The Flying Warlord (Conrad Stargard, Book 4)

The Flying WarlordThe Flying Warlord by Leo A. Frankowski

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Come on people, a trend downward from the first three books (on goodreads)? This is the best so far!!!

Who couldn’t love the scene where the mongol ambassador comes and asks for the young Duke to bow down, and to show how feirce they are, seveal of the mongols cut their own throats. Conrad asks if another would do it, and another, and the mongol ambassador gets mad, asking what he is tryign to do. Conrad’s reply is that if he can get them all to cut their down damn throats, he’s got nothing to worry about. And then, Krystyana duels one naked, playing with her prey before dispatching him.

That leads into the horse “race” as Conrad escorts them away on Anna and a group of others mounted on “Big People”.

And then everything ends in a glorious battle on the rivers as they try to keep the mongols out of Poland. I guess there is something about fighting a losing battle that appeals to me. The few versus the many against horrible odds.

Overall, if you like cheesy sci fi this is a great book for you.

And best of all, Baen finally fixed the MOBI issue so I was able to get it onto my kindle.

Alter Of The Bloody Sock

My dad just spent a week on some artist’s island taking a course on photography.

Apparently there was this bloody sock left under the “Altar to the Bloody Sock”

For some reason this really creeped me out. Something about the sock left under the rock disturbs me.

I’m sure it’s not connected to the missing people on the island….

The Radiant Warrior (Conrad Stargard, Book 3)

The Radiant Warrior (Conrad Stargard, #3)The Radiant Warrior by Leo A. Frankowski

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The third book has some of my favorite scenes and kicks off the work to get to the battle with the mongols. My one complaint is the third book starts off a little slow, but makes up for it in the last third of the book. Still, that slow start cost it a start.

Awesome parts:
-The love story that starts out with Boris Novachek losing his hands. I guess I am a romantic at heart.
-Hell…the warrior school is started.
-Piotr’s fight with Baron Stefan. I love the fight and what comes after.
-Piotr’s love for Krystyana finally gets realized. The “fight/love” scene after he is knighted is one of my favorite parts of the third book.

I am looking forward to re-reading the next set of books, but I am not looking forward to the pain in the butt of getting them onto my devices from Baen books. What a horrible design.

Just sell them as a .mobi file please!!!!

The High-Tech Knight (Conrad Stargard, Book 2)

The High-Tech Knight (Conrad Stargard, #2)The High-Tech Knight by Leo A. Frankowski

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

First of all, don’t take it too seriously.
I don’t believe that you grade every work on the same scale, you grade them based on what they were intended to be. This book wasn’t written to be compared to Stephen King or Shakespeare (depending on which end of the scale you tend to fall to) – it was written to be enjoyed. I have a feeling that if Leo were alive he’d tell you he had a ball writing this series, and leave it at that.
The basic premise is the same as the first book. Conrad is stuck in 13th century Poland, and is fighting to survive, knowing that in nine years the Mongols will be invading. His long range plans of defending his homeland get a bit more complicated however when he sets free a group of slaves only to find out the Knights of the Cross were doing something legal.
The last half of the book is Conrad waiting for his trial by combat to decide how the slaves and other loot will be distributed from the caravan he assaulted. Everyone around him thinks he’s done for it, which I found a little hard to believe given how he handles everything else in that time, but they do at least provide an explanation about how his poor lance work will be his undoing.
In the process of practicing, Conrad discovers a bit more about Anna, his horse, who I love as a character. I get the impression that Leo was a very religious guy. The theme of casting good will out only to have it returned to him tenfold is a pervasive underlying premise. But it resonates with me at least.
My only complaint is that these books are available on the kindle and I had to purchase from Baen’s website and fight with the file formats to read them on my e-reader. What a joke. I’m sure it is all so they can get a few extra pennies per copy.
Overall, a great second novel. I especially love the end fight, where every desperate action Conrad takes is interpreted completely differently by everyone else present. Just something about that fight scene always makes me smile.

The Cross-Time Engineer (Conrad Stargard, Book 1)

The Cross-Time Engineer (Conrad Stargard, #1)The Cross-Time Engineer by Leo A. Frankowski

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I have to say I really struggled with putting a rank on this one. The books are like candy, they only last a moment, are probably bad for you overall, and are quite enjoyable.

The story revolves around Conrad Schwartz, aka Contrad Stargard (his given name sounded to German) being sent back to thirteenth-century Poland. After the shock of realizing when he was, he makes several friends. One of my favorite scenes in the early chapters is when he hire an underage girl who has been forced to sell herself to earn money for food, and then presses her on an inkeeper as a serving girl/cleaning lady. The innkeeper ends up marrying the girl.

That same theme from Ecclesiastes 11:1 of throwing bread on the water, is carried through many of Conrad’s actions. Something seemingly small done for the right reason turns into something larger and better.

I read the first book in the series when I was in highschool, and needless to say I am well past those years now. One of the things that didn’t strike me then was the way the young ladies in Count Lambert’s court are used, and at what age. I know a lot of people got really upset over this. Now that I am older I can see how it is a little bit creepy – but, at the same time it was never done in a creepy way. It might be every male’s dream to have partners, and maybe Leo took it a bit far, but at the same time, it is not overly graphic, it just is.

Anyway, Conrad makes several friends and ends up as a guard for a merchant, but only for a few days. After killing several brigands he ends up at the Count’s to weather out a snowstorm. The bread on water theme replays itself here, as the baby he refused to let die of exposure he found at the brigand camp ends up endearing all the keep fold to him.

Needless to say, Conrad’s knowledge and skills appeal greatly to the count, and he ends up hiring him away from Boris Novacek. Using his technical and military knowledge Conrad starts to build for his future goal, which is to be ready when the mongal hoard invades in nine and half years.

The book ends with the Duke granding Conrad the lands that Count Lambert assigns, willing to take the bet that Conrad’s overall goals are for the good of Poland.