The Empire of the East (Book of Swords #0)

aa7a7ccf5a77bdbcc6f69c583f57260aThis review is written with a GPL 3.0 license and the rights contained therein shall supersede all TOS by any and all websites in regards to copying and sharing without proper authorization and permissions. Crossposted at Bookstooge.booklikes. by  Bookstooge’s Exalted Permission.

Title: The Empire of the East

Series: Book of Swords

Author: Fred Saberhagen

Rating: 3.5 of 5 Stars

Genre: SFF

Pages: 512

Format: Kindle digital edition



This is an omnibus edition that contains 3 short novels [probably novella’s in today’s world]

The Broken Lands
The Black Mountains
Ardneh’s World

Basically how the West is trying to stop the encroachment of the Eastern Empire and the adventures thereof.

Taking place in a fantasy setting that quickly becomes apparent that it is actually post-apocalyptic, you get a mix of magic and tanks, etc. The story follows one young man as he goes from a farm boy to a warrior. The scale goes from one province to the Whole World.


My Thoughts:

This is the prequel stories to the Book of Swords series and I can’t recommend reading this until you’ve read the Sword series first as it would really spoil some of the mystery in that.

However, as stories go, I found this enjoyable and it fit perfectly with the tone of the Swords series. Light on character, almost no tension and things just happen. I own the Sword books and am tempted to buy this JUST to have it on my shelf. I doubt I’ll ever be re-reading this though. It is a good one off read and does answer a lot of questions posed in the Swords series.

As a standalone book, it works pretty well too. And it is infinitely more interesting than Saberhagen’s Berserker series. Recommended if you liked the Sword series OR if you have no plans of ever reading them.

The Lost Swords: Endgame

The Lost Swords: Endgame
Book of Swords #4
Fred Saberhagen
3 stars

things go into overdrive to wrap this series up. Kristin’s healing is completely underplayed. Wood[the Ancient One] is killed by Swordbreaker. Vilkata comes back and dies, and in the process all the swords but Woundhealer are destroyed and that is how it ends.

The Lost Swords: The Second Triad

The Lost Swords: The Second Triad
Book of Swords #3
Fred Saberhagen
3 stars

The first book deals with Farslayer and 2 Clans at war with eachother. Zoltan is still pursuing Blackpearl, but loses her in the conflict. The second book is about Coinspinner and deals mainly with Mark and Kristin’s oldest son Adrian; who is growing up to be, quite possibly, the greatest magician the world has yet seen. And the third book deals with the Mindsword. I didn’t like this one at all.

Kristin comes under its spell, becomes devoted to Prince Murat, divorces Mark by royal fiat and at the end of the novel throws herself over a balcony when Murat dies. We don’t know if she lives or dies.

I’ll have to find out in the final books. The Mindsword was a terrible sword and this story was not grand or great. It was very bleh. I didn’t like the fact that mere “magic” could overcome all of what a person knew to be right and wrong.

The Complete Book of Swords

The Complete Book of Swords
Book of Swords #1
Fred Saberhagen
3 stars

Comprising the First, Second and Third Book of Swords.

At least 50,000 years in the future. There are gods. They create 12 swords with great powers for a “game”. The swords end up being as powerful as the gods, and humans begin taking part of the game. Follows Mark, who is the son of the legendary Emperor. The gods came to be out of men’s imagination, and in this trilogy, they go “out of style” and so cease to exist. Very cool.