SELECT * FROM uv_BookReviewRollup WHERE recordnum = 934 Harald, by David D. Friedman Book Review |

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Harald, by David D. Friedman
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Baen
Published: 2006
Review Posted: 9/21/2006
Reviewer Rating:
Reader Rating: Not Rated

Harald, by David D. Friedman

Book Review by Steven Sawicki

Have you read this book?

This is a book that is a bit odd in a number of different ways. The first is in the voice that

Friedman chooses to use. While it's basically third person omniscent, Friedman 'speaks' in a way that is reminiscent of his characters, even when that particular character is not on page. It's almost a short hand and I'm undecided whether it lends authenticity or is simply just an annoying jar in the narrative flow. The second is that this almost appears to be a compilation of three novellas or two novellas and a couple of short stories. Again, the narrative flow has some odd breaks in it that would be explained by this. There is no indication from Baen, however, that this is the case.

The story revolves around the title character, Harald, who is a big fish in a little pond with the exception that he is a military genius, typically using common sense and home-spun solutions to win the many battles he ends up being in. The second thing about him is that he is able to make friends of his enemies after beating them. The book begins with some trickery and with some examples of Harald at his best and then continues on through additional battles and wars, all of which give Harald a chance to shine.

I genuinely liked this book even with the distractions mentioned in the first paragraph. I found the characters likeable, the setting interesting and the description of tactics unique and fitting. I'd be interested to know if these appeared previously and, if so, whether future short stories might be forthcoming. Barring that I'd like to see a second volume, perhaps with a tighter and more connected storyline. Overall very entertaining.
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Comments on Harald, by David D. Friedman
Posted by David Friedman on 10/25/2014
I'm glad you liked it. I started a sequel and may at some point go back to it, but I got distracted by an idea for another and entirely different book, which I wrote and published. It's up on Amazon as a Kindle, and I would be interested in your reactions. _Salamander_. Unlike _Harald_ it actually is a fantasy, with magic.
Posted by David Friedman on 4/20/2011
Harald did not originate as several separate pieces then assembled. The first two "books" make a reasonably complete story but were too short to be published as a novel, so I kept writing.