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Posted May 19, 2006
Harald, written by David D. Freidman is the story of a legendary war leader able to protect his people from an aggressivly expanding empire. It is a fantasy set in a time period of archery and armor (approx. 1200 A.D.). As a story it is a tale of war and leadership, strategy and tactics. Its greatest streagth is the feeling that it is written by a member of the Society for Creative Anachronism, its ability to describe the feel of the time period is memerable and makes the contests descibed the the book that much more real. As a treatise on war it emphsizes that little known precept that war is successfully waged (and won) by the intellegent in a given society. In addition if one wanted to know the value of logistics one would only need to read Harald to understand that armies move on their bellies. As a fantasy Harald works quite well and the author is careful to avoid both the horrors of war and the unwholesome vagories of mankind. This makes the book more enjoyable and presentable to children, however it then tends to romaticise warfare to a degree that one looks forward to the charactures engaging in the endever as opposed to regretting the entire issue. The charactures themselves sometimes tend to speak in shorthand and more than once this reader had to reread an exchange to understand who was speaking and about what. However that tended to make the book more enjoyable as it gave the feel that the reader was spying on individuals from a different culture with a different set of morals, allthough Harald, the primary characture, clearly has had a post Renaissance brush with western style independence and prudence. As a student of war and warfare I found the book enjoyable and look forward to any further attempts by David Freidman within this domain, perhaps with a little magic?Was this review helpful? Yes NoThank you for your feedback. Report this reviewThank you, this review has been flagged.