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Blood of Victory (Night Soldiers #7)

3.96 of 5 stars 3.96  ·  rating details  ·  1,543 ratings  ·  123 reviews
In the autumn of 1940, Russian émigré journalist I. A. Serebin is recruited in Istanbul by an agent of the British secret services for a clandestine operation to stop German importation of Romanian oil—a last desperate attempt to block Hitler’s conquest of Europe. Serebin’s race against time begins in Bucharest and leads him to Paris, the Black Sea, Beirut, and, finally, B ...more
Paperback, 272 pages
Published May 13th 2003 by Random House Trade Paperbacks (first published August 27th 2002)
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Though there's a clear pattern and predictability to all of Furst's books, if (like me)you enjoy espionage novels that take place during WWII you can't go wrong with this author. Though the outcome is generally predictable, the route to the outcome is always intriguing. His main characters are always atypical and engaging, and they always side with the Allies against the Nazis so the good guys always end up at least somewhat ahead. But what really makes Furst's novels so much fun is his ability ...more
Feb 01, 2015 Anna rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: WW2 afficianados
Recommended to Anna by: series
As I am reading, I am seeing one of those great 1930's or 1940's movies with an international cast of characters!

This is such a wonderful adventure story in the tradition of the grand romance. The story is a glimpse into the underground networks linking the partisans from east to west. Even though, part of the action takes place in Paris, the bulk of the action takes place in Istanbul, Bucharest and Bulgaria. In addition to the unlikely locales, we also have some unlikely heroes in the character
Duffy Pratt
Oil is the blood of victory. War has become mechanized. Stop the tanks and trucks from rolling, and you effectively cripple an army and end a war. During WW2, about 60% of German oil supply came from Romania. It got shipped to Germany by tankers navigating the Danube. This book is about a covert effort to interdict the German oil.

At one point in the book, one of the characters says that the British could stop the oil any time, if they really wanted. Their bombers were only six hours away, and th

Alan Furst has made a sturdy novelistic career out of having mastered the history of WWII in Europe, notably Eastern Europe and Turkey, with pleasant excursions in Paris and sometimes London.

Blood of Victory is a story about a network of anti-Nazi activists attempting to deprive Hitler of Romania's oil. Its hero is a wandering Russian named Serebin. Serebin's lover is named Marie-Galante, who sometimes has to switch roles and attend to her husband instead of helping Serebin do his part in the wa
So many threads picked up and seemingly dropped or left untwined. So many exit visas left unstamped. Women, but not so many that you can't count 'em. Weapons and bad guys aplenty. Ultimately unsatisfying for me but fiction need not always satisfy . . . maybe it can also introduce, briefly entertain, or conjure the unknowable past?
Frederick Bingham
I. A. Serebin is an exiled Russian poet. He is a member of the International Russian Union, an organization of Russians living abroad during the first part of World War II. We first meet him on a ship going to Istanbul. He gradually takes on a mission to disrupt German oil shipments on the Danube by sinking a barge in the middle of the river. He is constantly traveling from one part of Europe to another to fulfill htis mission. Paris, Bucharest, Istanbul, Marseilles. It seems implausible that he ...more
This book seemed to me to cross a line between complex and oblique, and just plain confusing. I enjoyed the writing, as always, but I felt a bit powerless as the story pulled me from Paris to Istanbul to Bucharest, etc., for reasons that were often quite unclear. On the plus side, I thought Marie-Galante was one of Furst's better female characters. (I do wish he'd try writing a book about a woman sometime.) So this gets only three stars, because I enjoyed it, but I wouldn't recommend it strongly ...more
Peter Goodman
“Blood of Victory,” by Alan Furst (Random House, 2002). This one starts in November, 1940, with the writer I. A. Serebin on a Bulgarian freighter carrying ore from Romania to Turkey. How’s that for obscure? The story this time is that Serebin, A Russian refugee now fleeing the fall of France and thus doubly exiled, finds himself yoked into plots to destroy or damage or block the movement of Romanian oil to Germany. It’s a British plan, and nothing works. The old spy networks have been destroyed. ...more
This novel by Furst follows his "Kingdom of Shadows," a book I very much enjoyed. It jumps ahead from the last novel to November 24, 1940 and it is primarily set in the countries that border the Black Sea. The Germans have already taken Paris and this book is much more overtly a spy thriller than the last. New set of primary characters, all interesting, and for me a somewhat surprising appearance of a character from the prior novel that we thought was possibly dead. We learn there was much more ...more
Jim Johnson
I'm a big fan of John Le Carre's spy novels, but this is my initial foray into the work of Alan Furst, who writes spy novels set in specific historical contexts. This one is set in the early years of WW II (1940-41) and principally occurs in eastern European settings (Roumania, Yugoslavia and Bulgaria) during that period. The main character is a native Russian named I.A. Serebin, who travels in those territories and occasionally finds himself in Paris, which was currently under Nazi occupation. ...more
Carey Combe
As always, spy stories that you could believe actually happened. Lots of tedium, tragedy, bravery, knavery and fear.
Kay Chomic
A neighbor recommended this book to me, and I’m glad he did. This may sound like an oxymoron, but I consider the novel a 'subtle thriller.' There was suspense throughout as the life of a spy, even an author-turned-spy, is not a laid back one. The tension built, and the last 50 pages delivered the action of a thriller, and led to a satisfying ending.

The Blood of Victory expanded my knowledge of France’s occupation during WWII, and covert operations that spread across many countries. Oil, as if a
An intelligent, well-researched and believable espionage novel. Thanks for pointing me to this author, Rob.
Ian Mapp
Kind of looking forward to this, having seen such good reviews for spies of the balkans. I stumbled across this in the library and gave it a go.

Furst kind of manages the impossible and makes WWII boring.

The books got the exotic locations and a good premise - the need to stop the Germans getting at Roumanian oil. And I always love a book that starts with a map.

Its the style that lets it down. There is next to no characterisation. Is this part of a series? Am I meant to know what drives and motiv
Nancy Oakes
Set before WWII becomes World War, just prior to Hitler's invasion of the Soviet Union, the story focuses on a plot by a varied group of committed anti-fascists to disrupt the flow of "the blood of victory", oil. The Germans depend on the flow of Romanian oil up the Danube to lubricate their war machine. The disruption of this flow has been tried several times, but has always failed and the Germans are always on the lookout for trouble. Serebin, an itinerant Russian poet living in Vichy France, ...more
'Blood of Victory' is an oblique sequel to 'Kingdom of Shadows' and the seventh novel in Furst's 'Night Soldiers' series. This novel, however, is set more in Romania and deals with the intrigue around the travels of Ilya Serebin a Russian emigre who runs a organization for Russian exiles and gets caught up in trying to slow Hitler's march into Romania and eventually, inevitably Russia. It is a story about Romanian oil, Hitler's dark creep and the shadows and hard-boiled misfits that wander aroun ...more
Lars Guthrie
'Blood of Victory' begins in late 1940 with the executive secretary of the International Russian Union, an emigre organization in Paris, boarding a Istanbul-bound Bulgarian freighter in Romania midway down the western coast of the Black Sea. He's a semi-well known writer named I.A. Serebin and he immediately takes up with the glamorous wife of a Vichy diplomat.

Gratifying to me, because I had just finished Furst's 'Dark Voyage,' which stayed well west of the Carpathians, and was happy to find him
If you, like me, are addicted to Furst's series of noirish and romantic historical spy thrillers from the pre- and early World War 2 period, you will be compelled to read this one. The tale covers the struggles of a Russian emigree writer in 1940 to make a contribution through espionage toward stopping Hitler's access to oil in Romania. The title refers to a statement at a 1918 oil conference: "Oil, the blood of the earth, in the time of war, has become the blood of victory." At the time of this ...more
Jun 30, 2010 Ed rated it 5 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: spy story fans
Furst is an absolute master of the spy novel as literature. This offering does nothing to detract from that mastery.

This is basically the story of a Russian, poet, editor, emigre', lover, I.A. Serebin. Living in German occupied France in 1940, he decides to "do something" about the spread of Nazism throughout Europe.

The plot is delicious as are all the characters, some of them recognizable from previous novels such as Count Polanyi, the Hungarian spy-master, the arrogant British intelligence of
This has all the strong points of vintage Furst: lovely prose and dialogue, great characters, compelling moral issues, the sights and smells and textures of Europe sliding into WWII. All his weaknesses, too: too lyrical for true suspense, not enough really happens, no closure; less a spy novel - much less a thriller - than a series of snapshots (or, to update the metaphor, video clips).

And then... he had to go and write about Russians.

No one, but no one, does Russians right - there is always s
Nov 28, 2010 Benjamin added it
Shelves: audiobook
In its own way, Furst's World War II spy novel reminds me of the gritty fantasy kick that I've been on recently, like Martin's Song of Ice and Fire series: while the background may be a world-shaking war, the foreground of the books tends to be more personal. Even if the foreground characters are participating in the background war, they are not the heroic linchpins who turn the tide of war--there are no Aragorns and no Bonds here, standing above and directing. Many of the people in Martin's and ...more
(3.5) I had an itch to read an Alan Furst novel and I scratched it with this one because it was the only one available at three different used book stores. It's no better or worse than any other in the Night Soldiers series, the only reason I gave it three stars was that I hoped it would be different otherwise. When I get the need to read another in the series, I'll scratch the itch again but I just can't help feeling that Furst's books should be more enjoyable than they actually are.
David Lowther
Blood of Victory is another superb, atmospheric espionage novel by Alan Furst set in the early years of the second world war. The blood in the title is oil and an unlikely hero in an emigre Russian poet puts together a team which attempts to block the Danube and prevent Rumanian oil reaching Germany.
The hero I A Seberin is also a romantic who becomes increasingly cynical as the war progresses. The action moves swiftly between Istanbul, Paris, Bucharist and Belgrade as Seberin puts together his t
Another excellent pre-war story of spies in Europe. This one has a expat Russian poet who travels around Europe, Paris, Istanbul, Budapest and Romania finally involved in a thrilling attempt to block shipping of Romanian oil to Germany on the Danube by sinking barges in the most constricted area of the river. The story has a good pace throughout with an attractive character that is forced into becoming an active agent by the pressures of the inevitable conflicts expanding.
Absolutely the best book I have read this year so far - and for a long long time. The only thing wrong with it is the title, which is a "thriller" title. And this is so NOT a thriller. A small spare tight novel which brilliantly evokes emigre Paris and just the whole Russian emigre experience - I could SMELL the damp raincoats, the slightly spicy air and the ever-present newsprint. A wonderful wonderful book.
Alan Furst does not patronize his reader - he assumes you will understand. And I do, I a
Karen Gail Brown
A. Serebin is a Russian writer living in Paris and in charge of the branch of an emigre organization based in Paris. Serebin makes a trip to Istanbul and there he is recruited for a clandestine organization back by the British Secret Service. He is recruited to find ways to cut the supply of oil to Germany.

This book is well worth reading. Furst brings the intrigue of war and spies to the reader
Tom Johnson
better than the average Night Soldier - maybe because Marie Galante - a nice change of face to imagine - also a new setting and interesting points of history - it all makes BoV a good choice if you don't want to read the whole NS series (which doesn't make sense but it's late) - and for my picky picayune, page 226, be dammed if ever a deer galloped...more like leapt and bounded
This is the seventh of the Night Soldiers series and the seventh that I've read, but that is just coincidence since I've not read them in order. I don't think the order that the series is read in is particularly important, but I would not recommend starting with this one. It's a good book, just start with Night Soldiers or a later one, such as Mission to Paris.

I started rereading this last night because I was too tired to focus on the O'Connor book. I love Furst's style and mood he evokes and the historical settings. Although the novels are historical intrigue/spy novels the main characters are usually pulled in from everyday life. In this case the protagonis is the Russian poet Serebin exiled from the USSR and living tenuously in occupied Paris. Early in the story he finds himself in Turkey. This is one of my favorite passages:

"A cloudy morning in Is
Being East European myself--that is the region where Fursts's novel is set--I never cease to be amazed at his accuracy of detail, and his minute knowlegde of the region and its history.East Europe has been used as a semi-exotic backdrop by many a thriller and spy story writer in the past, but the overwhelming majority were uninformed enough to make elementary mistakes. A misspelt or mixed-up name, a geographical mistake, an event which could not have happened at the given place at the given time ...more
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Not Best in Series, but Good 1 7 Oct 15, 2008 10:34PM  
  • Potsdam Station (John Russell, #4)
  • Field Gray (Bernard Gunther, #7)
  • Cause for Alarm
  • The Tears of Autumn (Paul Christopher #2)
  • 36 Yalta Boulevard
  • The Arms Maker of Berlin
Alan Furst is widely recognized as the current master of the historical spy novel. Born in New York, he has lived for long periods in France, especially Paris. He now lives on Long Island.

Night Soldiers novels
* Night Soldiers (1988)
* Dark Star (1991)
* The Polish Officer (1995)
* The World at Night (1996)
* Red Gold (1999)
* Kingdom of Shadows (2000)
* Blood of Victory (2003)
* Dark Voyage (2004)
* The F
More about Alan Furst...

Other Books in the Series

Night Soldiers (1 - 10 of 13 books)
  • Night Soldiers (Night Soldiers, #1)
  • Dark Star (Night Soldiers, #2)
  • The Polish Officer (Night Soldiers, #3)
  • The World at Night (Night Soldiers, #4)
  • Red Gold (Night Soldiers, #5)
  • Kingdom of Shadows (Night Soldiers, #6)
  • Dark Voyage (Night Soldiers, #8)
  • The Foreign Correspondent (Night Soldiers, #9)
  • The Spies of Warsaw (Night Soldiers, #10)
  • Spies of the Balkans (Night Soldiers, #11)
Night Soldiers (Night Soldiers, #1) Mission to Paris (Night Soldiers, #12) The Spies of Warsaw (Night Soldiers, #10) The World at Night (Night Soldiers, #4) Spies of the Balkans (Night Soldiers, #11)

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