

Science fiction author Fred Saberhagen's 1978 novel The Holmes Dracula File traces its literary ancestry not only to Arthur Conan-Doyle's Holmes canon, but to Bram Stoker's 1897 masterpiece of horror, Dracula. Saberhagen, perhaps best-known for his Berserker novels, presents us with a tale that Dr. John H. Watson refers to as "the most bizarre case in all the long and illustrious career of my friend Sherlock Holmes" (25).

The title character of Stoker's 1897 masterpiece plays an important role in Saberhagen's novel, and narrates every other chapter (alternating with Holmes's faithful biographer, Dr. Watson).

The novel also expands upon a reference to an undocumented Holmes case involving the Giant Rat of Sumatra, to be found in the Holmes story "The Sussex Vampire." In that tale, Holmes refers to the adventure of the Rat as "a story for which the world is not yet prepared."

In The Holmes-Dracula File, Saberhagen imagines what might have transpired if Count Dracula, having survived Professor Van Helsing's efforts to pursue him back to his castle and exterminate him, returns to London to reunite with his love, Mina Harker.

The time is June, 1897, six years after Dracula's first visit to London (as described by Stoker). The city is in the midst of preparations for Queen Victoria's Diamond Jubilee. An American scientist, Dr. John Scott, has turned up missing after embarking upon an expedition to Sumatra to study the spread of a rare and deadly plague. His fiancée, Miss Sarah Tarlton, enlists Holmes and Watson's aid in locating Scott. Scott's friend, Mr. Peter Moore, subsequently informs Holmes that scientific equipment that he sold to Scott prior to the expedition has turned up in London.

Toward the climax of their investigations, Holmes and Dracula's paths inevitably cross. The nature of their confrontation is surprising, unexpected, and curiously benevolent. Saberhagen's Dracula is far from the demon he is often portrayed as in the anti-Dracula tracts we have all grown up with. In fact, he is often portrayed in the novel as possessing a number of positive traits; a benevolent bloodsucker, if you will. This portrayal is perhaps not terribly surprising, if the reader considers the fact that half of the novel is narrated by the Count himself.

Dracula's dialogue suggests that he is a man of honor: "I cannot, and never could, abide a thief" (74). "To pay for the damage I tossed a gold sovereign behind me as I left, and I silently vowed a future donation upon a grander scale" (95). "Those who think me unlikely to pay fairly, even generously, for goods got from the innocent do not know me" (107). "Let the serious students of 15th century affairs assure more casual readers that in my breathing days, as Prince of Wallachia, I was accused by some of being too scrupulously honest" (107).

It is likely that this highly-positive portrayal of Dracula is due, in large part, to his own embellishment of the facts. However, it is worthwhile to consider Dr. Watson's account of events late in the story: "I admit, Holmes, that I may owe the Count my life" (248). According to Holmes, Watson, and Saberhagen, Count Dracula was not a miscreant, but a misunderstood soul.

Work Cited

Saberhagen, Fred. The Holmes-Dracula File. New York: Ace Books, 1978.

5-0 out of 5 stars Holmes-Dracula File
I like Fred Saberhagan's Dracula series, as much as I love his his Merlin series.Theyare great reads and extensions on the original myths.

3-0 out of 5 stars An interesting combination
I will state first that I'm a Stoker purist, and a fan of Holmes canon.

So from this perspective, this was a very interesting read.Saberhagen is able to capture the Doyle style very effectively, and the characters are very consistent.The story is told from alternating viewpoints of Dracula and Watson, and deals with events 6 years after Dracula was "killed" in Stoker's novel.

So why the two star reduction?Well, Holmes really departs from form near the end.I just didn't buy it.Also, in the middle of some of Watson's chapters, Dracula adds footnotes, which seemed a bit jarring.This seemed to make Dracula a little too omnipotent, almost like making him an editor of the book.

All in all, this is a fun read, and adds the "Giant Rat of Sumatra" to the chapters of Holmsiana.

3-0 out of 5 stars THE HOLMES/DRACULA FILE - A Review By Steve Vernon
This is a solid little read for vampire fans and Holmes fans alike.A fast moving, atmospheric romp through the streets of Victorian London with a pair of characters who ought to have been paired together a long time ago.Well worth the read.I'm looking forward to hunting up the rest of the series.(or should I say "digging" up.)_

Yours in horror,
Steve Vernon

5-0 out of 5 stars Great read!
I really enjoyed this book.It stayed faithful to both Stokers' and Doyles' creations, and make for a fast, yet fascinating read.Some people might find the alternate chapter writing of Dracula and Watson a bit of getting used to, but definitely worth taking the time to purchase and read. ... Read more

6. An Old Friend of the Family (The Dracula Series)
by Fred Saberhagen
Mass Market Paperback: 240 Pages (2009-09-29)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$3.88
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0765363895
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The Southerland family left the old world to start anew in America, but little did they know that a blood-feud, older than history itself, would follow them through the generations to come.
Kate Southerland, the first born of the latest generation of Southerlands, has been murdered, but she is not dead. Her little brother, Johnny, has also vanished, a severed, bloody finger the only clue.
But the Southerlands have no clue what they've fallen into. Their enemy is no mortal madman, but the undying mistress of evil enchantment, Morgan Le Fay, and the Southerlands are not her true target. She seeks to do battle with their protector, their defender, the only man who is capable of saving this mortal family from a war they've never realized was waged.
... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars Reprint of Mr. Saberhagen's fine first vampire tale
In Chicago, the wealthy Southerland family struggles to persuade Police Detective Franzen that something bad has happened to their beloved Kate Southerland.He agrees with them once her corpse is found.Unbeknownst to the family though they descend from Wilhelmina Hacker she is not just dead.

At the same time, someone abducts Kate's younger brother Johnny leaving a bloody finger behind as evidence of foul play.Since CPD failed them with Kate, the family matriarch Clarissa turns to a long time family friend Dr. Emile Corday for assistance.He investigates the murder and the turning of Kate as well as the kidnapping on the assumption they are linked beyond sibling coincidence.He soon concludes that the assailants are using the Harker descendents as pawns in a deadly blood feud over a century old and a continent away with the ultimate target being Dr. Emile Corday.

This is a reprint of Fred Saberhagen's fine first vampire tale with 1980's references like the Pointer Sisters.The story line is action-packed starting off as a mystery that turns into much more especially when Dracula arrives on the scene to protect the Harker brood from an evil sorceress only to realize that there is much more on the agenda.Fans of Mr. Saberhagen's vampire thrillers will appreciate AN OLD FRIEND OF THE FAMILY, which readers know lives up to its title.

Harriet Klausner

5-0 out of 5 stars A Well-Balanced Treatment
The difficulty of dealing with vampires in fiction is caused by the problem of balancing their near-supernatural powers with the limited ability of humans to deal with them. Saberhagen short-circuits this by changing sides! His favorite vampire uses his abilities to help humans, frequently at his own peril. This book illustrates this without pushing it to extremes, and he allows the poor humans to intervene decisively at critical points. A very good read or re-read!

2-0 out of 5 stars A Fiend in the Family
I didn't particularly like The Dracula Tapes, but I thought that might have been because it seemed forced; Saberhagen was obliged to stick with the "facts" as written by Bram Stoker, which produced some very silly and unintentionally comical results.

I was sufficiently entertained so as to be drawn to a second novel, hoping that the author might do better when not fettered by the chains of existing narrative.I selected "An Old Friend of the Family" because it is an early book and might still retain something fresh.

I was dead wrong.Writing in 81, Saberhagen makes attempts to modernize his tale of Dracula coming to rescue Mina Harker's descendants but those efforts now seem dated and comical.The entire setup, about Morgan Le Fay and her minions, seems forced.And kidnaping Dracula by whacking him on the head with a wooden stake just seems ridiculous.

This book is the one that pretty much convinced me not to bother with the rest of the series.

5-0 out of 5 stars Good Vampire story
This was one of my favorite vampire stories that I've read!! Definately recommend to vampire readers.

5-0 out of 5 stars The best of the series
Dracula comes to modern-day Chicago to rescue the descendants of Mina Harker.The characters are three-dimensional and the story is gripping right up to the end.This is one of my all-time favorite books. ... Read more

7. A Coldness in the Blood
by Fred Saberhagen
Hardcover: 384 Pages (2002-10-04)
list price: US$25.95 -- used & new: US$8.57
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000H2NCCY
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Matthew Maule has seen many horrific things in his five hundred years as one of the most powerful vampires in the world. But even his formidable talents cannot predict the unthinkable acts about to occur within his own home.When the vampire Dickon and his human partner appear in the middle of the night, frightened for their lives, Matthew offers them protection. They carry with them a small Egyptian statue of great value and many secrets. In the morning, Matthew wakes to discover that Dickons human friend has been brutally murdered, the vampire has gone missing, and their statue has been smashed to pieces. Matthew has also made a dangerous new enemy, one who possesses strength even Matthew may be no match for.he statue is no ordinary artifact, but one of six replicas. One contains a gem in the center, a stone of unimaginable magical power that could spell the end of humanity if it falls into the wrong hands.ow, Matthew must trek cross country, trying to unravel a millenia-old mystery in order to prepare himself for a final showdown against the evil stalking him at every turn. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars a quick but enjoyable read
I was able to read _A coldness in the blood_ in one 3.5-hour sitting... it's a bit formulaic, but is more consistently written than some of Saberhagen's other Dracula books, which I feel suffer from bad editing.the story timeline is kept in the modern day without a parallel historical fiction accompanying it.I enjoyed the read immensely; the pace was consistent and the descriptions tight.I think the biggest drawback is that it so persistently refers back to all the prior books in the series that I sometimes felt I was reading a sales pitch.the backreferences are funny, in some cases better written than the books to which he referred.

4-0 out of 5 stars Crocodile Tears
Fred Saberhagen is a remarkably consistent author.And while he is certainly a prolific author, he rarely pushes a book out too soon just to feed his bank account.Two of the many reasons why an alarming amount of my shelf space is dedicated to his work.For people of my generation, he is most noted for the Berserker series, and for his string of novels about Dracula and his relations with Mina Harker and her descendents.This has been a dry season for vampire lovers, so there was much evil cackling and hand rubbing when I discovered that Saberhagen had finally written a new story.

Matthew Maule (AKA Vlad Tepes AKA Dracula) currently maintains an aerie in Chicago which he uses as his principal residence.His 'nephew,' Andy Keogh is instructing the old vampire in the intricacies of websites when they are interrupted by the sudden appearance of Dickon, the world's most cowardly Nosferatu, and his friend Tamarack.Dickon is convinced that someone is out to kill him.For a change, his convictions seem justified.Dickon's residence has just been firebombed, and he, his friend, and a small white statue have come to beg Maule's protection.Shortly thereafter, Dickon is gone, Tamarck is spectacularly dead, the statue is dust, and neither Maule nor Andy has a clue what hit them.

Dracula is furious that his lair could be invaded and his nephew involved.His investigations reveal that half the world seems to be in pursuit of six Egyptian statues (now down to five), one of which has the Philosopher's Stone in it.Among the pursuers is a reborn crocodile creature named Sobek, whose most irritating trait is that he refuses to take the vampire seriously.With five hidden statues, a dozen or so nefarious hunters, a very angry vampire and a host of his 'breather' friends, this is a classic chase setup, and that is exactly what Saberhagen delivers.

This is not Saberhagen's best, but it is so far ahead of the rest of this year's efforts to make it a grand treat.There is no lack of action, but the characters are a bit thin.The author takes it for granted that we have read enough of the series that we won't need much character development, and so errs on the side of sparseness.Andy, who is new, certainly needs much more time, as does Dolores Flamel, daughter of a mage, who plays an extended part.Even so, Saberhagen's trademark style delivers both depth and complexity while making vampires entirely believable.By all means, take the time to enjoy 'A Coldness in the Blood.'

5-0 out of 5 stars imaginative, colorful and quirky Dracula tale
He has lived for over five centuries by keeping up with technology so Vlad Tepes better known as Dracula and AKA Matthew Maule asks Andy Keogh to help him design a website.Andy, descended from the bloodline of Mina Harker, agrees to help his "Uncle Matt", whom he thinks is human.While at Uncle Matt's apartment, a nosferatu named Dickon, along with a human, ask for Vlad to help in their quest for learning alchemy.

Someone puts a spell over everyone in the apartment and when Dracula awakens, Dickon is gone, the human is dead, Andy is dazed and an Egyptian statue is smashed.The next day Sobeck, a being once worshipped by the Egyptians as a God, confronts Matthew Maule.He wants the Philosopher's Stone, a magical artifact hidden in one of six small statues smuggled into the country.Dracula declines to help but Andy becomes involved when Dickon asks his dead partner's granddaughter Dolly to assist him.Andy's father and Uncle Matt search for the Philosopher's Stone while trying to keep Andy and Dolly out of danger. Thy also hope to send Sobeck back where he belongs.

It's been six long years since Fred Saberhagen has written a Dracula book but the wait was well worth it.His eighth installment in this series is imaginative, colorful and sometimes even quirky.Dickon is comic relief as a millennium old vampire afraid of his own shadow.The race for the Philosopher's Stone is filled with action and adventure as the protagonists keep running head long into villains coveting the same artifact.

Harriet Klausner ... Read more

8. Berserker Man (Berserker, Bk. 4)
by Fred Saberhagen
 Hardcover: 688 Pages (2004-10-05)
list price: US$22.00 -- used & new: US$6.18
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: B000VYI2SW
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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For countless millennia the dreadful Berserkerr fleets have ranged across the galaxy in a relentless war against all things living. Their equally relentless opponent has been one of the least evolved of intelligent species, for of all the starfaring races, only mankind still has the heritage and instinct of battle, facing the enemy of all life in battle after battle. Here are four of those battles in the war between humans and the powerful death machines.Berserker's Planet: When a Berserker, severely damaged in a great battle between the fleets of humanity and the exterminating robot ships, hides on a planet whose inhabitants are just entering a period corresponding to the middle ages on Earth, a cult arises dedicated to death and worship of the Berserker's mobile robots. A lone rebel, armed only with medieval weaponry, doesn't stand a chance-or does he?The Berserker Throne: Exiled from the Eight Worlds, a prince discovers an operable Berserker-and the secret code which will give him control over the ancient war machine. With its help, he may return to power-but can a mere human really control a Berserker?Brother Assassin: The Berserkers reach back through time to kill a pivotal scientist in a planet's history, and only Time Operative Derron Odegard has a prayer of stopping them.Berserker Man: Over a century after the Beserkers had suffered an overwhelming defeat, humans have become complacent. But the killer machines have repaired and rebuilt themselves, and this time may succeed in eradicating humanity from the galaxy-unless they can be stopped by a child who is half man and half machine. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (3)

4-0 out of 5 stars protagonist != goodlife
Berserker Man is a middling novel in Saberhagen's long running Berserker series. The central idea in the series has proved a popular one in terms of audience reception for the stories based on it that Saberhagen put out.

This particular novel explores one variation, where a human might have within him a Berserker component or controller. And where he is distinct from "goodlife", which are the organic traitors to all life, that work for Berserkers. In all Saberhagen's novels, goodlife are depicted as the lowest of traitors, to the extent that anything is shown about them. A striking contrast to the protagonist here. Whose eventual human side wins out.

Somewhat puzzling that there are no prior reviews. The book has been around since the early 90s. Then again, perhaps this also indicates that it was only a modest success with readers.

As an aside: If you like this series, there is not much more. And certainly nothing new is likely to emerge at this point in 2008, since the author died last year. The most we can hope for is the release of any unpublished manuscripts. Perhaps Saberhagen's estate can let another author take up the Berserker theme? Someone well versed in hard military science fiction. Say Pournelle, Stirling or Weber.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fantastic piece of storytelling
This was one of the first sci-fi books I read as a kid. I've re-read it many times since then (over the last 20 years) and it always sets my hair on end.

This is more of an "epic" climax than the other beserker books in the series. It has what feels to be an ultimate conclusion that will stay with you for years after reading the book.

2-0 out of 5 stars A not-too-good book by a god author
The book seemed slow and un involving unlike the other books in Saberhagam's Berserker series.It was also hampered by the effect of a bad ending that left you thinking "Huh?um, ok.... Let's go read ahalf-way decent Star Wars/Trek novel." Sorry, but it just wasn't agood book. ... Read more

9. Empire of the East (Bks. 1-3: The Broken Lands, The Black Mountains, and Ardneh's World)
by Fred Saberhagen
Paperback: 512 Pages (2003-11-01)
list price: US$18.95 -- used & new: US$10.62
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0765307421
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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The classic trilogy returned to print! In the distant future, society has crumbled. Dark forces now rule the land, keeping all humans under their oppressive thumbs.Determined to regain their freedom, a small band of plans to overthrow an army of thousands ... with the help of one incredible weapon. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (20)

5-0 out of 5 stars Saberhagen Gem
Just recently came across this at Amazon, never read it before. Mostly a Beserker and Dracula fan. This trilogy is worth every penny and a great demonstration of Saberhagen's work. One of my favorite authors. Great story and characters. A must read for any true fan.

1-0 out of 5 stars Im in shock that this was allowed to be published
What amazes me here... are the number of excellent reviews that this trilogy has received here on amazon. One five star adulation after another. What the heck??? Were we reading the same set of novellas?

The Empire of the East has to be one of the most poorly written published work that I have ever attempted to read. I kept putting the book down, coming back here to trash it on amazon, encountered one great review after another, thought I was missing something, and finally picked up the book again. I have to say though that this is just terrrrrrible.

The story, the writing, the characters, everything feels like its written on a level so far below average that it is stunning. The author allows insane events to occur for no other reason than to hurry along a plot that seems to be pasted together as the story were written.

Basically it follows a single farm boy and his transition to greatness. The opening pages are of his parents having been destroyed by maurading soldiers. Rolf then heads out on his own, meets a magician, goes on a secret journey finds a machine, and suddenly becomes a focal point of the resistance movement. Its pretty sad how all this comes to pass. Sad as in cliched writing.

Thank god these pages move by so fast. I tried very hard to like it. But this is just nothing other than a horrible dated mess. ]

5-0 out of 5 stars Finally got another copy
Read this book years ago, 1st book was stolen from car, wanted to re-read the book, bought another, that disappeared also.
Science fantasy, in a far future magic exist but also old technology.
Read and enjoy figuring out what the villians are.

4-0 out of 5 stars Exciting trilogy
Empire of the East is a must for any fantasy reader. I read it many years ago, and recall that one blurb on the book says it's better than Lord of the Rings. It isn't quite that good, but it is enjoyable. Empire of the East is actually a trilogy; the first and third books are good but not great, the second (The Black Mountains)is terrific. Saberhagen is a great writer and I also suggest his Swords series.

5-0 out of 5 stars Read these books about 15 years ago
I have to review this book mostly because of the large negative review. I read this back when I was in high school which was over 15 years ago. It was probably the most compelling fantasy story I'd ever read at that time.

I do think this was created for young adults but what the negative reviewer failed to notice is that these books were written between 1968 and 1973 which was a good time before I think "anything" became cliched. Fred saberhagen was a fantasy writer in a time when fantasy hadnt even taken root in even the alternative crowd.

For it's time I trully think this book is a masterpiece. I completely recommend it to anyone who loves fantasy along with most of the other books he's written. To this day Fred Saberhagen is the author I remember more then any other. My personal belief is that he's up there with the greats of fantasy writing. ... Read more

10. Berserker (Berserker, Bk. 1)
by Fred Saberhagen
 Paperback: Pages (1986-09-15)
list price: US$4.99
Isbn: 0441054951
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (12)

4-0 out of 5 stars A review of the audiobook
I just stumbled upon "Berserker", not realizing that there is an entire series of these books. I'm not terribly surprised, the structure of the first book lends itself to sequel after sequel.

The premise of the book is that giant intelligent killing space machines are out to destroy all of the life they discover. Why? We are never told, but we assume that they are by-products of a long-ended war by a long-forgotten people.

This first volume was written in the late 1960s. The only reason I point this out is that I believe that the 1960s was an especially fertile time for science fiction, especially sci-fi that wanted to discuss big issues and themes. For example, TV's "Star Trek" and "Twilight Zone" are often more than a creepy story or a space alien story - they explore deep themes, such as "What is beauty?" and "What does it mean to be human?". Saberhagen openly explores these themes and more.

Saberhagen bounces around from one episode in humankind's struggle against these machines to another, giving the reader (in my case, listener) a bit of the flavor of the struggle as a whole. There are minor battles, major battles, backroom political struggles, stories of prisoners, accidental encounters and attempts to make peace. All stories are told by an alien historian in short story format. Some characters overlap from story to story but many do not.

Abuse of power, treason, forgiveness, revenge and what it means to be human are themes that Saberhagen explores. The quality of the stories vary. The first one is particularly weak in my opinion, so don't let it deter you from continuing on.

The audiobook is well read, with Aaron Lustig and Henry Strozier sharing the work - one acts as the historian narrator that introduces each short story while the other reads the main body of the book.

4-0 out of 5 stars Not Free SF Reader
The Berserker groups function as Von Neumann machines.They are leftovers from a war between some aliens many years and the past, and are now on a quest to get rid of all that nasty smelly organic life stuff.

This is a bit of a problem for humanity, being humans are nasty smelly organic life stuff.War ensues between machines, humans and allies.

A classic collection of man vs machine space war, as the intelligent Berserker machines decide that organics are 'badlife' and want to exterminate or at least change some they keep into 'goodlife' to be more like them.

Some stories of the overall commanders of parts of this conflict, and some that are just isolated incidents.

Berserker : Without a Thought [Fortress Ship] - Fred Saberhagen
Berserker : Goodlife - Fred Saberhagen
Berserker : Patron of the Arts - Fred Saberhagen
Berserker : The Peacemaker [The Life Hater] - Fred Saberhagen
Berserker : Stone Place - Fred Saberhagen
Berserker : What T and I Did - Fred Saberhagen
Berserker : Mr. Jester - Fred Saberhagen
Berserker : Masque of the Red Shift - Fred Saberhagen
Berserker : Sign of the Wolf - Fred Saberhagen
Berserker : In the Temple of Mars - Fred Saberhagen
Berserker : The Face of the Deep - Fred Saberhagen

Berserker fancies a game.

3 out of 5

Life is evil, need to experiment on it a bit.

4 out of 5

Berserker no critic, more of a collector.

3.5 out of 5

Love cancer removal machine.

3.5 out of 5

High Command faction Berserker fleet action decision.

4 out of 5

Facing prison brain surgery.

3 out of 5

Levity defense exile return politics.

4 out of 5

Big star leadership freeze out massacre revival.

3.5 out of 5

Planetary defense shepherd.

4 out of 5

Big new ships and Berserker kults.

3.5 out of 5

Hypermass falling engagement rescue.

3.5 out of 5

3-0 out of 5 stars Good premise but I found it kind of dry.
I liked the idea of the man versus machine, but felt that none of the characters were really developed. Although it was competently written, it seemed more like an outline than a finished book.
I like some of Saberhagen's Berserker short stories, and bought this book on the basis of those, but the book just didnt hold my interest. About halfway through I found myself skimming through it, and realized I just wasnt connecting with the book. I found the premise more compelling than the actual reading. Some good moments, but it just didnt grab me emotionally. Saberhagen's style is terse and dry, and I prefer writers with a more poetic style.
Like Asimov's 'Foundation', it is really a collection of separate stories, so it lacks the continuity and plot threads of a fully realized novel. Not bad, but I wouldnt rate it a classic.

4-0 out of 5 stars Mutually Assured Destruction on a cosmic scale
If, somewhere in this universe two interstellar enemies assumed the trait humanity demonstrated during the 20th Century, took 'I'd rather be dead than Red' to the ultimate logical extreme, killed one another off entirely after having set their killing machines on autopilot, just to make certain, you'd have the 'other side' in the Berserkers series.Mankind innocently encounters the machines somewhere in his future and finds himself at war with them.

This series appears on the surface to be a relatively simple, fairly shallow-but-entertaining set of stories.Maybe that's the way it was intended.But if you scrape off the surface and consider the implications I believe you'll appreciated it more.

This book and all those in the Berserker series are worth reading for their intertainment value.If you pause afterward and ponder what the author might have been saying about humanity, so much the better.

4-0 out of 5 stars Mutually Assured Destruction on a cosmic scale
If, somewhere in this universe two interstellar enemies assumed the trait humanity demonstrated during the 20th Century, took 'I'd rather be dead than Red' to the ultimate logical extreme, killed one another off entirely after having set their killing machines on autopilot, just to make certain, you'd have the 'other side' in the Berserkers series.Mankind innocently encounters the machines somewhere in his future and finds himself at war with them.

This series appears on the surface to be a relatively simple, fairly shallow-but-entertaining set of stories.Maybe that's the way it was intended.But if you scrape off the surface and consider the implications I believe you'll appreciate it more.

This book and all those in the Berserker series are worth reading for their intertainment value.If you pause afterward and ponder what the author might have been saying about humanity, so much the better. ... Read more

11. Berserker Wars
by Fred Saberhagen
 Mass Market Paperback: 400 Pages (1994-09)
list price: US$4.99
Isbn: 0812536436
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (8)

5-0 out of 5 stars FROM BACK COVER
"Life and Death in dreadful conflict stove..."

It happened long ago and far away - perhaps in another close by.Two war-maddened races fought to the death, and though they both are gone, their legacy abides: the terrible weapons they unleashed on each other and could not control - the berserkers.Robots programmed for one purpose only: to seek out and destroy all life.The death machines have harried their way across our galaxy.Now they have come for us.

Here is the essence of the Berserker Saga in a single volume:


4-0 out of 5 stars Free SF Reader
Berserker Wars has been reprinted as part of an omnibus from Baen, Berserker Death, as well as in previous versions, and you will in fact find all the contents online there, just not under Berserker Wars.

Originall the second collection of Berserker Stories put together, if you have read later books and the earlier ones, you may have come across them before.

Still, as usual, the Berserker stories are worth reading, and this volume includes 3 of the top handful of Berserker tales.

Berserker Wars : Stone Place - Fred Saberhagen
Berserker Wars : The Face of the Deep - Fred Saberhagen
Berserker Wars : What T and I Did - Fred Saberhagen
Berserker Wars : Mr. Jester - Fred Saberhagen
Berserker Wars : The Winged Helmet - Fred Saberhagen
Berserker Wars : Starsong - Fred Saberhagen
Berserker Wars : Some Events at the Templar Radiant - Fred Saberhagen
Berserker Wars : Wings Out of Shadow - Fred Saberhagen
Berserker Wars : The Smile - Fred Saberhagen
Berserker Wars : Metal Murderer - Fred Saberhagen
Berserker Wars : Patron of the Arts - Fred Saberhagen

High Command faction Berserker fleet action decision.

4 out of 5

Hypermass falling engagement rescue.

3.5 out of 5

Facing prison brain surgery.

3 out of 5

Levity defense exile return politics.

4 out of 5

Time Ops again has a protection from Berseker job to do, this time with a barbarian Chieftain.

3.5 out of 5

Even though human brains are really nifty, still won't help that old underworld lookback tragedy.

4.5 out of 5

Berserker recreation interrogation history.

3 out of 5

Dream and persona Berserker strategies.

3.5 out of 5

Berserker Tyrant artwork.

3 out of 5

Berserker past game.

3 out of 5

Berserker no critic, more of a collector.

3.5 out of 5

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Collection
I found this book on tape in a library by chance.What a great collection of stories around a horrible idea!Huge, automated killing machines, left over from an ancient war, are destroying life wherever they find it.It's fight or die.

After this book, I read several more of the Berserker series.Unfortunately, none of the characters and few of the interesting plots in this collection made into the later books.

1-0 out of 5 stars A true history
It happened long ago, in a galaxy far away, perhaps in thisone perhaps in another close by. This is the essence of the berserker wars. It is apity that such a great word as berserk is used in the title of such a ridiculous book. How I stumbled upon this book I know not, but I must have been cursedto find it. I have tried to get rid of it, but it keeps returning. Withit's ridiculous attempts at being some grand story. Having said that, it isquite funny, and the prose in the winged helmet, is heart wrenching

1-0 out of 5 stars You gotta be berserker to read this book!
We have a copy of Berserker Wars in our college lending library at Yale.Some fool left it there.I know he was a fool because Berserker Wars is the worst book I've ever seen, and anyone who really read it is a nut.I'm not sure if the story's really true like the cover says.If it is true,we're all in for a lot of trouble.The illustrations, however, are goodfor a taking the mickey. ... Read more

12. The Berserker Throne
by Fred Saberhagen
 Paperback: 320 Pages (1991-12)
list price: US$3.95 -- used & new: US$37.05
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812514025
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Another episode in the Berserker wars of the far distant future when powerful machines continue trying to eradicate all life and the living battle back. Space opera, political intrigue, touches of technology. The main character, a royal, political prisoner must engineer his release from a space station prison in order to fight off the plans of the Berserkers and their human allies. Written by a master of the genre. There are links from Table of Contents to text. This is an extra large print publication specifically formatted for people who have trouble reading ordinary size print. The print in this version is equivalent to 20 point type; ordinarily the largest type on a Kindle is equivalent to 16 point type. The print in a hard copy “large print” book is never more than 18 point type. The reader can reduce the size if desired.

... Read more

Customer Reviews (5)

4-0 out of 5 stars Available as Baen free ebook
This is available as a free ebook from Baen.Reading on my Kindle! And loving it.Great Berserker story.

5-0 out of 5 stars Yes, reading is entertaining.
Fred Saberhagen writes with humility. He knows his science, and though Berserker Throne was published in 1985, his computer literacy is good enough for me in 2009. But he doesn't use fancy words, and he never bores me with long passages of description. His works are short. You won't feel the accomplishment of having read one of Tad Williams' 700-page volumes. This is only about 200 pages.

His characters here are likeable, though unremarkable, except for the villains. The berserkers. They are remarkably villainous. Isaac Asimov's robots are built to serve humans. Saberhagen's machines are programmed to eliminate life, from microscopic bacteria to macroscopic dinosaurs. Everything must go, including us.

Besides the humble prose that makes him as easy to read as any author I have read, Saberhagen's other forte is his ability to tell a story. Though some of his Berserker short stories are unexceptional, I think that's because short stories are a difficult medium for the development of a good story. Of about twenty novels of his that I have read, I don't remember a poor one.

Berserker Throne is a typically good Saberhagen novel. You don't need to read any forerunners in the series. The focus is on the story at hand. The setting is imaginative. It's like a high-tech version of Edgar Rice Burroughs' hollow earth. The political intrigue is intricate and interesting. You feel compassion for unjustly maligned characters. The action is exciting and credible, and it is not overdone. Surprising twists and turns are plentiful, but believable.

There is no sex, there is no foul language, but there is adult reading. And Saberhagen's endings are happy.

4-0 out of 5 stars Very Entertaining
A convoluted plot in which the villain sells out to the Berserkers
while trying to make it appear that the Prince had. In which intelligent machines try to learn about politics and intrigue human style.
A Prince as Napoleon at Elba in exile does an Archaeological dig
where he thinks he has discovered damaged a Berserker
with an intact interstellar drive.
The assassination of the Empress is part of the overall plot to entrap
the prince even in exile...

5-0 out of 5 stars Great Berserker Tale
The problem I have with Fred Saberhagen's Berserker series is that the stories are so uneven.Some of them, like _Berserker Man_ and _Brother Assasin_, are very good; others, like _Berserker Blue Death_, are just dreadful._Berserker Throne_ stands as one of the better entries in the series, and is a great place for those who have not read a Berserker book before and are looking for someplace to start.

The time is the distant future, and humanity's war with the Berserker machines still rages.When an assassination touches off a power struggle in the Empire of the Eight Worlds, Prince Harivarman, who has been unwillingly exiled to a space fortress known as the Templar Radiant, senses that his political enemies are moving against him and that his life is in imminent danger.He needs to escape his prison, but since he has no access to an interstellar spaceship and his Templar jailers seem unwilling to help him in his plight, things look desperate.Until, that is, he makes a surprising discovery: a Berserker war machine, damaged but still operable, hidden and forgotten in the Fortress's outer reaches.Then, most startlingly, he finds a way to control it.And so, a plan for escape begins to form.But can a human truly control a machine bent on destroying humanity, once it has been unleashed?

The novel is sort of a cross between a political thriller and space opera.Prince Harivarman is actually a pretty likable main character, even though he knows he is taking a big risk and perhaps jeopardizing the lives of everyone around him.The writing here is very well done; Saberhagen keeps the story tight and flowing, with few distractions, and as a result the book is actually something of a quick read.The only real minus (and its a small one) is that Saberhagen does spend an awful long time setting things up, but once the action starts and Harivarman's plan is set in motion, the book becomes a page turner that you will not want to put down.This one would make a great movie.

All in all, a very fun entry in the series.

5-0 out of 5 stars Can Berserkers be controlled?
The plot is simple.Men have been trying to defeat Berserkers for thousands of years.Has one man, in trying to escape from his enemies, found the control code? Can he, instead of just saving his life, use theBerserkers to bring himself back into power? ... Read more

13. Rogue Berserker
by Fred Saberhagen
Mass Market Paperback: 384 Pages (2006-05-23)
list price: US$7.99 -- used & new: US$3.95
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1416520694
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
Harry Silver has already had a lifetime of trouble from ordinary Berserkers, the automated killing machines programmed an age ago to denude the galaxy of life. Now when his own family is kidnapped, he faces a deviant machine, a good fit for some or all of the Galactic Dictionary's definitions of ROGUE:

ROGUE: (1) A deceitful, double-dealing evildoer .. . (4) A fierce elephant or stamodont that has been banished from the herd . . . (10) Having a peculiarly malevolent or unstable nature . . . (11) No longer loyal, affiliated, or recognized, and hence not governable or accountable . . . erring, apostate. - Galactic Dictionary of the Common Tongue

Ordinary Berserkers armed with weapons powerful enough to kill an entire planet were enough of a nightmare. What worse deviltry will a killing machine gone rogue attempt-and even if Silver can stop it, will he ever see his family alive again? ... Read more

Customer Reviews (6)

5-0 out of 5 stars The last Berserker novel...
Harry Silver, a repeating character in the last few of the Berserker books, finally gets to be in a good book.When a Berserker kidnaps the daughter and grandson of a very rich, very powerful Winston Cheng, Harry is asked to help rescue them.He refuses.Then his own wife and son are kidnapped and the only way to save them is to join Winston on a suicide run against a unknown Berserker base.Harry thought the plan, to try to sneak in using a secret weapon was insane and, at best, would get them all killed.
He was wrong.Very, very wrong.This was not just some normal, death dealing, Berserker.This was a rogue, see the title, and it had plans of its own.And it was being hunted not just by men but by the Berserkers also.
About two thirds through the novel you get a surprise and the action really goes into overdrive.This novel is swift, clean, exciting and has Berserkers all over the place.It almost makes up for such slow novels as Berserker Fury, Shiva In Steel, and Berserker Star.

3-0 out of 5 stars berserker fan - long starving now somewhat full
I've suffered through some mighty weak berserker novels since first discovering Mr. Saberhagen back in 1980. This novel is certainly the best in quite some time.Nevertheless its just 3 out of 5.I guess I have always preferred his Berserker short stories to the full length novels.
I also liked Ardnehs sword, which was a recent addtion to the Empire of The East and the Swords stories.These two series have all been worthy books in novel length form and don't suffer from their length like the Berserker series.Between these two novels (Ardneh and Rogue) I now have some hope that Fred still has something to say in novel form.

4-0 out of 5 stars Decent and Modern Berserker Story
Rogue Berserker (2005) is a Better-Than-Average Berserker tale.While we aren't presented with any really new kinds of technology in this book - there are a couple of twists on how technology is used/misused by the humans and their evil machine (Berserker) enemies, which are fairly interesting... for example, both the humans and berserkers resort to disection and experimentation on captured prisoners - of course, it is OK that we do it, because the berserker are "evil machines who can't fell anything, and who are out to exterminate life from the Galaxy".

Harry Silver is the hero of the story, but he is not a very likeable guy... and when his family gets kidnapped, he becomes even more surly, yet obsessed to "get even" with the berserkers who are evidently behind the disappearnce of his family.

Another interesting plot twist are the actions/adventures of the female android, used by one of the antogonists in the tale... she provides an interesting side-story throughout the book, and in the end, winds up having to make some interesting decisions.

The story rates 3.5 stars (rounded up to 4).

2-0 out of 5 stars Mixed Feelings
First of all, it's "Rogue Berserker", not "Rougue Berserker", as titled above. Hopefully, Amazon will change that.

I am starting to think that I need to re-read some of the earlier Saberhagen books to see if they were really as good as I remember.
I hadn't bought any of his books since starting the "Book of Gods" series several years ago. Those books were so poorly written that I couldn't make it through the series and I haven't really looked for any more of his books since then.
In advance of a trip I was making this week, I visited a local book store and saw "Rogue Berserker", which I purchased, having been a fan of the series from years ago. The book started off with a bang, flowed into some fairly minor character development, set up the plot for the book and then resolved the story with rushed action scenes.
As with the Gods series, there are long passages that say the same things over and over, there are paragraphs that seem totally out of place, and there are characters introduced, seemingly for some purpose that is never resolved. A huge, "impressive" rescue effort is mentioned towards the beginning of the book, which turns out to consist of only a few people, none of which turn out to be that impressive. And unless a character has a reason to be young or old, they are all described to be of "indeterminate age", a phrase used more in this book than in all of the other books I have ever read. Combined.

All that said, the story line was creative, there were some really good plot twists and the action sequences were good, if a little bit rushed. At 370 pages, there is plenty of room to flesh out the characters better, build up a better supporting cast and resolve some the story lines - if Saberhagen would just tighten up the repetitive sequences and drop some of the clichéd phrases.

5-0 out of 5 stars Tightly written, full of the unexpected
This novel is more tightly written than some of Saberhagen's other Berserker novels -- more concise and faster moving.The plotting is really skillful. Under the experienced pen of the author, the plot of this book "turns around" to bite the reader in an almost shocking way.

Saberhagen "sets up" the reader from the first page with lots of scattered evidence that is subject to lots of interpretation. The bare facts are these: women and children have been kidnapped by the berserkers.As Harry Winston and his boss Winston Cheng puzzle over the evidence, weighing facts against facts, they work out a pretty sound theory of what has happened and why. Using their assumptions, Harry and Cheng assemble a team and devise a plan to rescue the hostages. The whole rescue mission, which is at the center of the book, is based upon this reconstruction of what really happened. Who did the kidnappings?Why?What will become of the hostages?Where were they taken?

In this respect, the novel takes on some of the suspense of a good mystery novel.And yet the author wisely plants some seeds of doubt.Harry Silver's logic wars with his instincts."That HAS to be what happened . . . but it somehow doesn't 'smell' right."Have Harry and Cheng built a house of cards?

A blur of shocking and violent events bursts upon the reader at the end of Chapter 12 -- about two-thirds of the way through the book. As Lawrence Durrell once put it, "take but a step to the east or the west and the entire picture changes." It turns out that every key assumption of Silver and Chang was WRONG.

As weapons blaze, as his friends are dying, and as his installation is being blown apart, Harry realizes with a kind of horror that his whole picture -- everything -- was based on wrong interpretations.Some of his brothers in arms, on whom he was depending, turn out to be arch-villains, and the berserkers whom he thought he understood are acting in inexplicable ways, beyond anything Harry could have expected.Furthermore, the hostages are not where everyone assumed they were. The kidnappers are not the ones that everyone "knew" were guilty. Lastly, characters who up until now have seemed inconsequential and even silly suddenly become key and central players in the novel.

The author has managed all of this so skillfully.The plotting is almost brilliant.It is like one of those "gestalt" drawings where a picture seems to change from a lady's hat to a duck. The author takes the same evidence and lays it out in a different pattern.And, suddenly everything is up for grabs.

Harry improvises, recruiting the most improbable allies, making it up as he goes along.

When he blasts his way finally into the fortress and releases the hostages, one of them says, "where are all the others?The other rescuers?"Harry said, "I'm it. There's no one else. I'm the only one that's still alive."What a story!

The characters are marvelous.The book is full of robots or androids of one type or another, and a number of interesting human characters as well. Even though "we all know" that berserkers are unreflective killing machines, you will be surprised to find a few in this book who behave in the most extraordinary ways, reinterpreting their prime directive to make the most aberrant actions seem "logical."Motivation of these berserkers is crafted as skillfully as in Issac Asimov's masterpiece "The Naked Sun."

Saberhagen sometimes evokes Asimov.Asimov's robots relied upon their 'positronic' brains.Saberhagen's rely on their 'optelectronic' brains.Both Asimov and Saberhagen have so much fun warping and parsing their robotic "prime directives."The reader thinks, "robots can't act that way."but -- they can!They do!Because they think in their OWN eerie way!

Heck-- just READ IT.It's about as good as a shoot-em-up space novel is ever going to get.
... Read more

14. Berserker's Planet
by Fred Saberhagen
 Mass Market Paperback: 233 Pages (1991-06)
list price: US$3.99 -- used & new: US$223.55
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812509811
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
Canada | United Kingdom | Germany | France | Japan
Editorial Review

Product Description
A Nebula Award-winning Author

Five hundred years have passed since humanity vanquished the Berserker armada. Yet in that struggle a lone Berserker survived. Now single human sacrifices will no longer satisfy this Berserker-god. It is time to offer up the whole human race. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (4)

4-0 out of 5 stars Surprisingly Entertaining
I picked up this book on a whim at my local used book store, not expecting too much for my $1.00 investment, but I definitely got my money's worth.

To begin with let me confess that I haven't read any other Berserker books, so take that for what it's worth.

The story moved fairly well. There were a couple slow parts, but overall it was well written action and a real sense of the excitement and desperation felt by the characters, whether they be the gladiators or the hunting party. The end was especially exciting and clever. I really appreciated a workable mixture of sci-fi and fantasy settings.

This book is well worth a quick read, and even a few dollars if you can find it cheap.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fascinating
When a group of decadent Earth people set out for Hunter's World, they hope to find some sort of dangerous entertainment that will break the boredom of their spoiled lives. They hear that there is a special tournament being held in the honor of the war god Thorun, a tournament where 64 of the planet's greatest warriors will fight to the death, until one man stands supreme. However, there's an evil lurking on Hunter's World, and the jaded young Earthlings are walking into more excitement then they could have imagined!

I have always loved Fred Saberhagen's Berserker stories. To me, they are the quintessential villains, with no pity and no remorse. In this story, Mr. Saberhagen continues to move in new directions, setting out a very interesting scenario of humans and Berserkers, and evil all around!

Now, admittedly this story is quite different than the original Berserker stories, focusing primarily on the mystery of the tournament and just what is actually happening. As for me, though, I found the story to be just perfect. As an old Dungeon & Dragons player, I loved the 64 gladiators that the story presents, finding them to be fascinating, and I was concerned with their fate. Also, I thought that the two parallel stories of the Earthmen and the Hunterian warriors to be a masterstroke.

Yes, you could say that I loved this story. If you are looking for the old Berserker stories of planet-sized killing machines cruising deep space, then you will be disappointed. If, on the other hand, you are looking for a fascinating story of people who are locked into a fate that is taking them where they never wanted to go, then this is the story for you. I loved this story, and highly recommend it to everyone!

1-0 out of 5 stars Planet of Crap!
The worst of the Berserker books I've ever read, this novel barely has enough meat to work as a short story.

The centerpiece of the book is a tournament where vaguely Norse warriors fight to honor the god "Thorin" and his right hand "Mjolnir", in classic Saberhagen allegory.However, the story instead chooses to follow a weakling who's dragged to the planet on a hunting trip and turns out to be the only one who'll lead the fight against the Berserkers.

...and that description is actually a lot more interesting than the book, which mills around, trying to find something interesting to do for about 200 pages or more, failing the entire way through.As a matter of fact, there was only one mild surprise in the entire story, and it was foreshadowed in the beginning.Go figure.

If you're going to read a Berserker book, put this one at the bottom of your list, then burn the list before you get that far down, then burn it again, just to be sure.

5-0 out of 5 stars Berserkers Planet
One of the best novels in the Fred Saberhagen Berserker series.The juxtaposition between an alien culture just entering its Middle Ages and the future of interstellar space travel, mixed with a Berserker on the same planet make for a very interesting read.The book has good momentum andgreat characters.Though it is out of print I recommend trying to acquirethis excellent Berserker story. ... Read more

15. Shiva In Steel (Berserker Series)
by Fred Saberhagen
Mass Market Paperback: 318 Pages (1999-11-15)
list price: US$5.99 -- used & new: US$4.90
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812571126
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
With a rogue computer destroying colony after colony, Commander Claire Normandy and pilot Harry Silver join forces to smash the clever, seemingly malevolent piece of hardware, only to discover something strange and familiar living buried under its steely skin. Reprint. PW. Amazon.com Review
This is another installment in Fred Saberhagen's ongoing saga of warbetween humanity and the almost-sentient death machines known asBerserkers. For long years the war has been at a stalemate, with humanitymanaging to fend offthe bulk of Berserker attacks and even strike back from time to time. Buton a remote planet called Hyperborea, things are about to change.TheBerserkers have developed a new tactical computer that has provenunbeatable, and it couldspell the death of all living things in the galaxy.A last-ditch effort todestroy the machine, code-named Shiva, has failed, and now the only thingthat stands between Shiva and certain victory is a handful of humans thatcircumstance has thrown together on Hyperborea.In this Berserker book,Saberhagen returns to all of the things that have made his series such amainstay in science fiction.His heartless enemy machines are astreacherous as ever, and the fragile humans who most stop them may not beperfect, but they are resourceful. --Craig E. Engler ... Read more

Customer Reviews (11)

2-0 out of 5 stars A half-finished novel . . . .
In the last couple of months I reviewed two other Saberhagen novels on Amazon: Berserker Star and Rogue Berserker.Both showed more craftsmanship than Shiva in Steel.

The other reviews printed here carry the main idea.The book seems carelessly or hastily done.

For example-- the first two-thirds of the book are focused toward preparing and arming a sortie against the berserkers.The ships are prepared, the crews are trained, the strategy is planned.Then we find out, there's going to be no expedition. A kind of ad hoc battle flares up as the berserkers somehow locate the Solarian base.A reader has the feeling that Saberhagen started out to write a big novel, say 500 pages, and then for whatever reason needed to bring it to a very rapid close.

As for the characters . . . again, a work half finished.Harry's great love, Becky, shows up in the novel.Given the build-up to her appearance, we are expecting some engagement between Harry and the girl.However, she is little more than a cardboard cutout.There's no characterization, really, and the total exchange between Harry and Becky amounts to just a few paragraphs.

Several times, Harry begins to develop sub-plots.Marut is a commander with whom Harry has lots of conflict.He's a pretty central figure in the first half of the book.Then he just disappears.We finally get a sentence or two at the very end informing us that his ship was lost in the battle.Other characters are brought on stage, given some scenes, and assume some reality in the story, to include the Emperor Julius and Christopher Havot.Both of them peter out.It is as though Saberhagen decided to write them into the story, then loses track of them.

I formerly had given Saberhagen's Rogue Berserker a very strong rating.I thought it was really well done.This novel is really a patched-together mess.I wonder if the publishers were pressuring him and he was over-deadline.He had a rough draft . . . well, "it would just have to do!"

Not for me it didn't.Didn't do, I mean.And one of the other reviewer's comments, that we never find out what happens to the title villain Shiva . . . that's ridiculous.You have a title villain, and you somehow lose track of him?

This is a problem with today's equivalent of the pulp market.Novels are pumped out fast, sometimes one or more a year.Publishers keep badgering their few authors who have something of a name for more and more productivity.If the book is ready it comes out.If it is half-finished and desperately needs work, it comes out anyway.At least some of this criticism should go to the editor at the publishing house.

Saberhagen has other much better novels in print.Buy those.

1-0 out of 5 stars Padded, clumsy and slow. Worst Saberhagen I've read.
I made it through Saberhagen's new Berserker novel, but just barely
-- the opening moves like rush-hour traffic in L.A.:S - L - O - W.
Once it gets moving [around p. 160(!)] it's not too bad. Inside the
padding is a pretty decent novellette struggling to get out. Maybe. The
characters are so flat, cardboard looks well-rounded. Plot-threads
dangle, and logical holes gape. Saberhagen clearly lost interest at the
first draft, and his editor didn't send it back for a badly-needed rewrite
(bad Tor!). Is he in poor health?

Shiva in Steel somehow got a good review in Locus, which is why I
bought it (besides having liked previous Berserker stories). So I
suppose YMMV, but I doubt it. Trust me -- you don't want to read
this one. Reread an old Berserker book instead. It's bad enough, I feel
guilty recycling it to the used bookstore.

Happy reading (something else) --
Peter D. Tillman

2-0 out of 5 stars Rather Disappointing
First, let me say that in general I like the way Fred Saberhagen writes, and his stories and plots are exceptional.I got hooked on the berserker series after reading "Berserker Base", and went to my local half price bookstore and bought every book in the series I could find.This book, Shiva in Steel, has proved to be the worst.The hype over the big bad Shiva is never resolved!Did it die?Is it hiding in our hero's ship as he makes his get away?We never know.Mr. Saberhagen repeats himself a lot, and his prose isn't very smooth in this novel for some odd reason.He's done fine in the past, but this one was sloppy.New editor?No editor?The plot wasn't bad, but the execution was poor.This should have been a draft rather than the final product.If this is your first Berserker book, don't give up on the series.This was the worst of the bunch; the others are pretty good.

1-0 out of 5 stars Started mediocre and got weaker.
I'd swear I read this beserker story before.First, I thought this was a poor expansion of a previous short story.I've loved a lot of Saberhagen's work including a lot of the Beserker stuff.I'd suggest he put away thismilieu until gets some real new inspiration.

2-0 out of 5 stars weak...
This is really quite weak compared to Saberhagen's earlier writings.Not terribly engrossing.if you're new to the Berserker series, start with a much earlier book.Only read this if you liked the Berserker series as awhole and are willing to spend time on the weakest member of the series. ... Read more

16. The Complete Book of Swords, Comprising the First, Second and Third Books
by Fred Saberhagen
Hardcover: 626 Pages (1985-01)
list price: US$12.98 -- used & new: US$27.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1568650094
Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (13)

5-0 out of 5 stars Deceptively simply storytelling, terrific tale!
On the surface, and especially in the first book, this appears to be just another fantasy novel - young boy given a magical sword, sets out to seek his fate, blah blah bibbity blah. However, we see depths here, hints of a mysterious past in the world (technology was banished 2000 years ago for a length of time of 49,949 years - what a strange number - does it mean something?), tales of other magical swords - which are apparently true, as evil-doers start coming out of the woodwork left and right seeking the boy to steal his magical sword in order to gain its power for their own.

While I would like to see deeper character development, or more details on the mysterious past, at the same time it would likely ruin Saberhagen's forward momentum to slow it down and do so.

Usually the second book in a trilogy - the book to "bridge the gap" - tends to be ... shall we say, not quite up to the par of the first and third books. This is not the case in this instance. In "The Second Book of Swords," five years have passed, and while Barbara has been traveling with a carnival, Ben has chosen to sign up with the Blue Temple for service and Mark has wandered off who-knows-where in his quest to find ways to help fight against the Dark King. Early in the book they all reunite and, with Ben's urging, they decide to try to rob the Blue Temple's treasure hoard, which Ben guarantees has at least one Sword. Along the way they run across another treasure hunter - the Baron Doon, guided by the Sword Wayfinder - with whom Ben and Mark continue their quest, while Barbara goes her own way.

While The First Book of Swords was a fairly simple plot with flat characters and brisk movement, Saberhagen took more care to building his characters in the second book, while maintaining a fast pace. I was personally pleased by this, as I like to know a bit about the characters in the stories I read.

In the third book of the trilogy, another four years have passed.Ben and Barbara are living undercover as the wealthy Lord and Lady Courtenay and Mark continues on his quest to help Kind Sir Andrew - who, with his remaining troops, has been living in the swamp and using guerrilla tactics to fight the Dark King - in any way he can to stay one-up on the Dark King.Meanwhile, gods who are tired of uppity humans have decided to end their game and are trying to get their Swords back.

There is so much going on in this last book that I don't dare go much more into it without worrying about spoilers, and I don't want to do that!I'll just say that the ending, while it smacks somewhat of deus ex machina, is nonetheless satisfactory and ties things up nicely.

This is definitely a great book and one I recommend to anyone who enjoys good fantasy with a hint of epic nature.If you are a fan of the sword and sorcery genre of fantasy (with a bit of a twist), definitely spend the time it will take to find these very fun books.I know I am pleased with the trilogy and have made a note to myself to go and seek the rest of the books set in this world (there are certainly a lot of them!) - the Lost Swords books and the Empire of the East books, for example.I think I've discovered a new author to add to my list of "favorites."

5-0 out of 5 stars Completely Entertaining
As the title suggests this is the complete book of the firstthree sword books. If you are a fantasy fan it is a must read. From the opening epilogue of Vulcan forging the 12 swords, Saberhagen will captivate you to finish the first book and the remaining two. It starts out describing the smith god with somewhat human characteristics and very descriptive action scenes, that take the human condition and forge them into the 12 swords. It starts off as a game of the gods but later turns out to be the architecture of their demise. The development of the key characters is second to none. Saberhagen conveys a deep connection with Mark and Ben even Marks father Jord. I would only say that the laps between the books does leave the read in wonder a little, there is a little of a time lapse, where I think the author could supply us with some more details, but this does not take anything away from the substance of the stories. This compilation sets the stage rather nicely for the books to follow which tell of the exploits of the remaining swords. So sit back and enjoy this carefree read!!

4-0 out of 5 stars Its been a few years since I've read this but....
... but I did read the entire Book of Swords and the entire follow up The Book of Lost swords.
This review is more in response to a few of the other reviews. The Book of Swords is a fast paced fantasy that plays out a game started by "the gods" for their amusement. There are magicians everywhere good and evil, guilds, kingdoms, battles, and at least one character growing into himself.What more could you want... Oh yes you could want to go around in circles and get a whole lot more in depth so each book would take a couple of weeks instead of a couple of days.
Saberhagen did not need to go anymore in depth for a book at this reading level!
If that isn't enough for you than you probably don't want this series. If you wander what your getting yourself into when you start a series of books than...
This is an excelent choice for someone who is not used to reading very long books but does not like a (good) story to end.This is one story that is broken up into smaller self sufficient stories.If you usually just read one book and your done you will be pleased with this book and may even expand your horizons. You can keep going if you want to but you don't have to if you want to be finished. However, if you are looking for your reading for the next year you would be sourly disappointed.It goes comparativly quickly for a series.
I don't believe this series was ever intended for a college level reader, except perhaps in discusing symolizm (in fact it is full of it my english 102 professor would have a field day).
This is a great book for some one who might be intimidated by a large book with large words.Someone on the 6th or 8th grade level should get through it but anyone who enjoys magic would be able to enjoy as well.I read strictly sci. fi. before I read this series but now I love the longer fantasy stuff. I haven't gone back to short Sci. fi. novels.

4-0 out of 5 stars This should be required reading
If you like a good fast read, that leaves you wanting more, then this book is for you.Luckily, there are stories that follow that are equally fun.

3-0 out of 5 stars Under-rated
The book was very good reading material if you just want a story. The characters in the book are a little under-developed but the book still had meaning. If you cast aside the difference of the Roman and Greek names of the gods its a good book. I think the worst part of the book was the ending but i still would recommend it to anyone who just wants to sit down and read a good book without spending an hour analyzing it. ... Read more

17. A Question of Time (The Dracula Series)
by Fred Saberhagen
 Mass Market Paperback: 288 Pages (1993-02-15)
list price: US$5.99 -- used & new: US$4.70
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812525779
Average Customer Review: 2.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Sixty years after Conservation Corps worker Jake Rezner disappeared without a trace into the Grand Canyon, private detective Joe Keogh is hired to locate a missing girl in that area and stumbles upon an ancient mystery. Original. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (2)

2-0 out of 5 stars An unsatisfying vampire novel
I've read many vampire novels, none of them satisfying, this one included. Dracula (or ANY vampire) doesn't appear until over halfway through and the multiple storylines are so confusing to the reader that it all seems pointless. I would definately NOT classify this as horror.

2-0 out of 5 stars Well-made confusion
Another chapter in the author's Dracula series, though Dracula makes very brief appearances, though it's only when he's on stage that the story's wattage increases. Saberhagen has a fascination with time and its paradoxes, and he works out more of those obsessions here, though the story in the end becomes rather confusing and, to me, inconclusive. Character portraits are nice, but only a few are deep enough to maintain interest. The book also could have used another trip through the editing processor, as in one paragraph Jake is walking around and then in the next paragraph, he stands up and walks around.

If anything, Saberhagen suffers from too many ideas and cramming all of them into one book makes it jam-packed rather than pleasantly dense. When he's restrained (as when Dracula visits England for a fact-finding trip and meets up with Mina) and concentrates on atmosphere, he's very persuasive and satisfying. The last 30 pages or so are a rush job compared to the relatively careful building up of situations in the front of the book. Eh. ... Read more

18. The Face of Apollo (Book of the Gods, Volume 1)
by Fred Saberhagen
Mass Market Paperback: 384 Pages (1999-07-15)
list price: US$6.99 -- used & new: US$12.99
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812571894
Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Ancient Greece has many heroes.Young Jeremy Redthorn, seemingly doomed to virtual slavery as a farm laborer, doesn't think of himself as one.But when he risks his life for a beautiful, wounded stranger, he soon finds himself on a perilous mission.What he doesn't realize is that the mask he must deliver can confer upon its wearer the powers of a god.And, unfortunately for Jeremy, that god wants it back. ... Read more

Customer Reviews (21)

5-0 out of 5 stars A must see for die hard fantasy fans
The Face of Apollo is a real thriller that catches the mind, another fantastic novel by Fred Saberhagen. I enjoyed the twists and turns in the plot line and the wide array of characters. It was nice to see a story brake from the mundane of an already high ranking character achieving glory. The farm boy Jeremy who works tending to the grape fields brings back a placid side to the development.The main characters journey threw the story was well plotted and executed so the reader wasn't bombarded with too much all at once. The ascending ideas broiling up instead until they spilled over in an array of Greek mythology and medieval fantasy. Bravo to Saberhagen and this superb novel. I'd recommend this for anyone who enjoys descriptive writers and has a flair for unique circumstances.

4-0 out of 5 stars Typical Saberhagen
Fine by me as a matter of fact, I love this guys good.Good basic story the classic everyman or boy in this case finds a mask that endows him with the powers of the God Apollo.He doesn't know what to do so he decides after much soul searching and warring with the new presence in his head to take it to Mount Olympus.

Overall-What you have here is basically a solid adventure story but I do have one problem the ending like most Saberhagen endings is just a little too metaphysical for me.I hate books that leave it up to the reader to decide what is meant by them.A little resolution is all I ask for.

1-0 out of 5 stars enough to make me sick
This book was absolutly awful.The central plot was just stupid, and the book was boring.If you want to read a good novel about mythology try "Inside the Walls of Troy".Throw Saberhagens in the trash.

3-0 out of 5 stars Saberhagen again delivers something different
Many of the negative reviews do have merit.However, in my opinion, Saberhagen's greatness lies in his high concepts, not his prose.I read Saberhagen books because I am assured of finding a completely different concept than the majority of the Dungeons-and-Dragons-based or Lord of the Rings morphs that abound in the fantasy genre.And once again, Saberhagen delivers.A unique premise: the ancient gods were not immortal beings, only their intellects were, bound up in a device called a "Face".When a mortal being puts on this "Face", they become that god, without losing their former identity.What a great concept!!Thus through their human avatars, the gods continue their ages-old wars and aims.But this story os less about gods, and more about the humans wearing their Faces.It is a great story.Yes, it jumps around a bit, often confusingly.But Saberhagen solidly delivers an enjoyable read.And when you are reading something with a different concept from other books out there, you can forgive at least some of the flaws.I highly recommend this book.Try it.Decide for yourself.

1-0 out of 5 stars Don't waste your time
The prose in this novel is so bad as to be painful.The plot is weak, and the author seems to have forgotten what he was planning for the characters.I really get the impression that this was written to fulfill some sort of contract obligations.It is just that awful. ... Read more

19. The Lost Swords: Endgame
by Fred Saberhagen
Hardcover: Pages (1994-02)
list price: US$10.98 -- used & new: US$12.50
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 1568651007
Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars
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Customer Reviews (1)

5-0 out of 5 stars A Masterpiece
Saberhagen has created a fantasy masterpiece with his "Sword" series.ENDGAME manages to venture into the realm of SCI-FI classic as well.I enjoyed this series more than anything Jordan has done. ... Read more

20. Third Book of Swords
by Fred Saberhagen
Mass Market Paperback: 320 Pages (1988-09-15)
list price: US$3.95 -- used & new: US$6.00
(price subject to change: see help)
Asin: 0812553454
Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars
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Editorial Review

Product Description
Coinspinner, Farslayer, Mindsword, and nine more...The gods gave the Swords of Power to humankind for a game--but the swords can kill gods as well as mortals. And as the gods begin to die, the mortals find that life is not what it seemed...
... Read more

Customer Reviews (7)

5-0 out of 5 stars Ties up the Swords trilogy nicely
The final novel in the Swords trilogy takes place about four years after The Second Book of Swords.Ben and Barbara have disguised themselves as the wealthy Lord and Lady Courtenay living in Tashigang under the auspices of the Silver Queen.Mark has continued his quest for ways to help the embattled Kind Sir Andrew, who has been staying in the Great Swamp and using guerrilla tactics to continue fighting the Dark King. The gods have become cranky at the uppity humans and are trying to gather all the swords back in and stop the game.

There is so much going on in this book that I hate to even try to break it down - I'd inevitably end up spoiling some of it for you, dear reader, and that always irritates someone! :-)So, I'll just say that although the end does smack a bit of deus ex machina, it is nonetheless satisfactory and ties everything up nicely.I definitely plan to seek out the Lost Swords books and the Empire of the East books as well, as I am given to understand that they build on this world very nicely.Definitely anyone who enjoys a good fantasy novel with epic qualities will enjoy this trilogy greatly.Give it a chance, take the time to seek it out - you won't regret it!

4-0 out of 5 stars Three down, bunch to go
Pretty good stuff.I had read the first two books in this series and couldn't find the third anywhere in bookstores, so I ordered it, and I'm glad I did.Intriguing story line, interesting characters.The only complaint is that I feel it was fairly anti-climactic.Could've used another hundred pages.

3-0 out of 5 stars a mixture of magic and mythology [spoilers noted]
"The Third Book of Swords" is the third and final novel in "The Book of Swords" trilogy approximately four years following the prior book.It has an interesting storyline involving an assortment of deities supplemented with a variety of creative magical weaponry.

The book splits time mostly between Denis and Mark.I find Mark a charming personality who could have been managed with greater attention while Denis is a new character, left as a complete enigma.The remaining group of characters who got the series thus far is downgraded to secondary characters.A subtle revelation regarding the Emperor adds an interesting twist.

[minor spoiler]

Earlier in the series, Shieldbreaker successfully defended a wielder against an attacking warbeast, slicing off its paws.In this novel, Vulcan is attacking with Shieldbreaker a group of humans who grapple him unarmed to the ground.The interesting fact is the Sword passes through the unarmed people in an immaterial state but harms the god.In the spirit of the fight, I would consider the human hands a choking weapon.The swarming of unarmed humans to subdue the Sword wielding god compared to the warbeast is a large flaw in the story.

[end minor spoiler]

Assorted spelling errors, in greater number than the earlier novels, slows down the reading.While the book starts quite descriptive, by the end the storytelling is hurried.I do not care for the mixture of Greek and Roman names for the gods and goddesses, I would prefer to stick with one mythological theme.A detailed map of the significant terrains would have been useful.

Given the power of the Swords in an appealing world, I would recommend this series to any fan of the fantasy genre.

Thank you.

5-0 out of 5 stars One of the best
If you like the Lord of the Ring books you will love these books. This one happens to be one of my favorites. As our main hero Mark works his way around the country he finds all sorts of answers to questions readers had since the first book. The battle for the swords rage between humanity and the gods; both trying to concour it all. Its a must read for fantasy adventure fans.

5-0 out of 5 stars Fred Saberhagen is simply one of the best fictional authors!
Fred Saberhagen is simply one of the best fictional authors in the business. I got this book to complete a collection I started years ago. If you've never read the "Swords" books, you are really missing out. This series is one of the greatest works of fiction of all time and a great majority of the material in these books can be referenced to some work of fact or fictional literature from the past. His style of writing is simply amazing and will captivate you and entertain you for years to come as you read and re-read his books over and over again. ... Read more

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