|Plot Summary of Rulers of Darkness - World at War 4|
Tor, Apr 2002, 27.95, 656 pp.
The Derlavian War that has devastated the world is now over three years old with no end in sight. Led by the magic derived from slaughtering the Kuusamians, the Algarvian Empire continues the fight with the Kingdom of Unkerlant in spite of the recent loss at Sullingen.
In Kuusamo mages work on developing a new magical “genie” that will stop the Algarve aggression. However, though distant, even here Algarvian magic attacks try to disrupt the mage project that the Kuusamo is turning to successfully end the war as the victors.
In the conquered lands, small resistance movements to overthrow the yoke of the Algarvian Empire have sprung up. However, gains are so minuscule that even the resistance fighters feel they are just gnats attacking dragons.
Harry Turtledove's latest magical portrayal of World War II is an interesting alternate history tale. The author shows that war is gritty and the two prime heavyweights (the Algarvian Empire and the Kingdom of Unkerlant) both are nasty and use people as fodder. Mr. Turtledove also shows numerous perspectives of war so that it is difficult to understand any viewpoint. In spite of six hundred plus pages, the magical history of World War II seems more like the trench warfare at Verdun during World War I as the story moves forward less than a year and there remains two more years of fighting. Like the three previous Darkness novels, RULERS OF DARKNESS is a rich complex tale that adheres to the core message that regardless of the weapons (magical or mundane) war makes hell look like a tropical spa.
Harriet Klausner, Resident Scholar
|Review Analysis of Rulers of Darkness - World at War 4|
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Ratings are on a 1-10 scale (Low to High)
Composition of Book
Descript. of chases or violence - 10%
planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives - 40%
Feelings, relationships, character bio/development - 20%
Descript. of society, phenomena (tech), places - 30%
Tone of book
- suspenseful (sophisticated fear)
FANTASY or SCIENCE FICTION?
- alternate history
- magical artifact
War or Invasion
Major kinds of combat:
- magical battles
Is this an adult or child's book?
- Adult or Young Adult Book
- champion of justice
How sensitive is this character?
- middling sensitive to others' feelings
Sense of humor
- Mostly serious with occasional humor
- Smarter than most other characters
- average physique
- an entire race
How much of work is main antagonist actually present in:
- an above average amount
- 20th century
Takes place on Earth?
- mostly 1st
Accounts of torture and death?
- generic/vague references to death/punishment
How much dialogue?
- roughly even amounts of descript and dialog
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Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
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