Guest Review: The Tuloriad

The Tuloriad by John Ringo and Tom Kratman

I borrowed this book because I had just read “Eye of the Storm” by John Ringo and had read “Caliphate” by Kratman last summer.  I had a good idea of what I was in for, but found much more.

Both authors write excellent military scifi—good action, believable (?) characters.  They also find a way to get you thinking (yeah, I know—these are action based stories).

The Tuloriad is part of  “The Legacy of the Aldenata” series.  Several books long, there is not a need to start at the beginning, although I would recommend reading at least one other (“Eye of the Storm” would be a good choice) before reading  this one.  There are just enough references and characters that evolve from other directions that it makes the book much richer if you know the universe Ringo has created.

To put a framework together—1st book in the series—earth is approached by aliens.  The Federation is under attack by the Posleens.  They are conquering planet after planet .Only the humans, because they are can actually fight a war can save the universe.  One of the novel things in the series is that most of the races involved can’t fight (it is set up quite well to be logical).   As the series unfolds, the humans succeed.

The Tuloriad starts after the war.  A small group of the Posleen is rescued by  a core group and transported across the galaxy to rediscover to where they actually came from.  You could say, they discover their roots.  At the same time, spurred by the pope, a sentient ship (this is really cool stuff) which also has a human body (she is beautiful) and a special team follow to convert the Posleen to a human religion with the idea of saving their souls.

Do aliens have souls?  What religion should be presented?  Baptist, Catholic, Muslim, Hindu, and others are all presented.  Did I mention, one of the Posleen ‘rememberers’ has developed his own version of their old time religion.

The action is ongoing and includes Swiss Guards (I did say the Pope was behind the mission, didn’t I?)  The puns and one liners give great groans, at the right times.  The past is re-discovered but many questions remain to be answered at the end.  One must have a sequel after all.

Some great scenes include the ‘ship’ talking with the Imam who represents Islam.  He states that he has lost the verbal battle to convince the Posleen to his religion.  “But now you are going to give the Posleen something far better than words to persuade.  You are going to give them living examples.”  This occurs when the priest leading the exhibition and the swiss guards are on their way to possibly sacrifice themselves for a Posleen who believes in the Christian god.   By the way, the priest is married to the ship and the Pope has reinstated  marriage by priests and has actually commanded it for up to 4 wives at a time.  It works better than you may think in the story.

All in all I found this a great read.  It made me think at times;  at times I laughed;  at times the action was intense;  and it never failed to entertain.  What else could I want?  I’m now working on the first book in the series (yes I went out and found it and will look for the others as well).  If you enjoy a good action tale that has a sense of humor and will go beyond the action to make you think,  this is your book.

This review was written by Dan Italiano. 

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5 thoughts on “Guest Review: The Tuloriad

  1. Self aware machinery is nothing new.

    I found this book first tedious, then impossible to read and couldn’t finish it. The argument that the Posleen should embrace religion, any religion, I found reprehensible. If the Posleen had needed religion, they’d have it already. End of argument. The Afterword essay has the author positing the ONE TRUE INSTANCE of Divine Intercession. Read the wikipedia account of the Lepanto battle, then decide if God had taken a hand in the affair. I, for one, don’t see it. Trautman says: ‘…never go to a religious war without religion. You’ll lose.’ It’s funny but those nasty Atheist Communists Trautman derides earlier on in the essay managed to do just that, when they defeated the Christian Fascist Germans who’d invaded their country in WW II.

    Trautman needs to rethink his approach to writing. Leave religion out, or now that’s he’s vented, it’s done. NO MORE, PLEASE! To anyone who’s read this book and managed to finish it, be warned: Trautman’s take on the Posleen saga is far inferior to the original series by John Ringo. Watch on the Rhine is pure crap and Yellow Eyes is hardly better. A good measure of whether a book is good or not is whether you’d ever consider reading it again. I wouldn’t waste my time with anything Trautman writes and will never purchase a book with his name as author or co-author again. This guy sucks as a writer.

    1. I think you’d have to accept that it’s a matter of perspective. I mean, if the main gripe with KRATMAN (I’m assuming that’s who you were referring to when you said Trautman) is that he brings religion into his books in a way you disagree with, then you should be able to admit that that’s a pretty subjective reason not to like his writing. His merits as an author ought to be allowed to stand on more than whether or not you agree with his beliefs.

      I haven’t read this book, but I have read Caliphate and I enjoyed it. I found certain parts of it hard to follow, and I also found that it seemed like there was a lot of build up that met too quick of a resolution. Then again, I usually like a little bit longer book, which Caliphate was not.

      In any case, your example about the religious war thing is a worthwhile item to consider – if there are examples that prove a statement wrong, the statement should be amended. It’s possible that Kratman is not aware of the historical situation you’re referring to, or perhaps he understands it differently. But yeah, an author needs to make sure that if he is writing to prove a philosophical point, he needs to consider all angles.

      Then again, who writes without trying to make a point, and was there ever such a thing as an unbiased person? Perhaps there’s merit to recognizing that as well…

      1. One suspects he objects mostly to the afterwords, Brandon. A lot of people – generally leftist or leftish, though occassionally libertarian or objectivist, and in this case atheist – do. That is, after all, the part he referenced. Unsurprisingly, he missed the entire point of the afterword to Tuloriad, which was not that God caused the Christians to win at Lepanto, nor even the rather hard to explain away way that Pius V found out who had won, but the moral value and value to _morale_ of faith in battle.

        (And I strongly recommend not using Wiki’s article for the battle – for example, there is a BIG difference, which difference is lost on Wiki, between “hit” and “sunk.” Try, instead, Capponi’s Victory of the West. The actual _sunk_ by the galleasses, for example, may have been as few as four.)

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