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Adventures of Conrad Stargard Books In Order

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Publication Order of Conrad Stargard Books

The Cross-Time Engineer (1986)Description / Buy at Amazon
The High-Tech Knight (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Radiant Warrior (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
The Flying Warlord (1989)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lord Conrad's Lady (1990)Description / Buy at Amazon
Conrad's Quest for Rubber (1998)Description / Buy at Amazon
Conrad's Time Machine (2002)Description / Buy at Amazon
Lord Conrad's Crusade (2005)Description / Buy at Amazon
Conrad's Last Campaign (2014)Description / Buy at Amazon

Adventures of Conrad Stargard Series

Adventures of Conrad Stargard are a time travel series of books by Polish-American bestselling author Leo Frankowski. The series’ main character Conrad Schwartz time travels back to 13th century where he has adapt to his new world and various crisis including the invasion of Poland by Mongols in 1240. Critics have described Conrad as a Mary Sue ( a perfect fictional character), and some aspects of the books can be viewed as authorial wish-fulfillment. In response to the criticism the first book received, the author was forced to modify his character to have traits opposite as himself, such as Conrad’s Catholicism and Socialism.

Initially, Adventures of Conrad Stargard comprised of four books but a fifth book, Lord Conrad’s Lady was published to tie together loose ends. All the five books were originally published by Del Rey Books and later publications by Baen Books but in 2005, Leo Frankowski self-published Lord Conrad’s Crusade after an unsolvable dispute with Baen. The last book in the series was published posthumously in 2014 exactly eight years after Leo’s death. Adventures of Conrad Stargard books belong to the subgenre pioneered by Mark Twain in which a modern person is sent back in time and introduces several modern social institutions and innovations centuries earlier than they appear in our real history. However, Frankowski’s book greatly differs from Mark Twain’s books concepts because they feature a directly opposite role for the Catholic Church.

The Cross-Time Engineer

The first book in the series introduces us to Conrad Stargard, a polish engineer in the year 1986. After getting drunk and falling asleep in a time machine, he’s transported back in time to the year 1231. But since he’s familiar with history, he figures out that in 10 years the Mongols would invade and kill almost everyone in Europe. He befriends a local monk, and after a failed attempt to become a scribe, he takes a job as a personal bodyguard to a businessperson.
Due to his prowess skills at operating arms and his mercy in saving kids from the gangs he’s killed, he influences the local Count Lambert. It’s at this point its discovered that Conrad’s superb weapons and amazing warhorse were all planted by his distant cousin who had invented the time machine and wanted to help Conrad. But due to causality, Conrad cannot be ejected from the past but can be assisted. After doing some modifications to Count Lambert’s industry by building a multipurpose windmill and a cloth industry, Conrad is granted a land on which he can establish a base to defend Poland.

The Flying Warlord

The third book in the series covers the four years before the Mongol invasion. Conrad finds himself in a relationship with Countess Francine, the daughter of the murdered Duke Henry. He creates an air force and a riverboat navy squad in preparation for the big battle. Lambert tries to force Conrad to take his daughter as wife, threatening to strip Conrad of his titles and lands if he refuses to accept the offer. Annoyed, Conrad leaves Poland and heads to France alone. He visits Francine who convinces Conrad to marry her and resume his position in Poland.

After the wedding, a war council is called by Duke Henryk, and Conrad disagrees with Henryk’s war plans as they would force him to desert his land and also withdraw west to Legnica where his military men could not maneuver well without the railroads and steamboats he built. The other lords of Poland are also opposed to Duke’s battle plans but to disobey them would be considered high treason. Conrad ends up engaging in the battle by himself. He returns to Warrior School to prepare for the war and enlists Count Lambert to help him in his treason. Lambert agrees, believing that Conrad is answering to a higher authority. Will Conrad fight off the invasion and escape the treason charges?

Like earlier stated, Conrad Stargard books fall into the subgenre of Mark Twain’s novel A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court. The book was published in 1889 and featured Hank Morgan who’s transported back in time and space to England during the reign of King Arthur. He uses his knowledge and skills to make the people believe that he is a powerful magician and also attempts to modernize the past to make people live a better life but in the end fails to prevent Arthur’s death. If you examine closely, Mark Twain’s book and Conrad’s books have some similarity.

However, religion-wise, Twain and Frankowski seem to differ. The staunch freethinker Twain protagonist and his innovations were strongly opposed by the Medieval Church and other factions. On the other hand, Frankowski, having a Polish Catholic background, enabled his protagonist to be warmly received by the Catholic Church from the moment of arrival. Conrad then steadily rises through the Church ladder and ensures that the Church adopts his various enterprises and helps them achieve success.

Unlike Twain’s travelling man who eventually failed and his efforts crushed, Conrad, on the other hand, is quite successful in creating a timeline where Poland becomes technologically advanced and also becomes a dominant power in 13th century Europe with Conrad considered the most influential person in Poland even though he decides not to dethrone the King. One significant difference is that in the depiction of the strongly atheist Twain, the Church is staunch against the intruder from the future and all his inventions and it is the clergy who play a major role in his downfall. Surprisingly after Conrad’s arrival, he befriends a sympathetic clergy who later rises through the church’s hierarchy similarly to Stargard and also ensures that the church also welcomes Conrad and his New Order.

However, their inquisition about Conrad whether he’s an agent of the devil or God never gets anywhere because of the Church’s extremely slow bureaucracy. Overall if you enjoy reading time travel books and you’d want to read books that offer different ideas on how time travel would alter the past differently, it’s recommended you read both Leo Frankowski and Mark Twain’s books.

Book Series In Order » Characters » Adventures of Conrad Stargard

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