wnylibrarian Book Club

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Recently I came across an older book on my shelf, Tom Clancy’s, “The Cardinal Of The Kremlin.” [TCOTK].

I decided to re-read it. The last time I read I was a boy of 21 with a much different view of the world. The Iron Curtain was still drawn in Eastern Europe and the Berlin Wall stood defiant in the city. So, yes, the book is a melting pot of dated material from a different world, and many things that are not all that different looking back over an expanse of thirty year history since it was published.


I will not offer any spoilers here. My recommendation is to read the book – especially to those who enjoy history and would love the perspective of the world in which the book was published overlaid against what we’ve known to happen on the global stage since then.


What I will say is that it was never destroyed into a feature film. It was the sequel to, “The Hunt For Red October.” However, Clancy loved to jump around in his Jack Ryan Universe Timeline, and TCOTK was not a direct sequel. “Patriot Games” was published after “THFRO,” but served as a prequel in the timeline. Clancy also inserted, “Red Storm Rising” into the publication period as well – also an excellent novel, but not part of the Jack Ryan Universe, or Ryanverse as it is sometimes referred.


Additionally having already been familiar with the story, although there were parts I had forgotten after all this time, it was an extraordinarily great sequel. Typically sequels are not as good as the original both in literary form and film. TCOTK bucks that trend and that makes it unique among its sequel counterparts. Even if Tom Clancy hadn’t written additional Jack Ryan novels The Cardinal stands out on its own. If you were a fan of Red October then I think you will thoroughly enjoy TCOTK.


I will confess that, as a Child Of The ‘80s, it was a nice walk down memory lane in terms of the background setting.


  • The Cardinal Of The Kremlin
  •  Tom Clancy
  •  ISBN 0-425-11684-0
  •  © 1988

Book cover: The Cardinal Of The Kremlin



For reference…


  • The Hunt For Red October
  • Tom Clancy
  • ISBN 0-425-12027-9
  • © 1984


  • Red Storm Rising
  • Tom Clancy
  • ISBN 0-425-10107-X
  • © 1986


  • Patriot Games
  • Tom Clancy
  • ISBN 0-425-10972-0
  • © 1987



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