After the Downfall

After the Downfall

4.5 6
by Harry Turtledove
     
 

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From Harry Turtledove, the master of alternate history, comes After the Downfall, a novel of magic, epic warfare, and desperate choices. 1945: Russian troops have entered Berlin, and are engaged in a violent orgy of robbery, rape, and revenge. Wehrmacht officer Hasso Pemsel, a career soldier on the losing end of the greatest war in history, flees from a sniper's

Overview

From Harry Turtledove, the master of alternate history, comes After the Downfall, a novel of magic, epic warfare, and desperate choices. 1945: Russian troops have entered Berlin, and are engaged in a violent orgy of robbery, rape, and revenge. Wehrmacht officer Hasso Pemsel, a career soldier on the losing end of the greatest war in history, flees from a sniper's bullet, finding himself hurled into a mysterious, fantastic world of wizards, dragons, and unicorns. There he allies himself with the blond-haired, blue-eyed Lenelli, and Velona, their goddess in human form, offering them his knowledge of warfare and weaponry in their genocidal struggle against a race of diminutive, swarthy barbarians known as Grenye. But soon, the savagery of the Lenelli begins to eat at Hasso Pemsel's soul, causing him to question everything he has long believed about race and Reich, right and wrong, Ubermenschen and Untermenschen. Hasso Pemsel will learn the difference between following orders... and following his conscienc

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly

Alternate historian Turtledove (The Man with the Iron Heart) opens this fantasy with Hasso Pemsel, a tough Wehrmacht captain, cornered in a Berlin museum as the Russians close in. Pemsel falls into another world, where he promptly rescues beautiful blonde half-goddess Velona from three swarthy men. Velona seduces him and explains that the blond Lenelli invaders rule over the dark native Grenye, keeping them subjugated with magic. Experienced from fighting on the Russian front, Hasso brings modern military ideas to the Lenelli before they invade the Grenye stronghold of Bucovin, but when the Grenye capture him, conversations with intelligent, lovely high priestess Drepteaza start to erode his assumptions about both races. Pemsel's slow enlightenment breaks no new ground, but his story will appeal to fans of Turtledove's straightforward style and military know-how. (Dec.)

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School Library Journal

Adult/High School

This alternate history opens with German Captain Hasso Pemsel battling Russian soldiers amid the ruins of the Museum district in war-torn Berlin. With nothing to lose, he decides to sit on a museum artifact labeled the navel of the world, and he's whisked into a parallel universe. He finds himself in a medieval-seeming place inhabited by two people at war with one another: large, blond, arrogant, and technologically superior Lenelli and smaller, swarthy, defensive, and wily Grenye. Turtledove's third-person narration from Pemsel's perspective provides excellent descriptions of the sights and smells of a medieval city, details about technology and strategy in warfare, and suspenseful battle scenes. The male characters are well developed through dialogue and action, and although most of the women are merely sexual partners, Velona and Drepteaza, priestesses of Lenelli and Grenye, respectively, present formidable challenges to Pemsel. A few are wizards with magical abilities, and a couple of unicorns make minor appearances, but this is not a fantasy novel. The story is well paced, alternating among battle scenes, strategic planning, political intrigue, romance, and the captain's insights about human nature.-Sondra VanderPloeg, Colby-Sawyer College, New London, NH

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781597802604
Publisher:
Night Shade Books
Publication date:
06/01/2008
Sold by:
SIMON & SCHUSTER
Format:
NOOK Book
Pages:
350
Sales rank:
508,416
File size:
502 KB

Related Subjects

Meet the Author

Harry Turtledove has authored dozens of novels, short stories, and essays in the science fiction, fantasy, and historical fiction fields, securing for himself a reputation as the “The Master of Alternative History” and a ravenous fan following. A recipient of the Hugo, Nebula, and Sidewise Awards, Mr. Turtledove holds a Ph.D. in Byzantine history from UCLA.

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After the Downfall 4.5 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 6 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Along the lines of "the misplaced legion" with a nice twist.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Soft_Top_Pony More than 1 year ago
Turtledove takes another tack in this alternative reality spin on alternative history. A German oficer is transpoted to an alternative reality where another war goes on iwth swords and sorcery. The protagonist gets to see the war from oboth sides and gets a differnet view of his former life.