Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “In the Heart of Darkness (Belisarius, #2)” as Want to Read:
In the Heart of Darkness (Belisarius, #2)
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

In the Heart of Darkness (Belisarius #2)

4.18  ·  Rating Details ·  2,032 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
The Malwa Empire, using gunpowder weapons and ruthless terror, has conquered 6th century India and is forging the subcontinent's vast population into an invincible weapon of tyranny. The supermind that commands the Malwa intends first to rule the world and then to set its inexorable stamp over all eternity. No action is too bestial for the supermind to order, nor for its M ...more
Paperback, 463 pages
Published January 27th 2004 by Baen Books (first published August 1st 1998)
More Details... edit details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about In the Heart of Darkness, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about In the Heart of Darkness

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
filter  |  sort: default (?)  |  Rating Details
Feb 25, 2015 Nate rated it liked it
The whole "alternate history Byzantine vs. Indian Empires slugfest" thing that I was expecting to kick into high gear unfortunately did not with this book. I was thoroughly entertained by An Oblique Approach but this seems to be a bit of a sophomore slump. Basically, Belisarius spends the ENTIRE fucking book pissing around in India hanging out with Malwa officials as part of his grand stayed afloat because I love the setting and concept and there's a decent bit of action but this w ...more
Nov 22, 2013 Ron rated it really liked it
Good, clean fun. Rousing tale with a good resolution, even though it is part of a series. (It can be done. All a bit too easy, but that's typical for Flint and Drake alternate history novels.

Two quibbles, one technical and one philosophic. First, Flint and Drake's paragraphing is so disjointed that the reader often has to stop and re-read portions just to figure out who said what to whom. That knocks the reader out of the spell of the story.

Second, Even if "Aide" provides infallible information
Apr 21, 2014 YouKneeK rated it really liked it
I enjoyed this second book in the Belisarius series as much as I had enjoyed the first one, and for pretty much the same reasons. The characters were likeable (except the ones you weren’t supposed to like) and funny, and the story was interesting.

As with the first book, the characters are slightly over-the-top and without many shades of gray. However, there were a couple missteps here and there on the part of the good guys, as opposed to the first book where everything always went exactly as pla
Coyora Dokusho
Read at least (3) times.

Going through a lot right now so I'm glad that I read this. I was reading it while I was waiting for my Dad to call (never had talked to him before) and reading about people overcoming the insupportable and different kinds of people figuring out that they're all still *people* was really helpful.
Kaushik Iyer
Slows down in momentum a bit, but still fun. I wouldn't recommend any of these books really, but I always start the year by binging a single series, so this is the one for this year.
Mar 02, 2014 Jim rated it really liked it

HUMAN EVIL DIRECTED BY AN INTELLIGENCE FROM BEYOND TIMEThe Malwa Empire, using gunpowder weapons and ruthless terror, has conquered 6th century India and is forging the subcontinent's vast population into an invincible weapon of tyranny. The supermind that commands the Malwa intends first to rule the world and then to set its inexorable stamp over all eternity. No action is too bestial for the supermind to order, nor for its Malwa lackeys to execute.Belisarius, the finest general of his or any a

Jeremy Preacher
Jul 12, 2009 Jeremy Preacher rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy, historical
The second book in the Belisarius series may be my least favorite, but that's not saying all that much. It's divided into two parts, one that's basically a heist in India and the other is a training montage in Constantinople, and they come together in a couple of battle scenes. I am a sucker for training montages, but the heist section doesn't really do it for me.

The Constantinople sections are just more interesting because they reveal things that I don't already know, plus Antonina gets to be a
Apr 30, 2011 Andreas rated it liked it
Military SciFi/Alternate history in which an evil empire appears in India in the fifth century. Famous historical general Belisarius receives a warning from the future and must counter the threat. This series goes deeper into philosophical and poetical tangents than similar works. Eric Flint’s classic wry humour pervades the prose. The books can almost be read as historical novels and contain quite a few interesting tidbits about the period. The series consist of:

An Oblique Approach
In The Hear
Sep 19, 2011 Annette rated it really liked it
Another free download from Baen well worth the read. In this entry, Roman general Belisarius is "spying out the land" in Malwa-controlled India, with a secondary goal of arranging the escape of the young princess he saw in a vision from the "Talisman of God." His loyal cohort of Cataphracts are along for the ride, as well as new friends from Ethiopia.
Well paced with good character development (I especially enjoyed the "Dawaz" Ousannas), local flavor, and plenty of Flint's trademark wry humor. D
Sep 16, 2009 Bryan rated it it was amazing
In order to avoid danger at home, Belisarius must embark on a journey to India into the very heart of the Malwa Empire (see? We sorta got title!). With only three bodyguards, and a tiny embassy from the mysterious Axumite Empire (today we know it as Ethiopia), he meets the Malwa emperor and his evil henchmen, the Rajput king (and India's greatest warrior) Rana Sanga, and a young slave girl who would be empress of the fallen empire of Andhra. His greatest opponent however is the power behind the ...more
Jun 21, 2013 Gunn rated it liked it
Now I remember why I didn't read much David Drake. The storyline is interesting but the execution is completely "par" (i.e.: not very well written and you really don't care about the characters).

Average SF with a military bent. I'll probably still finish the series though b/c the storyline is interesting enough.
Sylvia McIvers
insta-summary: a talisman from the future is changing the course of Roman, Persian & Indian history.

This book has some of my favorite scenes in the series.
Most favorite part is the chase sequence, which takes several chapters, and shows cleverness rather than smash-ups. Excess snark is a bonus.

Debra Meyer
Jun 16, 2013 Debra Meyer rated it it was amazing
Finally learning not to read and drink at the same time as its far hard to choke and laugh at the same time, at least in regards to this series that is. The hilarious comments that pop unexpectedly in these books can be morally dangerous for those of us that like to read while eating and drinking but I have to admit its so worth it :)
Apr 07, 2013 Max rated it really liked it
Just as much fun as the first book, and really being between 3 and 4 stars, this books plot really drags along, but my attachment to the characters made that seem irrelevant. Still very much looking forward to reading the rest of these.
This was okay. I liked it, but I didn't LOVE it, and I don't feel the urge to keep going with the series anytime soon. I'm sure I will at some point, but I'm going to move on to other things first. I'm kind of in love with Theodora, though, I can't lie.
Barbara Ghylin
Sep 28, 2012 Barbara Ghylin rated it really liked it
I have almost finished this one and really enjoyed it. I am finding out more about Rome/Constantople than I ever wanted to know. Belasoris and Antiona are made for each other. What a great love story.
Don't start reading the series with this book. Start with the first book, An Oblique Approach.
Leon Aldrich
Jun 18, 2011 Leon Aldrich rated it it was amazing
While some of the behind the scenes political maneuvering were less than 5 stars for me, I still love the premise for this series.
May 21, 2016 Katie rated it it was amazing
An old favourite!

Eric Flint & David Drake are both authors I follow due to loving the majority of what they write!

This one is not an exception!
Some of the writing choices were really starting to grate - stop it with the pidgin already! Too much war and too little focus on exciting technological advances.
Scott Rachui
Apr 20, 2011 Scott Rachui rated it it was amazing
The Belisarius series by Drake and Flint is perhaps one of the greatest sci-fi/alternative history series of all time. Utterly amazing stuff!
James Willey
Jan 28, 2016 James Willey rated it liked it
The future mucks around with the ancient Romans to save the future. Found it not as compelling as Flint's 163x series but he has trapped me into reading the rest of the series.
Walter Hall
Walter Hall rated it liked it
Mar 02, 2016
Zachary rated it it was amazing
Jan 07, 2017
Dan rated it really liked it
Mar 06, 2012
Ryan Hirasuna
Ryan Hirasuna rated it it was ok
Jul 30, 2014
Zalan888 rated it really liked it
Nov 07, 2014
Jason rated it it was amazing
Apr 29, 2014
Dave rated it really liked it
Jul 12, 2011
Nick rated it it was amazing
Nov 22, 2011
« previous 1 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »
  • An Oblique Approach (Belisarius, #1)
  • The Creatures of Man
  • The Forlorn
  • The Hub: Dangerous Territory (The Hub)
  • The Excalibur Alternative (Earth Legions, #3)
  • Last Stand: Bolos 4
  • Planets of Adventure
  • Star Soldiers (Central Control, #1-2)
Eric Flint is a New York Times bestselling American author, editor, and e-publisher. The majority of his main works are alternate history science fiction, but he also writes humorous fantasy adventures.
More about Eric Flint...

Other Books in the Series

Belisarius (6 books)
  • An Oblique Approach (Belisarius, #1)
  • Destiny's Shield (Belisarius, #3)
  • Fortune's Stroke (Belisarius, #4)
  • The Tide of Victory (Belisarius, #5)
  • The Dance of Time (Belisarius, #6)

Share This Book