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The Excalibur Alternative
by David Weber
Publisher: Baen Books

HE WHO LIVES BY THE SWORD . . .

The races which ruled the Galactic Federation knew they were vastly superior to the inferior species restricted to the narrow confines of their own star systems by the crudity of their technology . . . and they had every intention of keeping things that way.
It was a neat little scam, a rigged game in which only the House could win, which the Federation had played for over a hundred thousand years, and no one had ever managed to challenge it.

Yet all good things come to an end, and the Galactics made one mistake. It didn't seem all that terrible at first, only a single merchant guild which bought itself a Roman legion to use as enslaved sepoys on the primitive worlds where they weren't permitted to use their own weapons to force trading concessions. But the Romans were too good at what they did, and a desperate competing guild decided that the only way it could continue to compete was if it had Romans of its own.

Unfortunately, Roman legions were no longer available, so the competing guild had to settle for something else: English longbowmen on their way to the Battle of Crecy.

Roman legions make dangerous pets . . . but English longbowmen are even worse.

It may take a century or so, but the Galactics are about to discover what happens when the sword finally comes out of the stone.

Publisher's Note: This novel is based on a much shorter version published in David Drake's Foreign Legions.
Published: 1/1/2002
SKU: 0671318608
Ebook Price: $6.99


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1. David on 11/20/2014, said:

Sci-Fi channel could make this a two night mini series.
This story has everything to captivate an entire nations heart.
We've been at war for almost 25 years ,we all need a little hope!!!
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2. Nick on 4/5/2014, said:

Another outstanding read.
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3. CARL on 9/3/2013, said:

excellent writing!!
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4. Hud on 5/18/2013, said:

I can remember reading the story about the Romans when i was a kid in high school. I though then what a interesting premises, wish the author would wright more. Many years latter i got this book because David Weber is one of my top 3 authors and i was out of books to read. I was blown away to be back in the same world setting and find the story continued. I would normally say MORE what comes next. Unfortunately Mr. Weber is the author of the Honor story line and i already begrudge him the time he takes to eat and sleep much less having a life, from writing those stories. Actually Weber falls in that category like Ringo of WOW awesome premises kwel charters i want to know more! Time and time again it is not fair that he has such interesting worlds and stories and not having a cloning machine there is no way that these story lines can all get written.
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5. William on 5/13/2012, said:

I don't understnd the ratings here. The characters don't develop, the majority of the action sequences fail to move the plot, or do anything else for that matter, and the conclusion is abrupt and painfully obvious.

In addition, this book has some very bad habits. For example, during an otherwise pointless conversation you'll find a passage much like this:

-character1 asks a question.
[2-4 pages of unrelated interior dialog]
-character2 provides an answer.

I didn't pay for this one since it's part of the free library (which I really like by the way!) but I still feel vaguely cheated.
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6. Vernon on 12/5/2010, said:

Weber's style is captivating in this story I have repeatedly reread in between Honorverse series and other choice selections. Looking forward to a continuing series of Excalibur stories.

I would like to add that I have since also purchased a paperback copy that has been lent out to my son and returned.
The reason I think some additional stories would be great is because Mr. Weber also writes some fantastic space opera in the Honorverse, this story would also be a great continuation in that sense.
Once again a great read.
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7. Nathan on 4/24/2009, said:

I've read around a dozen Baen ebooks so far, mostly by the wonderful Eric Flint- but I must say what a great story this is! Such an epic tale told so well and in such a short time-a very fulfilling read. No need for a sequel though- it would lose the swords and bows!
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8. Arek on 6/16/2008, said:

As was said before, andother fantastic book by David Weber. But Mr. Weber, if you don't write a sequel, I will hunt you down and we do a remake of Misery!!! Get writing!! NOW!!!
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9. Brian on 6/2/2008, said:

Great book, but I am a bit tired of Weber starting book series that he doesn't finish. I think I will wait until all the books of his series are out before I buy the first one from now on.
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10. henry on 2/6/2008, said:

Had a hard copy and lost it but this is even better. A really great book for
entertaining yourself with late night reading. Add my plea for a sequel as well.
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