Warriors (Lord John Grey)

ByGeorge R.R. Martin

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Readers` Reviews

★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
I bought this to read while on jury duty and picked it because of the author. Actually, its is a collection of short sci-fi stories which range in quality from good to so-so. George RR Martin is not one of the authors. I need to say that I am not a sci-fi fan, but I did really enjoy the five Game of Thrones books so I bought this one. It's okay but I would not recommend it as worth getting unless you are a sci-fi nut.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Warriors is one of the best anthologies I've read. I was lucky enough to get it for a just bit over eight bucks on pre-order. The editors did a fantastic job of choosing the authors and stories, and also in ordering the stories within the volume. I loved the idea of using the warrior theme, very broadly defined, and then including so many different genres. It ended up working extremely well.

The anthology includes 20 stories and almost every single one of them was a strong entry. There was only one that I flat out didn't like and thought was too weak of an offering to be included with all the rest. There were quite a few stories that were about things that don't particularly interest me, but the outstanding writing kept me absorbed anyway.

I did have one major disappointment with this anthology, and it's why I gave it only 4 instead of 5 stars. That is the dearth of of women. Of the 20 stories in Warriors only 4 had a female protagonist and only 5 were written by women. Those are extremely sad statistics for such a mixed anthology in this day and age.

Kindle Note: (I usually do the Kindle Note at the end, but I'll put it here for those who don't want to read through the story listing.) The ebook was excellently designed with an active TOC and markers on the progress bar for the start of each story, enabling the ability to flip between stories using the 5-way. There was one serious oddity, the word "Whatever" was capitalized every time it was used throughout the book. Looks like a search and replace that got out of hand! There were the usual assortment of typos and hyphen problems, but nothing too egregious.

NO-SPOILER Story Listing:

1) The King of Norway by Cecelia Holland
The story is about hairy vikings wearing skins battling each other in boats. Not really my cup of tea, but the excellent writing kept me absorbed. Holland has a really deft touch with vivid imagery and description, while being brief with it so I didn't feel like skimming.

2) Forever Bound by Joe Haldeman
Fascinating look at near future warfare possibilities. The story completely sucked me in.

3) The Triumph by Robin Hobb
Romans vs. Carthagians, battle scenes, and torture of a man in a cage. Normally would be a yawner for me, but throw in some great writing and a fight with a giant river snake and it kept my attention.

4) Clean Slate by Lawrence Block
A dark, twisted tale of incest and murder. Intriguing story and well-written, though it lost something right near the end when it spelled things out, rather than leaving it between the lines for readers when it was easily discerned.

5) And Ministers of Grace by Tad Williams
A far future tale of religious extremism and extreme rationalism. Writing seemed a bit jerky in places causing me to reread sentences, but an excellent story, one of my favorites.

6) Soldierin' by Joe R. Lansdale
Historical story about ex-slaves as the buffalo soldiers in the U.S. Cavalry facing an attack by Apaches. Excellent writing, made me feel as if I was there.

7) Dirae by Peter S. Beagle
One of my favorites. The beginning is quite confusing and then as the story goes along it's as if veils of darkness fall to reveal more and more. Beagle manages to work in a lot of emotion for a story that is so vague in other ways.

8) The Custom of the Army by Diana Gabaldon
Long story about Lord John. Starts with an electric eel party in London and ends in Quebec in with the aftermath of battle and small pox. Very engaging story with wonderful historical detail.

9) Seven Years From Home by Naomi Novik
Intriguing story of culture clash, politics, government meddling, and humans imposing on a
planet vs. working with it. The story is 2700 years in future, but narrated in a formal and somewhat old fashioned manner.

10) The Eagle and the Rabbit by Steven Saylor
The Punic Wars are popular in this anthology. Here's another one about Romans vs. Carthagians, this time right after the fall of Carthage. Once again excellent writing kept me interested in finding out what decision a captured boy on the brink of manhood would make when I otherwise might have been bored.

11) The Pit by James Rollins
This one is a bit of a shock when you come to it because the warrior is unlike any of the others. It was the hardest to read of the bunch, though not because of bad writing. I admit to having to use up a Kleenex to get through it.

12) Out of the Dark by David Weber
This is another long story, which seems like a good old-fashioned alien invasion tale, this time told from the POV of both the humans and the alien invaders. Weber's writing doesn't seem as smooth as the prior stories, but it's a very engaging tale. I have very mixed feelings about this one. I definitely enjoyed it, but the insertion of myth into what had been a straight-up SF story seemed out of place, and then the ending is pretty much a deus ex machina, which cheapened the whole thing.

13) The Girls from Avenger by Carrie Vaughn
Surprising historical fiction from an urban fantasy author about Army WASPs during World War II. It's a touching tale of a pilot trying to uncover the mystery behind her friend's death in a plane crash.

14) Ancient Ways by S. M. Stirling
Delightful story from Stirling's Emberverse, this one taking place 57 years after the Change in Russia. It's fun to get to see how things are going in another part of the world. I thought this one started a bit slow, but I ended up thoroughly enjoying it as it progressed.

15) Ninieslando by Howard Waldrop
The story takes place during World War I in the no man's land between trench lines. This was the only story that I just plain did not like. The characters were flat and uninteresting and the story was weird and didn't go anywhere. (I don't mean weird in a good way.) Additionally, the language Esperanto is used in much of the story, but rather than just stating that and trusting the reader understands, hyphens were used instead of quote marks to indicate it, making reading the dialogue extremely tiresome.

16) Recidivist by Gardner Dozois
Mixed feelings about this one too. Writing not quite as smooth as it could have been. I liked the setting, character, and general theme of AI's taking over the world from humans. But it required a bit too much suspension of disbelief in that the AI's somehow managed to not only conquer humanity, but they became able to reshape the physical world. Such as moving continents around the planet on a whim.

17) My Name is Legion by David Morrell
This story had great potential to be a real snooze as most of it is an American soldier in the
French Foreign Legion during World War II just thinking about stuff, including historical events. But it's written in way that pulls the reader right along and in the end was quite moving.

18) Defenders of the Frontier by Robert Silverberg
A bleak tale of a small company of men defending the frontier against an enemy that is no more in a fort that their distant empire has forgotten and abandoned. It's told in first person present tense so it was annoying to read at first but then I got absorbed in the story and it didn't matter anymore.

19) The Scroll by David Ball
A bloody and twisted story about a French engineer in the seventeenth century (if I remember right) who is a captive slave of an emperor in Morocco who plays sadistic psychological games.

20) The Mystery Knight by George R. R. Martin
This story is set in the Song of Fire and Ice world. A hedge knight and his squire attend a wedding tourney and get mixed up in a treasonous plot. Martin's typical cast of thousands sometimes make things difficult to follow, but his skill as a storyteller as usual prevails.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Most of the stories in this collection range from good to excellent. I will definitely follow up some of the authors that were published in this collection. The diversity of stories were quite enjoyable, especially if you are searching for something different to read. Last, but certainly not least, there is another adventure of GRRM's Dunk and Egg!
The Illustrated Edition - A Song of Ice and Fire :: Tuf Voyaging: A Novel :: Predicting Trump's Actions and Presidency - An FBI Profile of Donald Trump :: A Proactive Guide to the Psychology of Motivation :: The Graphic Novel (A Game of Thrones) - The Sworn Sword
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
beverly rogers revo
I bought this book for some authors I know (GRRM included of course^_^). None of them disappointed me.

The other stories are not so expectable. Some of them are better than my expectation, some are not. But anyway, since there are so many, you can always find several for your taste :)
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
First of all, this is not a fantasy anthology, despite GRRM being associated with it. If you want one of those, go try Swords and Dark Magic. This is multi-genre - horror, sci-fi, fantasy, historical fiction, with the common theme of being a "warrior" of some sort or other. This is pretty broadly defined, with everything from regular soldiers, to sea-reaving vikings, to the more exotic stuff (engineers, a psycho, a bureaucrat). The setting vary as greatly, from past, present and future, here and there, and our protagonists are all sorts of people.

Its alright, but not great. Sometimes the genre is not interesting to a particular reader (ie me, but perhaps something different for you) and some of the main characters are hard to cheer for. There is incest, murder, violence and suicide all on show. Sometimes its grin and bear it. Sometimes its wonder where the action is. There is a reason the book is called "Warriors" and not "War Stories". Often as not there is more - far more - talking than battle, and not always in a good way. If the collection had been titled "Lovers" it would have doubtless contained a bunch of old people sitting around in a retirement village musing on current events, with the odd reminiscence along the way (plus a little slash fanfic and something from the animal kingdom for variety).

I wont go through all the stories - I don't want to bore anyone to death with 20 mini-reviews. I will say that Silverberg wrote a good tale, Joe R Lansdale's story was the most fun, and GRRM's Dunk and Egg novella seemed to contain a lot of little nods to the main Ice and Fire series at the expense of developing the actual story being written, which kind of staggered along for a while and then fell in a heap, with a few bright moments along the way.

Lastly, for all that David Weber wrote a story about actual soldiers in wartime, and that it was real fun to read, he broke Hammer's Law * . The story was a fun soldiers v aliens romp, and then we end up with not just Vampires, but Dracula himself getting involved: that's not much of a spolier since the editor's intro puts you on notice that when the character is introduced you spend the rest of the story hoping it's a fake out, only to find its not. Somehow, the story survives, but really there must have been a better way.

*Named after the UK film company. "Don't borrow Dracula in print, it never works." With Dacre's corollary "Even if your last name is Stoker".
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
poeticmuse 73
To be honest, I only bought the book for George R. R. Martin's "The Mystery Knight". Having said that, I think this story makes buying the book worthwhile (especially for all Ice and Fire fans out there).
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
My first impression of this book was that I made a very good purchase. Then as I got further into it, I felt as though I kept turning the same two pages continuously. The 'Tail End Charlie' Pilots launch from the carrier, fly CAP, get vectored to bogeys, shoot them down, land on the carrier, one of them dies. Repeat. Or, Kamikaze pilots take off, meet heavy resistance, find a ship, dive, and then an in depth description of what happened to the ship. It felt like I was reading about the same destroyer (different name) being heavily damaged or sunk, with a turn of each page.
This isn't to say this is a bad book. Sometimes the author would say something that seemed almost ridiculous and then wouldn't back it up with fact. For instance, an incident was recorded after the Kamikaze planes first began appearing that the transport ships lacked the gunnery skills of the destroyers and so their spent anti-aircraft fire/shrapnel rained down on the task force and caused almost as much damage as the kamikazes. This seems highly unlikely, as the author just reported two destroyers damaged beyond repair as well as several other ships damaged or sunk. But nowhere does the author every state the damage caused by friendly fire.
The author at times contradicted himself almost right after stating something as fact. For example, the author described the Yamato's main and secondary (5in) batteries as being, 'primarily to be used against other ships.' The very next sentence, the author states that, "Yamato's most potent antiaircraft weapons were the two dozen 5 inch guns..." The author also stated that the main battery was used as an antiaircraft weapon - by shooting the water in front of incoming torpedo planes. Highly unlikely. The author said it took 40 seconds to load the main battery. In that time, the gunners would have to load, aim, and fire a huge gun at a fast moving target. Pardon my disbelief.
Another contradiction is the fight with the Yamato. On one page, the Yamato is dead in the water, no longer able to put up a fight while still being pounded by bombs and torpedo. A few pages later, the Yamato is, "Still fighting back."
An annoyance I had with the author was continuously calling the Torpedo pilots, "Torpeckers." All throughout the book her refers to them as, 'Torpeckers.' What's wrong with calling them torpedo planes? Torpedo Bombers? Torpedo Bomber pilots? But along this line, the author appears to have trouble with the finer points of torpedo planes. He refers to one TBM avenger going down, and the two crew in the back jumped out the canopy. While possible, it seems illogical that the gunner and radio operator would have time to crawl out the canopy, past all the radio equipment and the turret, when they could have just opened the side door. Also the author states that a crewman could crawl into the bomb bay of the Avenger and adjust a torpedo's depth while in flight, although I can find no indication that this was possible and just seems highly unlikely.
Some historical inaccuracies that discouraged me were when the author stated that the flame thrower was a new weapon first introduced on Iwo Jima. Quick research indicates it was first used in 1943 during the Guadalcanal campaign. Another example is when the author states that the age of the fighter-bomber had arrived (in 1945) after attacking an airbase and engaging in air to air combat over Japan. However, the figher-bomber was employed in Europe as early as 1943 with the P-38 Lightning, and later with the P-47 Thunderbolt, and The Hawker Typhoon.
The author also used the nickname, "Tail End Charlie" loosely. Sometimes he referred to it as those who got into the war last. Other times, it was the last man in a flight. Still other times, it was the last flight in a squadron. While all accurate, it tended to get confusing. When it became apparent that none of the, "Tail end Charlies" would miss the war, and actually became combat veterans, the author could have ended the reference. And after months of war, after the Intrepid was hit by a kamikaze and had to return to Pearl Harbor, the author writes that the pilots and crew was disappointed that they might miss the rest of the war. After experiencing the horror of war, and by that stage in the war where everyone knew it was pretty much won, most combat veterans began fretting that they'd be the last one killed. Usually, a call to port was cause for celebration. This author appears to think otherwise.
Finally, the author states after General Simon Buckner was killed on Okinawa, the Japanese were ecstatic. But previously, he stated that after the artillery was fired, it was quickly hidden and the Japanese soldiers ducked and ran. How would they have known, from a far distance, that they killed not only a high ranking general, but also the commander of the Okinawa Land Campaign? Sometimes the book just read like fiction in order to make the story more interesting.
Another annoyance I had with the book was the continual use of side stories. The author would get sidetracked, as if someone said, "Hey did you hear the story about _____?" And then the author would stop his train of thought, add a paragraph about ______ and how he was killed or never heard from again, and then continue on with his original train of thought. This occurred frequently throughout the book, and each story had me wondering what in the world that had to do with anything.
I will say it was a good book. There were so many stories, so many facets of stories that read nearly identical that it became monotonous. It gave a very broad picture of the war in the Pacific during the later stages. I enjoyed the first hand account of the action aboard the Yamato by one of the few survivors. The airmen, the "Tail End Charlies" who were the center of the story, they never became more than names. The author skimmed the details, focusing primarily on Erik Erikson. The rest just simply flew missions, became aces, or died. The Kamikaze attacks on the carriers - they all read exactly the same. The author never deviated from a dry, distant observer sort of impersonal account of the blazing infernos and heroic efforts to extinguish the fires. Instead, it was bare essentials - kamikaze hits carrier, this deck engulfed in flames, this is how long it took to get it under control, this is how many sailors died.
Overall, if you want a very detailed, fascinating look at the war in the pacific during the early stage, read Ian W. W. Toll's, "Pacific Crucible." I had high hopes for this book to read as a follow up to this book. While it did not surpass Pacific Crucible, it did, believe it or not, surpass expectation. I would recommend the book to someone interested in learning more about the war in the pacific during the later stage of the war.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
I have tried three times to read this book and unfortunately I have yet to pick a story that has captured my interest. If future attempts prove to be more successful then I will update my review; however for now I unfortunately need to say this book is not for me.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sarah kramer
The Twilight Warriors by Robert Gant is an excellent book on the Okinawa Campaign. Gant covers the air, naval and ground aspects of the campaign, although I must say that the ground campaign gets kind of short shrift compared to the naval and air. Essentially this is the story of the Kamikaze attacks and the American response to them.

Gant frames the book around the experiences of the pilots of the USS Intrepid's fighter groups. We get fairly detailed information about the training and experiences of these guys and it forms a pretty good "hook" to provide context for the rest of the campaign. The book is really well written, detailed without bogging down and fairly balanced in its coverage of both the Japanese and American points of view. This book was detailed enough to teach even serious students of WWII something, while still being accessible to novices. Highly recommended.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
anne boyack
The battle for Okinawa was the last great campaign of World War II, a bitterly-fought, duel-to-the death struggle that pitted hundreds of thousands of American soldiers, sailors and marines against Japanese forces determined to save the Empire. As Americans soon found out, the most fearsome element of the Japanese forces defending Okinawa were swarms of kamikazes determined to "body crash" the American ships. Focusing on the U. S. Navy's involvement in the fight for Okinawa, author Robert Gandt interweaves the experiences of the Corsair pilots of VBF-10, assigned to USS Intrepid, against the backdrop of that epic land-sea-air struggle into a fascinating account of men at war.

TWILIGHT WARRIORS' storyline begins over a year before the first troops splashed ashore. While Eric Erickson and other young Americans were training to be naval aviators in September 1943, American brass were deciding the sequence of future operations in the Pacific and their Japanese counterparts were trying to devise strategies to stop the oncoming Americans. By the time Intrepid and Air Group 10 departed Pearl Harbor in March 1945, Japanese strategies and most of the the Emperor's fleet lay in ruins, their only effective weapon being kamikazes. The final months of the Navy's war saw hard-fought battles over Okinawa and the Japanese mainland. Air Group 10 and other Air Groups pounded the Japanese mainland, furnished CAP against never-ending kamikaze attacks, struck the remnants of the IJN fleet, etc. When VBF-10's war ended in May 1945, Erickson had won two DFCs, downed two e/a, helped sink BB Yamato and seen a half dozen squadronmates die in combat. In the Okinawa fighting, 12,520 Americans were killed or MIA including 4,907 USN personnel. Some 34 ships were sunk and 368(!) damaged including USS Intrepid. Japanese casualties were 110,000 military personnel alone.

With such a broad canvas, Gandt does a fine job of interweaving the various American and Japanese storylines, effortlessly taking the reader from the cockpit of an F4U to the bridge of USS Laffey under kamikaze attack to an Ie Shima foxhole where Ernie Pyle lay dying. There have been a number of Okinawa campaign books published but Gandt's certainly gets high marks for its wide-ranging scope and readability.

Naval and air combat buffs will enjoy THE TWILIGHT WARRIORS. It offers an informative and eminently readable account of the final battles waged in the Pacific. Recommended.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
jean macpherson
Despite a bit too much rah rah spirit about men yearning to get into combat before the war ended, this book is quite good and quite well researched. Gandt gives the Japanese as well as the American perspective and shows that while the two were engaged in the same ugly race war, they were fighting it in two distinct ways. The Japanese stressed strength of individual commitment to battle and willingness to sacrifice one's life for the emperor; the Americans massed superior firepower and stressed excellent training and preparation, particularly for pilots.

The best aspect of the book is its excellent discussion of the Kamikaze offensive. In the popular imagination of Americans, the offensive was minor and fruitless. Strategically, the offensive could not win the war or deter the Americans. But tactically we should not underestimate the effectivenss of the Kamikazes. They sunk 100 ships and killed thousands of men. Enough of their planes could get through defense screens, fighters, and anti-aircraft fire. And hitting the deck with 500 pound bombs was very effective. The problem was that the ill-trained fighters went for low value targets like destroyers and gun boats. The better tactic would have been to hit carriers. However, they did a lot of damage to Intrepid and Enterprise -- the wooden flight decks were quite vulnerable.

Unfortunately for the Japanese, they lost 4,000 planes in the campaign and were not in a position to replace them.

Also interesting is the discussion of the last campaign of Yamato, the greatest battleship in history. In response to the Emperor's question, "Where is the Navy", the admirals sent their most prized ship on a ridiculous suicide mission against land forces in Okinawa. It lacked any air cover and was quickly spotted and destroyed.

Very well written and researched.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
rose linke
As of 3/29/11, If you click to buy the paperback you will get Warriors 1 and if you click the Kindle edition it will get you Warriors 2. These contain other stories. I just got Warriors 1 by mistake because I wasn't careful. These should really be fixed!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
anna ware
Robert Gandt is a writer and military historian of the first order, and his book on the American sailors and airmen who fought the final battles of the Pacific War is not only an outstanding account of these harrowing struggles, but a superb tribute to these brave men.

By 1945, World War II was decided -- Hitler was nearly defeated, and American and British forces were on the advance in the Pacific, crushing the Japanese armies in Burma, seizing critical islands, bombing Japan's wooden cities, and sinking all of her shipping. Yet the Japanese "Defied gravity," as Sir Max Hastings has written elsewhere, continuing to fight on, with the demented courage of a perverted Bushido spirit, hurling Kamikaze aircraft into the decks of American and British warships.

These attacks did not, as the Japanese hoped, turn the tide of the war, but they caused untold pain and suffering among the American and British sailors and airmen who received them. The Americans and British faced these attacks with immense courage and determination, saving their blazing ships and wounded shipmates.

Other chapters focus on the grim battle of Okinawa, in which the Japanese made suicidal land warfare into an art form, and the doomed voyage of the battleship Yamato, the world's largest dreadnought, whose pointless sacrifice ended the battleship era. Another tells of an American aviator who was shot down, captured, and had to endure the horrors of Japanese captivity.

Mr. Gandt describes the travails and heroism of the deckplate sailors and airmen who fought these battles with great vigor and energy, putting the reader directly amid burning ships, crashing aircraft, oily seas, and artillery bombardments. Both new readers and experts on World War II will enjoy reading this book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
It is gratifying to see so many great books being written about the pivotal battles of World War II, particularly in these past few years when time is taking it's toll on the men who fought in the War. Gandt does a good job tracing one carrier squadron that fights in the pivotal battle of Okinawa, interweaving the pilot's experiences with that of both the ground troops they support and the ships they fly from. The air battles are described in an accurate and exciting manner, and the book is at it's best in those sections. The introduction of the US Navy to the Kamikaze is also covered well, in particular the ordeal of the radar picket destroyers. The importance of this cannot be overstated, as it influenced the design of US Warships for a half century and more.

The book describes the personalities and decisions of the commanders on both sides, concentrating on the naval but bringing in the key Army and Marine generals involved in Okinawa, as well as their Japanese counterparts. There are some gaps in the coverage of the land campaign, and the inclusion of the tragic death of Ernie Pyle seems a bit of an afterthought, if a poignant one, but the casual reader will get a good feel for the struggle to wrest Okinawa from the defending forces.

Gandt is on less solid ground describing the surface ships, which are miscategorized repeatedly; the large cruiser (CB) Guam described as a "battlecruiser" (a not uncommon mistake), the battleship New Mexico called a cruiser, as is the USS Eldorado, an amphibious command ship built on a transport hull. Additionally, the light cruiser Birmingham was misidentified as a heavy cruiser. While these errors don't detract from the narrative, they are a distraction that could have been easily caught had the book been proofread by someone with a basic knowledge of US warships. I have noticed these types of errors in the last few popular histories I've read, and there is really no reason for them.

While the errors prevent me from giving the book an otherwise well deserved five star rating, this is an excellent read for someone looking to learn more about the battle of Okinawa, a brutal campaign that played a large role in the decision to use atomic weapons in the hope of ending the war more quickly.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
A warning: Not every story in "Warriors" is rousing and brimming with action. Most of the stories are introspective in nature, dealing with the ramifications of warfare and the consequences of being a warrior. I would have preferred more thrilling, heroic stories--I wish the editors had approached Bernard Cornwell and Steven Pressfield for contributions. That said, a few of the tales in this collection stand out. Wry and invigorating, "Soldierin'" makes me want to read more work from Joe Lansdale. "Defenders of the Frontier" demonstrates why Robert Silverberg has had such a long, distinguished career. Diana Gabaldon's "The Custom of the Army" features a compelling, complicated protagonist in Lord John. I especially like how she flavors her story with the ideal amount of historical detail. An amusing adventure, "Ancient Ways" forces me to rethink my opinion of S.M. Stirling, a writer who inspired indifference in me in the past. Many readers will probably pick up "Warriors" for the latest George R.R. Martin story, and I think that some will be disappointed. "The Mystery Knight" is Martin's weakest of the three Dunk and Egg stories. It is difficult to pinpoint exactly what is lacking, but I would say that the wonder and magic of the series have waned. I expected "The Mystery Knight" to be one of the best stories in the collection, and it isn't.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
mer karacay
The title and the cover, and even a brief perusal of the table of contents, give you the idea this is a more or less detailed history of the Okinawa campaign. In reality, much of the book is focused a great deal more than that, concentrating on what amounts to oral histories of a particular squadron of Navy Fighters flying Corsairs: VF-10, the "Grim Reapers." The narrative concerning the rest of the battle is reasonably well-done, but pretty cursory, given how much space is devoted to VF-10. This is fine with me: frankly I'd have been happier with the rest of the battle relegated to a paragraph here and there, and the "Grim Reapers" taking most or all the space. However, the author chose to do it this way, so we have to go along with it.

The Battle for Okinawa was one of the bloodier conflicts during World War II. The Japanese fortified the island in an elaborate fashion, intending to bleed the U.S. Army as much as possible on the southern portion of the island. The commanding general decided that since the Japanese had never successfully stopped a U.S. amphibious operation, he wouldn't try--instead, he'd see if he could inflict sufficient casualties that the American government balked at the idea of invading mainland Japan. This worked, but unfortunately for the Japanese the U.S. had an alternative: the atomic bomb. Without this weapon, the U.S. might have been forced to besiege the islands, if we were unwilling to invade and suffer the consequent casualties--typically estimated at half a million to a million men.

Author Gandt, himself a naval aviator from a later era, does a good job of recounting the feelings, thoughts, and actions of the various members of VF-10. They were in the middle of many of the dogfights off of Okinawa, right in the thick of the successful attack on the "Yamato," the world's largest battleship, and stayed involved right up until a Japanese kamikaze hit their carrier, the "Intrepid," and damaged her flight deck and elevators so badly that she couldn't operate in a war zone, and had to return to the states for repairs.

Gandt does recount the land campaign in cursory fashion--notably describing Ernie Pyle's death and the battle of Kakazu Ridge--but he mainly sticks with the air battles. He also recounts in some detail the travail of the various picket destroyers, posted out like staked goats to warn the main fleet of the approach of the kamakazes, and too often their sole targets. This portion of the book is reasonably well-written, but since it's mostly based on secondary material, you can get it elsewhere. For instance, he includes several pages describing the ordeal of the "Laffey," but I have the book by Julian Becton, the captain of the ship, and that is superior. Frankly I think they should have edited this part out, and included more accounts from VF-10, if they had them. That's the unique portion of the book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
This is a great book about the kamikaze raids accompanying the Battle of Okinawa. The aurthor does an excellent job of combining the technical aspects of being a fighter pilot in 1945 with the personal stories of the pilots. He also does well describing the naval battle and the tragic toll the 'divine wind' took on U.S. warships. A very entertaining and readable book.

The one caveat I have is that if you are looking for a comprehensive read on the battle, this book may not be for you. The cover suggests the book will cover the land, sea and air battles. However, the land battle, while given some treatment, is largely ignored. (In fact, long considered the worst combat of World War II by American soldiers, the taking of Sugar Loaf Hill, is not mentioned).

This single reservation does not detract from the enjoyment of the work. Rather, it is a caution that the book's scope is more narrow than may be indicated by the cover. I would recommend this work.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Two key ingredients in Robert Gandt's "The Twilight Warriors" is his strong narrative skills and his experience as a naval aviator - he just knows what descriptive details to mention about aircraft carriers, about flying and about combat that make his writing electric and powerful.

There have been a lot of book written about carrier war in the Pacific and about the Okinawa campaign; Gandt ran the risk of rehashing well-traveled historical ground, but he successfully keeps the story fresh and interesting, in part by finding nuggets of information that readers may find new and fascinating - his description of disapparence of Col. Udo on Yae-dake
(p.248) is an example of a detail that caught my attention.

Gandt also does a good job of juxtoposing the efforts of the "Tail End Charlie" USN carrier pilots to Vice Admiral Ugaki's "Thunder Gods" kamikaze teams. It hightens the tension and is a good format for framing the campaign. The Twilight Warriors also really effectively conveys the oppressive effect that the "Kikusui" kamikaze attacks had on the US Navy - a rising cresendo drumbeat of destruction and terror that effected everyone from the bluejackets to the brass.

Great book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
candice crowell
Through time memorial, Warriors have fought for and defended their country and will do so in the future. In fiction, Warriors appear in every genre; they turn up in the past, present and future; are various species; on diverse locations throughout the universe and beyond; and are of both human genders. George R.R. Martin points this out in the Introduction that Warriors play major roles in The Lord of the Rings, The Forever War, All's Quiet on the Western Front and Starship Trooper for instance. George R.R. Martin and Gardner Dozois deployed well known authors to write Warrior tales in their particular genre and favorite period; however writers are an independent group so fans will find delightful surprises.

An entry sure to be popular is "The Custom of the Army" by Diane Gabaldon focusing on a seventeenth century colonial soldier who is being court-martialed and asks Lord John to speak up for him.. Joe Haldeman's "Forever Bound" takes place in the near future when warriors have implants that make them into a cohesive unit due to a group mind, but one soldier finds his partner, but though he thinks differently he continues to fight for his country. In Lawrence Block's "Clean Slate", Katherine has a more personal war to fight as her dad's Little Soldier. In 4577, "Seven Years From Home" (by Naomi Novik), Ruth the diplomat arrives on a planet to ignite a civil war between the two local human species, one of which needs more land.

These are a sample of a strong diverse 20-story collection of new tales as Robin Hobb and Steven Saylor takes the audience to Rome and Carthage; Cecilia Holland has Vikings as her stars; Joe R. Lansdale highlights the "Soldierin" in the American Civil War. Readers will enjoy this varied anthology as the contributors use differing genres, era, locations, species, and genders, but share in common a deep look at the heart of Warriors.

Harriet Klausner
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
The much beloved George R.R. Martin and the less-beloved but very accomplished editor Gardner Dozois have reached across all genres to pull together this collection of stories about warriors, as you might guess from the title. What you might not guess is some of the authors, some of which you likely never heard of, are highly accomplished and highly proficient story weavers.

Those attracted to Martin and Dozois will come from a fantasy or sci-fi background, and those readers will be richly rewarded. Martin's Westeros third tale of Dunk and Egg ends the volume and for fans of Martin's that will be all they need to know. Diana Gabladon checks in with a Lord John story as well, part of her immensely popular Outlander series. Robert Silverberg, a sci-fi household name, also has a significant work here as well, giving the book some powerful draws with its all-new material.

But it is the wealth of stories that fill in the cracks that make the volume worthwhile. The title may suggest to some readers that the scope of the work is narrow but the strength of the collection comes form proving that notion false. Warriors come in all shapes, sizes, times, realities and forms. Females will feel at home with female protagonists and whatever type of warrior story you are hoping for, something will likely suit that taste.

Many readers, like me, will find their reading lists expanded as they discover some interesting new (to them) writers and want to try more. Some will hesitate to read the small introductions from Gardner and Martin because they will wish instead to discover the stories blind. I enjoyed discovering more about the authors later.

Highly recommended.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
ahmed el sawy
Awesome and incredible read from cover to cover that just flows. You can see WW II footage of sea and air battles with thousands of rounds of tracers being fired from navy ships and watch the air-air battles. You can see the carnage the kamikaze's pilots inflicted on our navy's ships and sailors, but Bob Gandt has taken it to a much higher level during this fierce, desperate and costly naval battle at Okinawa from both sides. Bob, has a rare gift that puts you on those ships as commanders and crewmembers, waiting at constant battle ready stations, then looking up at "human bombs" determined to plunge into their decks and then into the cockpits of Navy pilots, as they desperately engage the Kamikaze pilots to protect the fleet and stop their suicidal and last ditch effort to sink the US Navy both day and night. As a former navy pilot, I guarantee you will better understand and appreciate the historic efforts and courage displayed by these young men against a formidable and determined enemy.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
cristol rippe
The Twilight Warriors by Robert Gandt is an amazing and enthralling story of the final land and naval battles of World War 2. Gandt does a great job of portraying both sides with both passion and sympathy. What he does with this story is fascinating, he manages to bring in the stories of the average sailors and air-men on both sides. He writes in a fashion that is riveting and engrossing. You really feel that you can not afford to miss one page.

This is a well written book and tells the story of the fighting men as much as of the generals and admirals who usually get the coverage. I would strongly recommend this to anyone interested in how the final battles of WWII played out!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jeri konskier
I first discovered Robert Gandt while browsing, as I often do, through history selections, looking for something different. I found it in his fascinating history of Pan Am airlines (Skygods: The Fall of Pan Am), which I recommend to anyone with an interest in aviation, or history in general. Having thoroughly enjoyed Mr. Gandt’s style in that book, I was eager for more, and moved on to his more recent work, about the men of America’s army, navy, and air forces who struggled against the last desperate efforts of the Japanese imperial forces in WWII.

I was especially intrigued by this book, because I quickly realized that I’d read very little about the effort supporting the Okinawa invasion. Sure, I’d read about the grinding, bloody move inland by soldiers confronted with dug-in infantry defending their homeland. The air and sea operations supporting this campaign, however, were outside my experience in reading. And I think Mr. Gandt did a great service to those men by telling their tale here, shedding light as he has on operations that were similarly filled with bone-chilling drama and heroism.

The “Tail-End Charlies” of the war are introduced as an eager bunch of young Americans who are worried the war has passed them by. They get their chance, however, against the steadily increasing menace of the kamikaze missions that are determined to trade planes for ships. The reader is introduced to the heroes who defended against these desperation attacks, and the unique challenges they presented. As other reviewers have noted, of particular interest were the kamikaze pickets, and the failed suicide mission of the Yamato super battleship. Great stories that I haven’t seen elsewhere.

It’s the way Mr. Gandt tells the story, too. There’s a passage that I found particularly compelling, where a Japanese pilot lands on his airstrip, unaware that it’s been taken. He blithely exits his cockpit only to find himself face-to-face with the enemy. After a moment of shock, he draws his sidearm and charges to his death. I felt that this was a microcosm of the Japanese effort late in the war: many of the imperial troops didn’t realize the war was effectively lost, and even when they did they threw their lives into the jaws of the American juggernaut. Sad and compelling.

I highly recommend this book to any student, casual or otherwise, of WWII. You’ll seldom find more page-turning history, that reads like a novel, outside of greats like Ambrose and McCullough. Maybe that’s why he won an award for this book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Although I have known Bob Gandt personally for several years and have followed closely the creation and evolution of his last three or four books, both fiction and WWII naval history, I must say in all honesty that this naval history of the Okinawa campaign is the best of Bob's many books. It rates a very emphatic Bravo Zulu (navalese for "Well Done")

In this account of the largest amphibious operation in history, Gandt focuses upon the role of the ships, planes, subs and navy men which, for all practical purposes, made the dreaded invasion of the Japanese homeland unnecessary. The horrific losses in personnel and equipment suffered by the US Navy, greater than that of the Army or the Marine Corps combined in this campaign, gave dire warnings to both the American public and to the Allied leaders of what such an invasion would entail. A better way of defeating Japan was at hand and was used only a few months later. The Battle for Okinawa played a major role in this decision of President Truman.

Gandt's style of writing is grabbing and makes his book very hard to put down. Bob eases from inside meetings on future strategy of the Pacific high command into a fighting, slashing Vought Corsair F4U's cockpit as easily as the veteran pilot he is. And then he transports his readers over to Japan's Inland Sea where the last and mightiest battleship constructed and her meager escort train are preparing for the largest kamikaze mission ever undertaken. Then we're back in the 5"/38 gun mount aboard one of the hapless US destroyers on the so-called "Picket Line," designed to warn the main US fleet of incoming kamikaze air raids. Instead this picket line turns out to be prime target of the ill-trained but fanatical Japanese army and navy aviators. They are the first enemy ships they see. They are the only enemy ships most of them will attack.

A further and much needed attribute of "The Twilight Warriors" is Gandt's brilliant summation of the Japanese samurai ethics and the national spirit of Nippon that created and sustained the kamikaze tenacity, while being such an enigma to the recipient of these attacks, the US Navy. This is a subject which should be explored even further in light of the present day reign of terrorism. Also, and hopefully, there will be much more written (by Gandt?) on the poignant story of IJN Yamato, a name for ancient Japan and also the surviving sistership of the two mightiest dreadnoughts ever commissioned by any world power.

One hopes fervently that Bob Gandt will continue writing such wonderful naval histories, both surface and aviation, of World War II in the same vein and historical style. The Greatest Generation deserves such a chronicler.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Warriors is a massive anthology that features an all-star cast of contributors including Tad Williams, Joe R. Lansdale, Peter S. Beagle, Robert Silverberg, Joe Haldeman, Naomi Novik, Robin Hobb, and S.M. Stirling. The cherry on top of it all is a new Song of Fire and Ice Novella by George R.R. Martin set before the events in Game of Thrones. From top to bottom this is an outstanding collection. One of the most satisfying anthologies that have come out in a long time, this is a cross-genre collection with stories set in a distant, mythological past, the far future, and everything in-between.

For example, Ceila Hollands "King of Norway" is a tale of a couple of Viking Raiders; Robin Hobb's "The Triumph" is a tale of the Punic Wars between Rome and Carthage; "Forever Bound" by Joe Haldeman is a futuristic tale about cybernetic soldiers; Carrie Vaughn's "The Girls From Avenger" and David Morell's "My Name is Legion" are set during World War II; and, as you'd expect, Texan Joe R. Lansdale serves up a tale of the Old West. Eclectic? Absolutely but highly entertaining.

For those fans of series, you won't be disappointed either. S.M. Stirling's contributes a new story set in his Emberverse setting, Diana Gabaldon contributes a Lord John tale, and of course there is GRRM's entry, a new "Dunk and Egg" adventure. I can't say enough good things about this anthology except...go and buy it!!!
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
vicky swinney
I've been intrigued by this anthology ever since George R. R. Martin made the announcement that Tor Books had bought the rights several months ago. And with a lineup of all-star authors contributing, as well as GRRM's third Dunk and Egg novella, you couldn't help but be intrigued. My curiosity was piqued even more when I discussed the anthology with Martin at Worldcon: Anticipation last summer. Hence, I was pretty keen to read it.

Though there is a central theme to the anthology -- warriors -- George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois envisioned a cross-genre work that would be comprised of short stories and novellas of various styles and tones. A brief look at the table of contents shows that, although many of these writers are bestselling authors in their own genre or sub-genre, compiling fiction from each of them could make for a disparate and dysfunctional work. That was probably my biggest concern.

In his introduction "Stories from the Spinner Rack," Martin bemoans the fact that nowadays every genre and sub-genre is segregated and relegated to its own section in a bookstore. Back in the day of the spinner rack, with paperbacks jammed in there without rhyme or reason, a reader could discover and peruse novels from various genres.

«Sure, I knew the differences between a space opera and a hardboiled
detective story and a historical novel. . . but I never cared about
such differences. It seemed to me, then as now, that there were good stories and
bad stories, and that was the only distinction that truly mattered.

Books should broaden us, take us to places we have never been and show us
things we've never seen, expand our horizons and our way of looking at the
world. Limiting your reading to a single genre defeats that. It limits
us, makes us smaller.

There's no science fiction section here, no shelves reserved just for
historical novels, no romance rack, no walls or labels of any sort. Just
stories. Some are by your favorite writers, we hope; others , by writers you may
never have heard of (yet). It's our hope that by the time you finish this book,
a few of the latter may have become the former.»

I was aware that I would enjoy some of the short stories found in Warriors. But I was wondering if the anthology could stand on its own, as the sum of all its parts. I knew I didn't have to worry about Robin Hobb, Tad Williams, David Weber, Joe Haldeman, and GRRM. But what about Diana Gabaldon, Lawrence Block, Steven Saylor, and James Rollins? Would their short fiction fit with the rest? Well, the answer is a resounding yes!

The problem with many anthologies is that they contain a couple of very good short stories, while the rest seems to consist of half-assed, uninspired stuff. Not so with Warriors. Though some stories are better than others, I enjoyed every one of them. Considering the number of genres and sub-genres represented in this book, I found that overall everything flows particularly well. There is no filler material in Warriors.

As a matter of course, the main draw is "The Mystery Knight" by George R. R. Martin. And yet, no matter how eagerly awaited this latest ASOIAF novella has been, Warriors has a lot more to offer.

The anthology opens up with Celia Holland's "The King of Norway," a story about Vikings going on a raid. While entertaining, it's probably the weakest work found within the pages of Warriors. "Forever Bound," a Forever Peace short story by Joe Haldeman recounts the tale of a number of young people recruited to operate machine soldiers in a war. It was excellent and at times moving. One of the anthology's highlights.

"The Triumph" shows a side of Robin Hobb we've never seen before, which bodes well for the short story collection she has in the works. Set during the First Punic War, it's a story about friendship, about two Roman soldiers which fate separated and brought back together.

Lawrence Block's "Clean Slate" is a disturbing story about an abused girl losing it and going down on a very dark path. Whether one can call her a warrior of any sort is open to discussion, but "Clean Slate" is the sort of short story that sticks into your mind for quite a while afterward.

"And Ministers of Grace" by Tad Williams is another one of my favorites. A Terminator-like soldier is sent on a suicide mission in the name of his religion. As was the case with Hobb, this is not the sort of stuff Tad Williams has accustomed us to. But it's pretty damn good.

"Soldierin'" by Joe Lansdale is a Western in which two black men join the army following the Civil War and get into a bind fighting Indians. At times hilarious, you can't help but root for the narrator and his companion.

"Dirae" by Peter S. Beagle is by far the weirdest story in Warriors. It's about a woman who constantly finds herself at the right place and the right time to fight for and help innocent people in need. The narrative can be quite vivid, and it gets better as you go along.

Diana Gabaldon's "The Custom of the Army" recounts the adventure of John Grey being shipped to Canada to help in the taking of Québec. Well-written and entertaining, but it probably doesn't stand on its own as well as the others. I have a feeling that fans of Gabaldon's Lord John books will get more out of this one than newcomers will.

"Seven Years from Home" by Naomi Novik demonstrates that the author has a lot more to offer than the Temeraire books. This could well be the best short story of the anthology. It recounts the tale of a woman sent to a planet to get involved in a local war and going native. This one shows Novik's grittier side, and I for one hope to see more of this from the author.

"The Eagle and the Rabbit" by Steven Saylor is about prisoners from Carthage attempting to escape Roman soldiers. Another excellent story, one that makes me want to discover Saylor's books.

"The Pit" by James Rollins is quite different. Indeed, the narrative is from the POV of a dog captured and forced to fight in the pit. Unusual, yes, but well-written.

David Weber's "Out of the Dark" is a novella in which an invading alien army discovers the extent of mankind's resourcefulness when they try to take over the planet. This is a thrilling, action-packed read. But the ending, while quite unanticipated, is a bit of a letdown.

"The Girls from Avenger" by Carrie Vaughn recounts the story of a group of female aircraft pilots from the Women Airforce Service Pilots during WWII, as they try to shine some light on the cover-up that prevents them from learning how one of their own died. Different from what Vaughn habitually offers, but a very good story.

"Ancient Ways" by S. M. Stirling is about two warriors, one Cossack and one Kalmyk, attempting to rescue a princess. Fun and entertaining, to be sure.

"Ninieslando" by Howard Waldrop is the oddest short story of the bunch. A WWI soldier discovers a strange place between the trenches. With the Holland piece, it is likely the weakest one in Warriors.

"Recidivist" by Gardner Dozois is another weird piece, but with a much better flow. Humanity is now under the control of AIs, and a group of men trying to preserve their memories of the past attempt to strike back at them.

"My Name is Legion" by David Morrell is about soldiers from the French Foreign Legion. The story packs a good punch.

"Defenders of the Frontier" by Robert Silveberg recounts the tale of a group of aging soldiers stuck in a distant outpost. There are pacing issues in this one, and at times it falls on the boring side.

"The Scroll" by David Ball is another highlight. A French engineer is captured and forced to work for a cruel Moroccan monarch. Tormented in various ways over the course of years, he fights to keep his sanity as his hope of ever being released slowly evaporates.

Give it a shot! George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois' Warriors will not disappoint.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
When you purchase a copy of Warriors, even if you don't get around to reading it right away, with its mighty girth it can serve a number of alternate uses such as a doorstop, a paperweight, a bookend, or anything else you can use a large brick-shaped object for; it is after all a 700+ page hardcover. But once you start reading this epic anthology of great storytelling, you won't want to use it for anything else until you get to that last page.

In an interview (coming in August), editor Gardner Dozois reveals that the anthology was mainly George R. R. Martin's idea, to request a specific group of authors to write a story about "warriors through the ages," from a variety of different genres. The result is a massive anthology that features bestselling authors such as Diana Gabaldon, Robin Hobb, Peter S. Beagle, Steven Saylor, S. M. Stirling and Robert Silverberg; both Gardner Dozois and George R. R. Martin also have stories featured in this collection.

The anthology begins with a story from Cecilia Holland, entitled "The King of Norway," revealing the tough world of the Vikings. There are some fantasy stories about classic warriors, but also fiction stories about people being warriors in different ways. One of the most unusual stories comes from James Rollins in "The Pit," told from the viewpoint of a dog who has gone through a terrible life, kidnapped as a puppy and driven to madness and anger to be a fighting dog with the goal of killing its fellow kind and winning its master lots of money; but then it is rescued and doesn't know if it can have a normal life again, until its master comes back to haunt its life.

The best and most interesting story of the collection, without a doubt, comes from an unlikely author in Carrie Vaughan with "The Girls from Avenger." This is the story of the women of World War II that little is known about: the Women Airforce Service Pilots or WASPs. They were never allowed to fight in combat, but they were a necessary part of the military machine in flying planes to specific bases, testing and making sure they were all working fine. In this story a friend of a close group of WASPs dies under strange circumstances, while the military does everything it can to cover it up and pretend it didn't happen; Em is not going to let that happen, and is going to do everything she can to get to the bottom of why one of her good friends is now dead.

Whatever type of story you're looking for, you will find it in this wonderful collection. The idea of the warrior has many different meanings, and with the great variety of talented authors featured in Warriors, they all have a very unique story to tell.

Originally written on June 28 2010 ©Alex C. Telander.

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★ ★ ★ ★ ★
zack wolfe
This is an exceptionally well written book. It covers not only the Americans fighting on Okinawa, but the Japanese as well. It is thoroughly researched and gives details on the thoughts and actions of key Japanese commanders in the field and in Japan as well as their American counterparts. The character traits of the different officers is described. The action in the air, on the sea and the ground is covered. It is a complete picture of all the action in this battle with details of the Kamakaze damage done on the Navy fleet. In spite of the amount of detail, it never becomes a text book,but remains a smooth and easy read.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
laura iverson
A very well written story that gives the reader a true sense of what the Pacific Campaign of WWII
was like on several fronts. If there remains any second guessing on President Truman's decision
to use our nuclear weapons on Japan in an effort to end the war instead of invading Japan proper
this story should eliminate any and all doubt. I also learned after many years of reading WWII history
of Japan's "secret weapons" and their attempted (and sometimes successful) use on forces during
our relentless move across the Pacific.
I look forward to all future publications by this great author, Mr. Robert Gandt,--- "Well Done!!"
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
richard price
So, first of all, this anthology contains a prequel piece to the Song of Ice and Fire. So you're guaranteed to have people raving for it just from that. But, let me say, that was not the best piece in this collection, in my opinion. I am far more partial to Gabaldon's "The Custom of the Army," which follows the enthusiastically (but quietly) queer Lord John in another short adventure. While I'd read the Outlander books before, reading this story finally pushed me into enjoying the Lord John books.

Another stand-out is "The Eagle and the Rabbit," about young men captured by slavers, one elevated to a status nearly in line with the slavers themselves (the Eagle), while the other is treated far more harshly than the other slaves, almost to the point of death (the Rabbit). They are played off one another brilliantly, leading to a fascinating conclusion.

If you're interested in other reviews I did for this anthology, just look around. If they were on Goodreads, I wrote a piece.

So, in general, good stories, not always the best, but I'm glad I own this book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sean castle
Bob Grandt brings the US Naval history of the Battle of Okinawa to life in The Twilight Warriors as only someone who has experienced life on a carrier could. He brings the ships and planes and ordinance to life through the eyes and thoughts of the men who lived it, from the high command, to the newest pilot on board the carriers, to the seaman who bore the brunt of the horror the desperate Japanese threw at our men -- men who stood together and never wavered in their determination to win the battle. Through his words you relive their fears and their elation, their uncertainties and their depression at seeing their comrades fall to the enemy. All the while, he keeps you in touch with the big picture, the strategic decisions -- good and bad -- including those related to the hand to hand slog on the Island itself, led by a General whose strategy elongated the battle and led to many needless deaths, on the ground and on the water, including his own.

The Japanese side of the story is not ignored or give short rift either, but rather is integrated into the whole story, showing the desperate plight of an enemy with its back to the wall and yet, with its fighting spirit intact. From the girls of San Francisco waving good by to the sailors from atop the Golden Gate Bridge, panties fluttering in the wind, to the final flight of the Japanese Kamikaze commander, to the Hari-kari of the Japanese commanders on Okinawa as the Marines closed in on them, Grandt's imagery comes through with flying colors, truly an excellent book, one you won't want to miss and one you won't want to put down.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
wina oktavia
George R. R. Martin and Gardner Dozois have put together a massive tome straight out of "Gladiator" and "Star Wars": It's called "Warriors" (Tor, $27.99, 736 pages), and it's a collection of short stories and novellas with warriors as the central theme - but the real stars are the writers, who are a scifi/fantasy/genre fiction A list.

It starts with Martin himself (the best piece in the book, not surprisingly, is his "The Mystery Knight," set in the Song of Ice and Fire world), but from Cecelia Holland (a magical realist historical fiction writer of the highest order - start with her early stuff and just keep reading) to Robin Hobb to S.M. Stirling to Diana Gabaldon to Steven Saylor to Robert Silverberg. Some are flat-out winners, but there are few misses in this long book, and even at worst, the writing is crisp and the angles are often unusual.

I was wary of the heft when I picked up "Warriors," but it was worth the effort. Of course it's heavy on the blood and violence, but even so, it's the most successful collection of this sort I've read this century.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
leeann taylor
This was a good read. The author focused on the navy aviators at Okinawa and the Kamikaze attacks. As has been mentioned in other reviews he was off on a few facts. I was annoyed by the two mentions of the Battle of Leyte Gulf and the heroic stand by the Taffy 3 group. The author never says how one-sided it was and how their running toward the Japanese despite overwhelming odds made the tentative Japanese Admiral retreat. For an account of this read "The last stand of the tin can sailors" by Hornfisher, a book I recommend to all my friends.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Martin has written well received science fiction and fantasy. In this collection, he as editor wants the reader to transcend the confines of a single genre. Deliberately, the stories are chosen from multiple genres in the hopes of expanding the reader's appreciation of well crafted tales. All the authors are already experienced in their fields.

Of these, Steven Stirling leverages his current Emberverse series with a short story set in central Asia decades after the Change. His usual skilled descriptions of conflict will please many readers.

Likewise, David Weber gives us a solid science fiction yarn of an alien invasion of Earth, during a human conflict. Remember Turtledove's successful and long running war world series, that started with an intervention during World War 2? As an alternate starting point, Weber launches from the current war in Afghanistan. If you liked Turtledove's series, this short story will probably also find favour.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
shiva hegde
This book is a sampler from some of the more prolific writers in today's fantasy genre. Have you ever wondered whether a particular author, or that author's book, would appeal to you? I have. Are you choosy when it comes to your selection of which books to read? Do you have few, precious moments to give to reading, such that you have to take good care when choosing which books to read? If so, then this "sampler" is for you. This collection of short stories will introduce you to the works of some of the more popular of today's fantasy authors.

Do you like your fantasy set in a medieval environment? Or would you prefer the setting to be more modern, taking place in a contemporary world? Here you will find both. And who knows, you might find new authors to like. If you have trepidations before investing your time reading an intimidating number-of-pages tome from George Martin, for example, then it may be a good option to read one of his short stories first. One of which is included within.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Edited by George R.R. Matrin of Game of Thrones fame, the basic premise behind this collection of short stories is that a group of established writers from a wide range of literary genres are given the prompt 'warriors' and told 'go'. This book is the result.

I enjoyed this collection for the many interpretations of the prompt, and not having any idea what I was going to get when I turned to the first page of a new story.

My favourites from the anthology include:

- "The Girls from Avenger" by Carrie Vaughn captured me with a beautiful, heartbreaking story about female pilots during WWII.
- "Recidivist" by Gardner Dozois kept me guessing with an off-the-wall sci-fi story that paints vivid pictures of natural things twisted by unnatural intervention, and some tragically strong elements of human nature.
- "The King of Norway" by Cecelia Holland surprised me, as I don't typically enjoy the sorts of visceral fight scenes that form a large part of this story, but I was captivated by these characters and the brutal world they inhabit.
- "Forever Bound" by Joe Haldeman (of whom I'm already a big fan) enticed me with these unique, fully-fleshed characters and another glimpse into the fascinating world of the forever war and soldier boys.

There were also some stories that I didn't finish for one reason or another, and a couple that I could have done without -- for example, I think it would have been appropriate to place a trigger warning (for incest and rape) before "Clean Slate" by Lawrence Block.

Overall, this anthology was a highly enjoyable read, and I'm grateful for the introduction to many new authors. There are so many styles in this collection that I'm sure there's a story for just about everyone.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jahangir gilani
Robert Gandt tells the story of the last 95 days of World War II, in the Pacific, in such a concise Fashion, even the names, and ranks of the Japanese pilots of the Kikusui aircraft were included. Remarkably well written, and intriguing to read. The story is told from both the American and Japanese points of view.
It is a book, such that, when the reading is finished, you almost feel sorrow.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
armando martz
This is a very good book. I gave it 4 instead of 5 because it was maybe three fourths was dedicated to and about the air war at Okinawa. There is nothing wrong with that, in fact I prefer the aviation history. But in order to fair to the ground forces, it was not as detailed. However, I highly recommend the book, I had never read such in depth history surrounding the kamikazes nor had I been aware of just how far they almost pushed the US. I had previously read the fascinating book "With The Old Breed", on which the HBO Pacific series was based and that history of the Okinawa ground war plus this book will change your perception of why Truman used the A Bomb. Okinawa was the last battle prior to the planned invasion of Japan, but the casualties on that island showed the US just how far the Japanese would go before surrendering,
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jen rieth
Robert Gandt is to be congratulated on one of the most readable WW II battle histories I have encountered over the years and I have read many indeed. The book is written in a way that keeps switching from the overall "big history" view to the "micro history" perspective of the individual participants and what they experienced in this battle. It covers both the experiences of the US Navy and the Japanese defenders. Writing a battle history book is a delicate task in that there is always the danger of either too much dry, statistical detail which makes the book boring to read or too much superficialness and lack of detail (or outright wrong information) found in much of the "Me Too"-publishing efforts.

Robert Gandt did a great job of finding the right mix between historical accuracy and readability. He provides the reader with an overall view of the events leading to the Battle of Okinawa, the strategic and tactical considerations by the senior military leaders of both sides, the political considerations that played into it at the highest levels and then takes the reader right into the heart of the battle through the eyes of those who participated in it on both sides. I liked the fact that the chapters were relatively short and alternately focused on the US and Japanese side as events proceeded. This makes the book extremely readable, almost like a techno thriller or a TV history program playing in your mind as you read. Yet at the same time the author covers all the important facts and even small details such as the handling idiosyncracies of the Chance-Vought F4U Corsair fighter bombers aircraft (nasty stall characteristics, etc.) and how they were addressed. I am a very well-read aviation enthusiast and warbird buff, but I learned quite a few details about the F4U Corsair I had not known, such as the 6-inch metal strip installed on the starboard wing as a stall warning. After reading the book I went through my various scale model builders reference book on the Corsair and sure enough, there was the metal tab plainly visible in photos and on some of the better scale drawings. I had never noticed it before.

I was fascinated by the details provided on the Japanese "Kamikaze" squadrons and what life was like in them. Again, I learned a great deal about the "Ohka" rocket-powered suicide aircraft I had not known before and about the senior Japanese officer who created and commanded this force and who ultimately sacrificed himself in keeping with a promise made to those he sent on their deadly missions.

The Battle of Okinawa of course also saw a very intense ground campaign by Army and Marine troops trying to dislodge the well-entrenched Japanese defenders and this is well covered as well in this book, including the death of legendary war correspondent Ernie Pyle. Lastly, there is a gripping account of the last sortie of the Japanese super battleship Yamato and her task force and the air attacks which doomed that force. The author was able to obtain considerable eyewitness details from the few Japanese sailors who survived this engagement and recorded their experiences in post-war Japan.

I especially liked the accounts and annecdotes of some of the individual pilots and naval officers on both sides and what happened to them during the battle and after the war (in the case of those who survived). After all, behind the big headlines and history books about wars, there are always the human beings swept up in momentuous and inevitable life-altering events ranging from boring routines, to humorous relief and into triumph and all-too-often tragedy.

There are a number of useful appendices listing vessels, commanders, rank structures, statistics and of course a detailed bibliography of the sources utilized in the research of this book.

In addition there is a good selection of photographs covering all aspects of this battle and almost all the major and minor players mentioned in the book. There are also good photographs of the aircraft and ships and some shots taken under actual combat conditions.

In summary this is an excellent, well-researched and eminently readable book on the battle of Okinawa, written by a former US Naval Aviator who clearly knows his stuff and knows history as well. Highly recommended !
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
The writer provides a good mix of first person accounts with a broad view of the overall campaign. The bulk of the book details the activity of the carrier Intrepid's fighter group along with the devastating, though ultimately futile, efforts of the Japanese kamikazes. The land campaign is touched on only briefly at various points in the book. I listened to the unabridged audio version of this book and found the presentation to be quite good.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Twilight Warriors is a must for anyone wanting to learn more about the US Navy's struggle with the Japanese kamikaze threat late in WW II. Beginning in late October 1944 the Japanese realized they had no chance of defeating the US Navy using orthodox military tactics. Some in upper levels of Japanese leadership believed only a "divine wind" could save Japan from utter destruction, so they began to organize "Special Attack Corps" made up of fanatical volunteers (volunteer being a loosely used term in many instances) willing to give their life for the emperor by crash diving into American warships. The story of the "Twilight Warriors" details the chilling effect this terrifying new tactic had on American morale and the young men who fought so courageously to stop it. It puts you in the cockpit of American fighters trying to stop the suicide attacks and on the decks of the ships who were constantly in danger from those suicide planes that evaded the fighters. A truly outstanding work by the author. A MUST READ for WWII history buffs.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
fely rose
I have read many books on WWII. Without a doubt, this is the best I have ever had the privilege of reading on the U.S. Navy's war in the Pacific. If you want to learn more about the battle for Okinawa, the costliest for the U.S. in the Pacific theater, this is definitely the book to read.

The author, a former aviator, writes with true authority. The pacing of the book would make one think he/she is reading a novel. But it's the real stuff. I felt like I came to know the pilots of the air group, their naval commanders and the Army and Marine brass involved. And the same can be said of his reporting of their Japanese counterparts. The thoroughness of his research is unfathomable.

I will definitely be reading more books by Robert Gandt.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
The author, Bob Gandt, has written a definitive work on the evolution of naval aviation, specific to be sure to the battle for Okinawa, but in the broader context displacing surface naval warfare permanently with the decimation of the Yamato task force from the air while the surface fleet stood by at a distance.

What's more, he describes this historical battle in personal terms that can only come from two sources unless the writer was actually there and personally involved. Source one is that Gandt is a highly experienced naval aviator who knows not only the lingo but the sensations and emotions produced by carrier operations and combat operations as well. Source two is that Gandt does research with the thoroughness and near juvenile enthusiasm for aviation which is the wont of the natural aviator - to never grow up.

The result is an eminently readable account of this last great battle of WWII from the personal perspectives of some of those who's stories Gandt has woven into this unforgettable book.

In the interest of disclosure, I have the good fortune to be an acquaintance and friend of the author.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
suzanne jimenez
Excellent collection, slightly surprised that so many people did not like The Mystery Knight and complained that there is too many new characters, how can they deal with the Song of Ice and Fire novels. My only specific comment is to "The King of Norway" story by Cecelia Holland. It is probably true that there are no new stories, only old stories told better. However the author in this case could have mentioned that the story is in its entirety lifted from "The Saga of the Jomsvikings" which interested readers can easily download in original Icelandic and in English translation from <vsnrweb-publications.org.uk/Saga%20of%20the%20Jomsvikings.pdf >. Ms. Holland is also not the first to poach there, Frans G. Bengtsson introduced the same story as part of his great Viking novel "The Long Ships" which has been finally reissued. I can highly recommend it to anybody interested in Viking lore and certainly to anybody who liked Ms. Holland's story and would like to hear more.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
I just finished reading Bob Gandt's latest book, The Twilight Warriors, which I was fortunate to get from him at our recent VA-36 reunion. The book was the 2010 winner of the Rear Admiral Samuel Eliot Morrison Award for Naval Literature. While it covers in great detail the 95 day Battle of Okinawa in 1945, it reads like a novel. Bob's extensive experience as an aviator lets him put you right there in the squadron with the pilots and men aboard ship and ashore. He puts you on the decks of ships continuously fighting wave after wave of kamikazes, day and night, while pilots and shipboard gunners try to shoot them down before impact. He invites you into the inner thoughts of US and Japanese leaders and fighting men, in the air, on land, and at sea. The Twilight Warriors should be part of any study of World War II in the Pacific. I thoroughly enjoyed it and I am recommending it to everyone.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
anne muldavin
'The Twilight Warriers' provided me with a detailed time-line of events in this pivotal campaign in world history. Without that tragic loss of life and difficulty in winning the battles in the campaign - and understanding the determination of the defenders - perhaps the atomic bomb would not have been used. In which case, the Allied loss of life in reaching Tokyo by conventional means would have stupendous and probably unacceptable politically.

What I found compelling is Bob Gandt's insight into different cultures and military codes of honour enabling a 'civilian' reader such as myself to understand a warrior's motivation - on both sides.

This book is valuable to me as I wanted to understand the international importance of the Okinawa campaign which it provides in a clear way - as well as zooming in with forensic skill to analyse aspects of this land, sea and air campaign.

With this book, Bob Gandt has moved from writer to military historian.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
bindiya khanna
Great narrative. Robert Gandt puts in the heat of the action. This in not just another detailed post action briefing report history book. The author has an uncanny knack of narrating with the right words and descriptions in just the right places throughout the book. I really liked the pace and tempo along with the "timeline" it was smooth to follow without distractions and ambiguity which may arise in comparison to other history books.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
katie manning
A very good book that details the latter stages of WW2 in the Pacific. Aces were made quickly because of the depleted Japanese air corps, but death still hung in the air. The beating the nay took at the hands of the kamikazes is unreal. The wood deck carriers became infernos and sailors died by the score in these attacks. If you enjoy WW2 history, I hIghly recommend this book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jo costello
It is April of 1945 and the battle for Okinawa is on as United States continues it march towards the Japanese homeland. The Japanese super battleship Yamato has been sortied to join the battle. The US Navy is determined to stop the Yamato but will it be stopped by the navy's Hellcats, Helldivers and Avengers or will it be engaged by the surface ships of the US navy in what would have been the last example of this type of warfare in history. In the end the airmen of the US Navy sent the ship to Davy Jones' locker along with almost all of it's crew. The Japanese navy ceased to exist but the action for Okinawa was just beginning. Robert Gandt has done a fine job describing all of this in his book Twilight Warriors. Its a great read!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
nancy doxie1lover
I'm writing this review even though I'm only half way through the book. But having just read another story that left me with a "wow" feeling, I decided I'd buy this book again even if it only contained what I've read so far. None of the stories I've read so far have been weak, but two stand out: "The Pit" and "Out of the Dark" - I've just completed the latter. With both of these stories, after the last line I immediately went back and read the previous few pages.

Anyway, enough of the review, time to go back and read some more!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jessica boggs
I have read most of Robert Gandt's books, and this is one of his best. It is a very readable history of the battle of Okinawa. I enjoyed how he makes the battle come alive with actual accounts of some of the men involved. The research is extensive but not tedious. Learning about the men that were trained near the end of the war and following their stories surrounding the sinking of the Yamato and the invasion of Okinawa keeps this book a page turner.

If you enjoy a good historical read, you won't want to miss this book.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
joanne helms
Gandt certainly has the touch of a modern historian. The days of cold figures, dates and facts are gone. He makes the battles off Okinawa live. Part of the realism he imparts must be becasue he was a pilot flying off aircraft carriers himself. Strongly recommended both as entertaining and informative.
★ ★ ★ ★ ☆
Warriors is a massive collection (735 pages in the hard cover edition) of stories about warriors written by authors from many genres, not just science fiction and fantasy authors. There are twenty stories total, and I read them all. I rated each story individually; overall this was a strong collection of stories well worth reading.

The King of Norway by Cecelia Holland. Three stars. I had never previously read anything by Cecelia Holland, but apparently she has been writing historical novels for 30 years now. This is a tale of Raef and his cousin Conn Corbansson, who swears a mighty vow to become the King of Norway. The pair set out with a fleet of Jomsvikings and sail north to confront Hakon of the Tronders. Battle ensues on the open water. Although this a stand alone story, I see that the same characters appear in her novels The High City and Kings of the North.

Forever Bound by Joe Haldeman. Three stars. Haldeman won multiple SF awards for The Forever War, and won again for his novel Forever Peace. Haldeman tells a story of a band of 10 soldiers who have been selected to remotely pilot fighting robots - after a surgical procedure to implant an interface directly into their brains, the soldiers will link in and direct the movements of the metal warriors. However, not only will each soldier link with his own machine, each soldier will also be linked with the other nine members of the team. This allows them to plan, move and react as a integrated fighting machine, but also completely exposes all of their secrets to the other team members. This was an intriguing idea, I would not be surprised if Haldeman expands this story into a complete novel; it felt like the story had just begun when it ended.

The Triumph by Robin Hobb. Three stars. Marcus is a Roman general captured by the Carthagians. Flavius is soldier who served in the legions under Marcus, but he was taken as a captive and made into a slave. Now Flavius has escaped his slavery and wanders toward Carthage. He sees that his former commander has been manacled into a cage above the gate of the city, and he thinks back to a time when Marcus and Flavius and their legions fought a giant river serpent.

Clean Slate by Lawrence Block. Two stars. This is supposed to be a collection of stories about warriors, but apparently Block's definition of "warrior" includes a psychopathic killer. I was disappointed by this story.

And Ministers of Grace by Tad Williams. Four stars. The only book by Tad Williams that I had previously read was War of the Flowers, which I did not particulary enjoy. But after reading this impressive story about a ruthless assassin named Lamentation Kane, I may have to put Tad Williams back onto my long list of books-to-be-read-some-day. Lamentation Kane has been sent by a religious culture to murder the leader of a secular society. The violent, but seemingly-plausible details of Kane on the attack are well told. Kane is an unstoppable killer assassin, but not in the sense of an invincible comic-book style hero; Kane tremendous prowess is explained as a combination of training/genetics/technology.

Soldierin' by Joe R. Lansdale. Four stars. This is a story about some Buffalo soldiers in the Wild West, going on a dangerous patrol in Apache country. The story, the prose, the characters and the language they use, the plot - everything is great.

Dirae by Peter S. Beagle. Four stars. I liked this story - its has a confusing beginning, but things quickly come into focus. Beagle is an exceptional writer, I don't know why I still haven't gotten around to reading his famous novels (Last Unicorn, A Fine and Private Place). In this short story, a nameless heroine keeps showing up in the nick of time at various crime scenes around the city. Violence ensues, and the bad guys get the worst of it. Who is this mysterious figure that seems to materialize when villainy threatens?

The Custom of the Army by Diana Gabaldon. One star. Gabaldon has written a huge, popular series called Outlander, which I have not read but I wondered if I should give it a try. Based upon this story, I will avoid her books. This story starts in England describing an encounter with an electric eel which leads to a duel. The second half describes the British attack on Quebec. This should be exciting reading, but I was bored by Gabaldon's telling of the cliff climb and the subsequent battle on the Plains of Abraham. The principal character in this story is Grey, whom I did not like. I thought Grey's relationship with Manoke completely implausible. I have the impression that Gabaldon is filling in a back-story using established characters of the Outlander series, but to a first time reader like myself they were not especially memorable or likable.

Seven Years from Home by Naomi Novik. Three stars. This a story about an operative of the Confederacy who is sent to the planet Melida, where two cultures were edging toward war. One culture is a industrial society, utilizing resources and manipulating the environment to meet their needs. The other culture has a philosophy of adapting to the land, leaving no footprint, and living in seemingly primitive conditions. The industrial society is expanding onto the continent where the green culture lives, and friction is escalating. It turns out that the Confederacy agent has a purpose beyond just observation.

The Eagle and the Rabbit by Steven Saylor. Four stars. Another story about Romans and Carthaginians. In this story, the conqueroring Romans have captured Lino and Hanso, who are destined for brutal life of slavery. The Romans use psychological tricks to break the morale of their captives, including a scheme called the Eagle and the Rabbit.

The Pit by James Rollins. Two stars. An unlikely story about a fighting dog that gets revenge and redemption.

Out of the Dark by David Weber. One star. This story was unbelievably bad. Weber tells an absurd story about an invasion by extra-terrestrials who act like idiots. The E.T.s have technology to cross space, yet they build huge crude drones that can be shot down by S.A.M.s? They send infantry soldiers out in vehicles with out robot scouts to clear the area? Where is the advanced technology that could intercept crude ballistic fire of the primitive humans? Where are the sensors that could easily detect hidden explosives? Unfortunately, Weber's real enthusiasm is not for story telling but for weapons. Actual quotes: "Company Commander Barmit's ruminations were terminated abruptly by the arrival of a nineteen-kilogram 3BK29 HEAT round capable of penetrating three hundred millimeters of armor at a range of two kilometers" and "The PKMS' 185-grain bullet developed three thousand foot-pounds of muzzle energy; the KPV's bullet weighed almost a thousand grains... and developed twenty-four thousand foot-pounds of muzzle energy." The ending is even worse, it is stomach-churning awful. Where were the editors (Martin/Dozois?)? This is the first thing by Weber that I have read, and it is definitely the last!

The Girls from Avenger by Carrie Vaughn. Two stars. A dull, plotless story, devoid of suspense or mystery, that informs us that during World War II some women flew combat planes behind the front lines. Apparently we needed to be reminded of this.

Ancient Ways by S.M Stirling. Three stars. Previously, I had only read the novel Conquistador by S.M. Stirling, and I was disappointed by that. I liked this story better, especially the first half. Stirling tells the story of a young Cossack warrior named Sergey who encounters Dorzha as he flees across the steppe. Dorzha is being pursued by seven Tartar warriors, so Sergey joins forces with him and they try to ambush the pursuers. This part of the tale is well told, and Stirling has clearly put a ton of research into his writing. The second half, involving the quest for a captured princess, is less believable, but overall it is still an enjoyable story.

Ninieslando by Howard Waldrop. Three stars. Waldrop is famous for writing bizarre stories, and this one, if not bizarre, at least falls well into unusual territory. It is the story of a World War I infantryman named Tommy who is wounded when fighting in the trenches, only to awaken and find himself in a strange civilization.

Recidivist by Gardner Dozois. Five stars. Perhaps my favorite story in the whole book. In a future world, after artificial intelligence has advanced to godlike power, the few remaining humans struggle to survive the unpredictable behavior of the AI's. I really liked how many unique ideas appear in this short story - Dozios has enough creative ideas to fill a novel.

My Name is Legion by David Morrell. Three stars. Perhaps this is based upon a true incident in World War II, when the French Foreign Legion serving the Vichy government battled against other Foreign Legion troops serving under de Gaulle and the Free French forces?

Defenders of the Frontier by Robert Silverberg. Four stars. Certainly one of my favorite stories of this collection. Eleven soldier are all that remain of a garrison in a massive fort that stands between two empires. Vast and trackless wasteland stretches in all directions. The enemy has not been spotted for a long time, and orders/provisions have not come from the home front for an even longer period of time. Does the war continue? Have the soldiers been forgotten, or does their guard duty still serve a purpose? I liked the desolate environment that Silverberg describes, and the reactions of the men to the uncertainty of their war efforts.

The Scroll by David Ball. Three stars. Baptiste, a French military engineer is captured by a cruel Moroccan emperor who forces him to build mighty fortifications, killing other captives if Baptiste does not
comply. The emperor has a scroll that can apparently predict all of Baptiste's reactions, but is it real? Previously I have read David Ball's novel Ironfire and I highly recommend that. Empires of Sand is pretty good too.

The Mystery Knight by George R.R. Martin. Four stars. A story of Sir Duncan and Egg. Sir Duncan is a hedge knight wandering the lands set in Martin's Fire and Ice novels. Egg acts as Duncan's squire, but he is actually Prince Aegon, the youngest son of the king. Martin tells a story where Duncan enters into a tournament at a wedding feast and finds he has stumbled into a larger plot. Martin writes some entertaining tournament sequences, but I got confused by the lengthy list of characters (some of whom have multiple names/titles) and all their heraldic symbols. I haven't read the Fire and Ice series yet, I am waiting for Martin to finish writing the whole series before I start reading, that way I will be able to read them at my own pace.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
elizabeth benoit
Read some of the novellas in here a good sixty days or more past. I mainly picked this up for Martin's third installment of the Hedge Knight. It was good but not as good as the first one which was my favorite by far. More interesting, though, was exposure to some new authors, as well as familiar ones. The familiar ones that were done well: David Ball (nice combinations of Europe meeting Muslim North Africans in conflict; check out IRONFIRE first); David Morrel (WWII in which the French Legion is pitted against one another; check out PROTECTOR) . . . the new ones that impressed me enough were Joe Haleman, S.M. Stirling and David Weber. OVERALL GRADE: B to B plus.

Now for my GRRM review:

This tale takes place about a hundred years before THE SONG OF ICE AND FIRE series by George R.R. Martin during the height of the Targaryen Monarchy. What makes this novelette engaging is that it focuses upon a not so bright but do the right thing hedge knight (if even that) who works at being a true knight unlike most of the other knights in the realms of Westeros. In this tale, a knight with no lord to follow joins a tourney in the hopes of securing fame and fortune (i.e. winners in medieval tourneys sometimes got to keep the armor and horses of opponents which would be the value of a house today). He falls for a female woman who is being beat up by a Targaryen Prince and his hirelings. After defeating them he discovers him to be the grandson of the high king and in these regions it's death to touch such royalty. His only hope is a trial by combat, and, in the tradition of their seven gods, there will be 7 on each side. The hedge knight must then find 6 others to fight in his name when he has absolutely no reputation and is a stranger amongst powerful lordlings. The characters are all wonderful even those with sub roles but the legendary Baelor "Breakspear" Targaryen is amazing and has a badass scene at the very end of the tale. STORY/PLOTTING: B plus to A minus; CHARACTERS/DIALOGUE: A minus; KNIGHTLY THEMES: A minus; OVERALL GRADE: A minus; WHEN READ: 3 days ago (4th reading).
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Warriors is a multiple-author, genre-swapping anthology. The only thing these twenty stories have in common is that a warrior of some kind - a soldier, a mercenary, a religious fanatic, a cowboy, even a serial killer who considers themselves on an important mission - is involved. The stories move between genres, with SF stories followed by crime thrillers followed by fantasy tales followed by historical fiction, the mainstream and the speculative brought together in a manner I haven't really seen before.

Warriors is a resounding success. Martin and Dozois' previous editorial collaboration, Songs of the Dying Earth, was excellent but a few stories fell short of the high quality elsewhere. Warriors is notable for not featuring any weak links at all. Some stories are stronger than others, but there is no story that I'd suggest skipping or not bothering with.

Things get off to a good start with The King of Norway by Celia Holland, which follows two Viking warriors on an epic raiding mission. A strong, combat-oriented story that moves very quickly. Forever Bound by Joe Haldeman is an SF story featuring a team of scientists learning to fight together by teleoperating cybernetic soldiers, and is another good story with an unusually moving finale. The Triumph by Robin Hobb is set during the Punic Wars, and concentrates on the friendship of two neighbouring Roman farmers, one of whom became a soldier and the other a general. An excellent short story.

Clean Slate by Lawrence Block is a pretty savage, contemporary thriller featuring a mentally-damaged protagonist engaging in heinous acts to avenge her destroyed childhood. Powerful and at times disturbing stuff. And Ministers of Grace by Tad Williams is a planet-hopping SF story focusing on a badass cybernetic warrior and is pretty ruthless, with Williams unexpectedly channelling Richard Morgan and doing it very well. Solderin' by Joe R. Lansdale is a funny and entertaining Western with two black men joining the 'buffalo soldiers' and getting into a tough battle. Dirae by Peter S. Beagle is one of the best stories in the collection, being written in an original and different way to some of the rest with a lot more going on under the surface of its apparently obvious revenge fantasy.

The Custom of the Army by Diana Gabaldon takes her established protagonist Lord John Grey on a mission to Canada to assist in the capture of Quebec, and is another fast-paced and action-focused story, although perhaps assuming a little too much foreknowledge of the Lord John novels. Seven Years from Home by Naomi Novik is an excellent SF story about a visitor to a planet getting involved in a local war and going native, in a manner that is reminiscent of (but much better than) Avatar. I'm not a huge fan of her Temeraire books, but this short story was a revelation, and one of the best stories in the collection. The Eagle and the Rabbit by Steven Saylor is a sort-of follow-up to Hobb's story, shifting the perspective to a Carthaginian soldier in Roman captivity (the reverse to Hobb's story) and is just as good. The Pit by James Rollins is a tougher proposition, as the main character isn't human but Rollins assigns some fairly human traits to him. If you can buy the premise this is a well-written, dark tale, but I suspect will be divisive. I liked it.

Out of the Dark by David Weber packs an epic story into is 80-odd pages, with Earth falling to an alien invasion and a mixed force of American and Romanian soldiers fighting back in the Balkans. A fast-paced, well-written story up until the last two pages, when it goes completely bonkers with an ending that explodes the corn-o-meter. If you can swallow the premise of the finale, this is a fun story. The Girls from Avenger by Carrie Vaugh is a more restrained and intelligent story about the Women Airforce Service Pilots in WWII and the sexism faced by female pilots from their male colleagues. Ancient Ways by SM Stirling, set in his Emberverse setting, sees a Cossack and a Kalmyk warrior join forces to rescue a princess from the city of Astrakhan. Great fun, with plenty of rousing action and enjoyable banter between the two soldiers.

Ninieslando by Howard Waldrop is very oddball, a story about an English soldier in WWI who finds himself in another world. The premise is intriguing, perhaps a little under-developed, but the story ticks along nicely. Recidivist by Gardner Dozois channels elements of the New Weird and hard SF in a very dark story that is somewhat reminiscent of China Mieville's work, with a memorable ending. My Name is Legion by David Morrell is about the French Foreign Legion fighting in Syria during WWII, and is both entertaining as a solid war story and also informative about the Foreign Legion and its history.

Defenders of the Frontier by Robert Silverberg is about a group of soldiers holding a remote fortress with no word or reinforcements from HQ for years. At what point should they get up and head home? A clever story with some interesting questions and no easy answers. The Scroll by David Ball is one of the strongest stories in the anthology, featuring a French siege engineer who is captured by a Moroccan king and forced to endure tremendous hardship as the king tries to break him. A brutal, dark and compelling story with a killer final line. The last story is GRRM's The Mystery Knight, his third story of Ser Duncan the Tall and his squire Egg as they get embroiled in intrigue and battle some ninety years before the events of A Game of Thrones.

Overall, this is one of the strongest collections I have read. No duff stories, no weak links and no filler, with each author bringing their A-game. Having read Warriors (*****), I now have a list of new authors I'm going to have to check out at some point.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
theresa musni
I would recommend this book to anyone. It is riveting. I could hardly put down the book. It is not just about the facts of the tail end of World War II. It makes what happened come alive. Read it!!!!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
emily tofte
This is a good overview of the air war against the Japanese Kamkaze tactic over the Phillipeans and Okinawa. I would have liked an examination of the evolution of radar interception and the FIDOs on the destroyers. Unlike "Shattered Sword", this book didn't teach me anything new. My overall reaction was Meh.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
mike s
"OK, let's get down to it, boppers"

Call it the antidote to the the store effect. Modern technology is good at helping us find things similar to the ones we already own or like, but it's completely duff at leading us to new discoveries. Enter the short-fiction anthology. In the foreword to "Warriors", Editor George RR Martin compares anthologies to old-fashioned wire spinner racks, with "all the books jumbled up together". In "Warriors", he and co-editor Gardner Dozois set out to break the walls between genres by mixing up stories from all shades of the literary spectrum.

It's a laudable effort, and one that feels especially timely now, with the rise not only of chain superstores, as lamented by Mr Martin in his foreword, but also of on-line retailers offering sophisticated recommendation engines. It's a pity that much of the material in "Warriors" is not up to the task.

"Warriors, come out and play-a-ay!"

Partly, this is due to the subject matter. Mr Martin and Mr Dozois have made stories about warriors their unifying theme, and this has inevitably limited the range of stories they have collected. The 20 stories gather mainly around the poles of science fiction and historical fiction, with only a few pegs from other genres to support the idea that all fiction can fit under one tent. However, there are one or two exceptions, which not coincidentally turn out to be some of the best in the book.

It is also partly due to the very uneven quality of the stories on offer. While there are a few which are genuinely worthwhile entries, there are far too many which feel merely phoned in or hastily scribbled on the back of an envelope. Surprisingly, Mr Martin himself is one of the culprits here.

Now, let me say I stand in awe of Mr Martin's literary talent. I have encountered few writers in any genre with his gift for instant, vivid, believable characterization and ability to communicate this personality through the character's own voice. I am also staggered and humbled by the man's ability to juggle a best-selling fantasy series, a spin-off TV series, convention appearances, and still find time to edit this collection. So I call automatic BS on anyone who suggests I am insufficiently appreciative of his work.

The fact is, "The Mystery Knight", the latest in his "Dunk and Egg" series of short stories set in the same world as the "Song of Ice and Fire" novels, is just plain no good. Rather than building on our investment in Sir Duncan and his squire, Egg, Mr Martin invents a host of new characters, gives us no reason to care for them, then abruptly resolves the whole situation in an unsatisfying deus ex machina. Considering Mr Martin's name and the prospect of another entry in the Dunk and Egg saga was my main reason for buying the book, this is a terrible letdown.

"We're gonna rain on you, Warriors!"

Mr Martin can perhaps take small comfort in the fact that he has plenty of company. For a bunch of warriors, there are a disappointing number of misfires. Mr Dozois's own entry is not so much a letdown as simply baffling. Some of the big names, including Robin Hobb and Tad Williams, produce only shrug-inducing duds.

There are worse offenders, though. "King of Norway" by Cecelia Holland features a long, tepid battle scene followed by an escape that is pure hokum. David Weber's "Out of the Dark" is a shambling patchwork of Roland Emmerich's "Independence Day", Tom Clancy style military techno-fetishism ("the fifteen-pound round from the M-136 light anti-armor weapon struck the side of his vehicle's turret at a velocity of 360 feet per second") and a truly cringe-worthy Gothic third act. Diana Gabaldon's piece is utterly twee and far too taken with its own preciousness.

"You Warriors are good, real good." "The best."

Fortunately for those of us who already paid full-cover price for the hardback, the collection is not a total loss. In a development that's almost worth a "warriors" story on its own, the day is saved by the veterans of the old guard. Robert Silverberg, 75, turns in a melancholy yet thought-provoking piece on what warriors would do once there is nobody left to fight. Peter S. Beagle, 71, takes the warrior theme in an interesting direction, in a story that unfolds like a dream, which may be appropriate, since the hero may not--if you want to get technical about it--actually exist. S. M. Stirling, 56, gives us a light-hearted, fast-paced romp in a neato retro-future that mixes Napoleonic with post-apocalyptic settings. There are also solid entries from veterinarian James Rollins and closet botanist Naomi Novik.

Five out of 20 hits might be a good average in pro baseball, but makes these warriors look decidedly amateurish. Mr Martin's fumble as the slugger of the team is especially galling for us fans that were rooting hardest for him. We can only hope this shows his entire attention is going into the "Ice and Fire" series. Sadly for Mr Martin's lofty aims, none of the stories here were impressive enough to make me want to read more from the contributors. Though in a weird way, this is also a defeat for the the store effect he rails against, since I only got the book because Mr Martin's name was attached to it.

Call it a draw, then.

All quotes from "The Warriors" (1979), by Paramount Pictures.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
radwa samy
Twilight warriors is by far the best explanation of the madness of the last invasion of wwii. Detailed, but readable, Gandt immerses the reader in a literary style more novel than lecture, and spares us nothing. Heroes and villains of both sides in the conflict are given space and context to develop deeper understanding of not what, but why. Excellence in the historical genre, second to none.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
miranda raye
If you grew up watching the TV series VICTORY AT SEA or reading James Michener's TALES OF THE SOUTH PACIFIC this is a book that will put names, faces and personal stories to the very young, very brave Navy aviators who fought at the end of WW II in the final, decisive Battle of Okinawa. Robert Gandt has done his research and delivers a measured, balanced and engrossing account of both sides of the Battle. This is a good read...chilling at times. A good account of the Battle of Okinawa and a fine tribute to the young men who would become part of the Greatest Generation.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
j r randle
Having recently expressed an interest in the battle of Okinawa, a friend suggested this book to me. I've had some difficulties getting through historical novels in the past -- simply because they are so factual and impersonal -- I end up feeling like I'm reading required school material. Not so with this book! Thoroughly engaging, Gandt does a top-rate job of giving me the facts, but also through the POV's of real-life characters. It places you right smack in the middle of the action, and I was hooked right from the get-go. Highly recommend!
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
As a 12 year old in 1943 fell in love with the Corsair,my favorite aircraft.Unfortunately not much carrier activity,the Hellcat dominated and I was envious.Later in the war the Corsair qualified and the book captured it all,even the Atlantic City, NJ Naval Air Base is part of my heritage.Loved the book, one of my all time favorites.

Ray Hufnagel
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
Twilight Warriors isn't just another World War II book, it is the definitive story of the battle for Okinawa, the last great land battle of the war. Skillfully told, Gandt weaves personal stories and histories of the young navy fighter pilots in with the powerful narrative of the battle itself. Gandt's intricate research has also provided a Japanese view as well, recounting the experiences of the enemy Kamikaze pilots and their commanders. This is a must book for any fan of the war in the Pacific, to say nothing of the legion of Bob Gandt fans.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
jennifer mishloney
This is a very thoroughly researched story of the last few months of WW 2 in the Pacific.The action describes the activities of the 3rd fleet with regard to picket destroyers,kamakazis and the US fighter pilots flying off our carriers.The story is well interwoven with the Japanesr pilots and the last voyage of the Yamato...Stongly reccomend..gave my book to a pilot who flew off the Hancock...I was there for the end of the war so can vouch for the authenticity of this great book...../
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
martin johnson
The writer catches the reader in the gut. Tthe writing brings combat to you in a very vivid and realistic manner. I have over 1500 hours of actual combat flying in several aircraft, and Captain Gandt's writing brought all the sensations of real combat action into my mind as I read the book. The detail is accurate showing much research and a lot of hard work in developing this novel.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
sarah korona
Twilight Warriors may be non-fiction, but there are no boring facts here. This account of the waning days of World War II in the Pacific is a compelling story. Robert Gandt's easy writing style, along with his personal experiences as a Navy pilot conveys a real world perspective. This comprehensive work told from both the Japanese and American perspective, brings it all together through the lives of USS Intrepid aviators.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
stacy lewis
This book is well written and historically accurate. I could feel the emotions of the sailors and soldiers as they faced danger. The written images produced visual images and I could easily imagine what it must have been like to watch a kamikaze heading for your ship. I would intend to read a chapter or 2 and 3 hours later I'd put the book down. A very gripping historical account and I highly recommend this book.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
jojo z
stories are kind of hit or miss, george RR Martin's story is prbly best, but that's 60 out of 700 pages. Overall it's not bad but some of the stories are not very gripping for warrior tales, would rather have fewer selections that ran longer.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
cynethia williams
I don't care for revisionist history. I can't stomach those who, for reasons of political correctness and following our present administration's apologetic attitude, feel that history must be re-written.

The original storytellers of this era have all but disappeared with many tales untold, unrecorded or sadly misunderstood. All too often, the horror of personal experience has muted the voices of those warriors, on both sides, to the point that we are in danger of losing slices of our world history to the ages, never to be heard. With a gift for telling it like it is, warts and all, Gandt has found the perfect balance between historical fact and briefing room banter as told by those unsung heroes who were there and have the opportunity to tell their stories.

And that's why I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Twilight Warriors. No revisionist history here.

Gandt's style is both factual and entertaining. My wife read this book first. I observed her laughing out loud and, at other times, reaching for a Kleenex. She liked it too.

What I found interesting were the individual stories told by combatants on both sides. It's easy to forget that, in a bygone era, preeminent families had long military histories. Hell, we drive some of their cars today. Prior to reading this book, I, a typical baby boomer with a fair sense of WW-II history, did not know much about some of the great battles at the end of the war.

The Twilight Warriors is one of those books that will get passed around between family and friends. I think it's important that our kids and grandchildren get to read this. It is part of who we are today.

Keep in mind, we lose about 1000 World War II veterans each day. Let's not forget what these brave men and women have done for us. Historians like Robert Gandt help keep their memories alive.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
suzanne roth
Another excellent book by Mr Gandt.

The Kamikaze attacks were not, or so I'd believed until I read this book, a "big deal". Having read this excellent narrative, I now realise how wrong I was.

An excellent account of the air and sea battles around Okinawa & the battle for Okinawa itself.

Highly recommended!
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
intan baiduri
I'm sure that the author is aware of the words of "I Wanted Wings", but he guts them with:

"Air combat is romance, but you take an awful chance"

when the actual words are:

"Air combat's no romance, when it makes you piss your pants"

My father was at Okinawa, and I consider the author's modification to show disrespect for men who admitted their fear, but still went out and did the job.
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
j m filipowicz
I've read over 20 WW 2 books and this was the best I had the pleasure of reading. Just like Tom Clancy's books, you're right in the cockpit, you're there on the bridge waiting for the Kamikazee to hit. This book keeps you on the edge of your seat with a lump in your throat. It truly gives one a great perspective of what these men from the greatest generation endured. Brilliant is an insufficient word but the best I could think of
Don Brunelle
★ ★ ★ ★ ★
molly hocanson
This is a well researched book and more importantly shows both sides of the battles of the WWII Pacific theatre.

The book reads as a novel but is historically correct in every detail. The story is told by a USN flyer who has been there in another era.

Just a great book, easy reading, hard to put down.
★ ★ ★ ☆ ☆
cori mesenger
This was a good book. Almost a Great book. I thought it was going to be a complete coverage including land, sea and air. It was mostly about the air war. Then Sea war and just a little about the Land war. Which I guess makes sense because so much has been written about the Land war for Okinawa. I did learn quite a bit from this book. I hadn't realized how many ships and planes were involved. Nor did I realize how huge the Kamikaze attacks became. Just incredible. I would recommend this book to history buffs.
★ ★ ☆ ☆ ☆
ruth brooks
This book gets the facts right, and, in the context of a strictly linear chronology, will be broadly informative to readers who know little or nothing about World War II in the Pacific. That may be especially true for a juvenile audience, to whom it seems the book is directed.

What is lacking is insight. Who WERE these kids who fought so valiantly and so often suffered and/or inflicted such grisly deaths? What made the senior officers tick? What did they believe was at stake, for their careers as well as their nations? For what were they sacrificing the lives of their troops who had little choice but to trust them? How much of the "fighting spirit" on both sides was simple fanatical racism, that in some instances could have given the Nazis a run for their money? The bigger questions are invariably given short shrift, while the names, nicknames, acronyms and code words for airplanes, ships and weapons are repeated redundantly but as if they were poetic.

The narratives of individual pilots' sorties are unfortunately cliche-driven and utterly predictable: as in most kids' adventure stories set in combat, the question in each anecdotal episode is whether our hero will live or die, and that is invariably given away early on: if the narrative includes anything he's thinking, he'll live: otherwise, we know he's a goner.

If there's a moral to this story, it's this: if you're going to fight a war, at least try to win - we did; that's why we won...
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
ivan greenberg
I did not enjoy this anthology at all. Maybe of just wasn't meant for people like me.

The stories were horribly depressing, featuring death, manipulation, pain, and cheesy writing. I hated the world after reading this book. It wasn't beautifully or profoundly depressing, just depressing.

I read it a month ago and feel an intense disgust just thinking about it.

Would not have read if it wasn't required for class.
Would not read again.
Would not reccomend.
★ ☆ ☆ ☆ ☆
teresa giugliano
This is not a review of the book itself. It might be very good. Unfortunately I cannot find out since I do not reside in the US I'm not allowed by the publisher to buy the ebook. It sounds very strange because they have no problem with me buying the hardcover edition. I'm allowed to buy as many of those as I want. Turns out I will be buying 0 and patiently wait for the title to become available globally, the legitimate way or the other.
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