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The Philosopher in Arms by Karen Wehrstein

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Rated 7.59 out of 10 Statistics


Chapters: 442

Genre: Fantasy / Adventure

Audience: Everyone

Updated: Almost Daily

Content Advisory

Occasional Sexual Content

Occasional Coarse Language

Occasional Violence


Overall Rating: 7.591

Average Rating: 7 (Guests), 8.83 (Members)

Ranking: #42

Rating Count: 6 (3 Guests, 3 members)

1 indicates a weighted rating.


"A novel of power, love, war and spirit"

The Philosopher in Arms is the revised version of my two traditionally-published fantasy novels, Lion’s Heart and Lion’s Soul (Baen Books, 1991) set in the “Fifth Millennium” world collaboratively created with S.M. Stirling and Shirley Meier.

Almost 3,000 years after a human-made cataclysm reduced both human population and technology back to primitive levels, civilization is rising again with inching slowness.  Here and there, tiny relics and pockets of the old knowledge are left, some useful, some merely intriguing, which their possessors sometimes guard secret, sometimes use and sometimes spread, so that there are all kinds of possibilities. The different cultures, their values, customs, languages and so on are portrayed in great detail, so as to give the reader a feel of being there.

Destined by birth to serve his strictly-democratic people as “the-people-wills-one” and war leader, Fourth Chevenga Shae-Arano-e has a vision at the age of seven showing him that he will not live past the age of thirty.  From then on, he is determined to live intensely.

His challenges are many: growing up and seeking love under his curse, defending against the mammoth-taming Lakans, gladiatorial combat as a captive of the world’s greatest empire, Arko, which claims (accurately) to have descended from the sky, then changing the war against Arko from defense into conquest, championing world-altering technologies and averting the deep distrust of his own people for anyone competent with power.  Unlucky in love as a youth, Chevenga finds it in the unlikeliest places as a man, with the obsequious but brilliant gladiator’s boy Skorsas, the mysterious and passionate holder of the secret of flight, Niku—and the one warrior as great as himself, but who is on the enemy side.

At once gritty and spiritual, heart-wrenching and humorous, The Philosopher in Arms is about war, sacrifice, friendship, loyalty and love, but perhaps more than anything else, the meaning and ethics of power, and fate.

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"Chevenga: the *real* story"

Rating: 9/10

Philosopher in Arms is the best serial I have read so far online. Karen has had lots of writing practice (to put it simply), and it shows in her skill both in the nuts-and-bolts of her writing and in her storytelling. It helps that PiA is actually a revision & expansion of an already published story, but having read her other work, the completely new you-saw-it-here-online-first Asa Kraiya, I’m…Read More


The Philosopher in Arms has not been recommended yet.


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