The Coldest War

The Milkweed Triptych, Book 2
Narrated by: Kevin Pariseau
Series: Milkweed Triptych, Book 2
Length: 14 hrs and 3 mins
4.3 out of 5 stars (532 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Someone is killing Britain's warlocks.

Twenty-two years after the Second World War, a precarious balance of power maintains the peace between Great Britain and the USSR. For decades, the warlocks have been all that stand between the British Empire and the Soviet Union-- a vast domain stretching from the Pacific Ocean to the shores of the English Channel. But now each death is another blow to Britain's security.

Meanwhile, a brother and sister escape from a top-secret research facility deep behind the Iron Curtain. Once subjects of a twisted Nazi experiment to imbue ordinary humans with extraordinary abilities, then prisoners of war in the vast Soviet effort to reverse engineer the Nazi technology, they head for England.

Because that's where former spy Raybould Marsh lives. And Gretel, the mad seer, has plans for him.

As Marsh is drawn back into the world of Milkweed, he discovers that Britain's darkest acts didn't end with the war. And as he strives to protect Queen and country, he's forced to confront his own willingness to accept victory at any cost.

Also listen to the first book, Bitter Seeds.
©2012 Ian Tregillis (P)2012 Audible, Inc.

Critic Reviews

"...engrossing....Tregillis ably mixes cold war paranoia with his mythology...." (Publishers Weekly)

What listeners say about The Coldest War

Average Customer Ratings
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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Phenomenal sequel

Surprising, unconventional, exciting, and the ending leaves you wanting the third book NOW. Superior book in every way to his debut novel Bitter Seeds.

Just read up that Ian Tregillis's had this manuscript finished since 2010, and the hard cover is only coming out in June of this year.

Really hope these editors can get it together over at TOR. Would hate to wait two more years for the third book.

Cheers to Audible for getting this months before the hardcover edition. Hope they can pull strings for the next one as well.

Great listen. Fascinating story.

4 people found this helpful

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Extremely original and sets up the 3rd book well

This may be even better than the first book. With the Nazis out of the picture, and Britain's enemy now the Soviet Union, the focus shifts to activities in the UK instead of jumping back and forth between Germany and England. The Nazis were comic-book evil, and the soviets are largely unportrayed, so the Eidolans can successfully emerge as the main antagonist. Gretel remains a mystery, but gets some really good scenes, as does increasing sympathetic brother Klaus. While I'm not sure I completely follow the discussion of timelines, which twist and are twisted like Gretel's braids, I do like the ending and haven't a clue where the story will go in Book 3.

3 people found this helpful

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A Great Sequel

Milkweed is back, two decades after we last left them. I was dubious about the time-skip at first, but it turned out to be a great decision on Tregillis' part - it really works well. A lot of mysteries are explained in this installment, and even more questions are introduced. Can't wait for the third book!

3 people found this helpful

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Wow!

This second installment of the Milkweed Triptych was outstanding! Even though the performance degenerated into camp at times, Tregillis's wordsmithing transported me from my dull and dreary commute into another world filled with warlocks and Ubermenschen. The twist at the end had me cheering. Highly recommended!

2 people found this helpful

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Brilliant

What did you love best about The Coldest War?

One word can only describe these two books by Tregillis - brilliant. Rarely do I rate books, but I thought these two deserved it. You won't be disappointed.

What about Kevin Pariseau’s performance did you like?

Kevin Pariseau performance was very convincing and complemented Tregillis's work nicely.

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

The end of book 2 left me thinking for days!

2 people found this helpful

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A Blend of Fantasy and History & Terribly Moving

Readers should first check out Tregellis' "Bitter Seeds," the first installment in this series. 'The Coldest War' is everything a reader could hope for in the second book in a series--it answers some questions while posing a great many more, and leaves the reader emotionally aching and desperate for resolution. These first two books are woven together nicely. So intricate are their connections, in fact, that I'm thinking of re-listening to the first book, so that I can appreciate it with a taste of foreknowledge. The Coldest War seems much darker than Bitter Seeds, and in many ways more mature, If you enjoyed Bitter Seeds, The Coldest War will be a winner.

1 person found this helpful

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Middle Child

Where does The Coldest War rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?

Really in the top third of my library, this story reveals a cold war on many fronts--political as well as personal.

What other book might you compare The Coldest War to and why?

While I don't have a book in mind that compares to it in tone or storyline, the Larry Correia, Grimnoir Chronicles explores some of the various "powers" as well.

What about Kevin Pariseau’s performance did you like?

Kevin Pariseau has all the accents and foreign languages down. It is a joy to hear him pronounce the French words!

Was this a book you wanted to listen to all in one sitting?

I really had approach and avoidance on this book. Some of the scenes were so painful! However, I have already listened to it twice!

Any additional comments?

"The Coldest War" is a grown-up book. It delves into relationships that are struggling and painful. It was real and wrenching. I was holding out for a different story line, and hope Agnus has a role in the next book. Tregillis is a rare writer who gives the reader a character that they can love a charater like a brother--and want to give him advice!

1 person found this helpful

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The Perfect Sequel!

I've been anxiously awaiting this audiobook ever since I finished "Bitter Seeds." This, the second book in the series, is absolutely amazing! The performance is spectacular and the story pulled me in right away. Luckily I can work while listening because I had a hard time putting this down and listened to the whole thing over 2 days. ;) Highly reccommennded!!

3 people found this helpful

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Bleaker second installment for a bleak series

Out of the three books in this series this one is easily the most depressing.

The gist is that 20 years after the events of the first novel, England has won the war and Raybold Marsh has retired from his life as a secret agent. However, England is in the midst of an economic crisis, and partially due to the Nazis losing the war, The Soviet Union now controls virtually all of Europe, with again, England being virtually the only nation opposing them, in what seems a bleak and hopeless fight.

At the start though, the main characters from the first book are removed from all this before getting roped in later on. For the protagonist, Marsh, you would think he would be much better off after retiring from espionage and seeing England defeat the Nazis, but unfortunately he's stuck bouncing between terrible dead-end jobs, and his marriage has fallen apart as he and his wife grew bitter against each other after losing their first child and then trying to raise their mentally handicapped son together.
As I said, this is the depressing one.

After a while, Raybold and the other characters from the first book (from both the English and German sides) end up getting roped into the current Cold War between England and The Soviet Union.

Although parts of this were a little uncomfortable read since it's just really exhausting to see how depressing it is, it's also really fascinating to see how everything ends up getting set up for the final conclusion.

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Y-E-S!

Good book. Alternate reality, warlocks, alternate bio tech. Awesome! I am recommending all of his books!

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  • Morgan Hughes
  • 12-23-12

A sequel that doesn't disappoint.

I had previously listened to 'Bitter Seeds' and although it took a while to grow on me, I was very excited to listen to this sequel. I really enjoyed it; the narration is actually better than bitter seeds, and I'm now on tenterhooks for the finale of the Milkweed story...

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    1 out of 5 stars
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  • John
  • 03-06-12

A disaster due to the narrator

I have got to Chapter 2 of this audiobook and if there was any way of returning it to Audible for a refund or exchange I would do just that. The plot so far is set mainly in the UK during the 1960s (never the USA) and if read in a British voice it would be entertaining if at times a bit of a stretch of the imagination. Unfortunately this book is rendered surreal by the American narrator who tries his best to read the voices of the British characters in English, then slips back into American whilst reading the text.

  • Overall
    1 out of 5 stars
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  • Alan
  • 01-23-12

A poor story poorly told

This is possibly the worst audio book I've ever listened to. It's a confusing book with an awful storyline and to make matters worse, the narration is terrible. The narrator's pronounciation is terrible and his English accent is somewhere between upper class and comic. This is the first time I've ever reviewed a book, but I was so disappointed that I felt I had to say something. Sorry but I do not recommend this book.