The Warlord series was published by Zebra Books in the mid-80s. Zebra, (in)famous for truly awful crap like the Doomsday Warrior books, had itself a hidden treasure in Warlord.
Though the quality declined a bit as the series progressed, this first book was spectacular. On the surface, the premise is simple: Vietnam vet, ex-Special Forces soldier-turned history teacher Eric Ravensmith rises to lead a band of survivors in a California which has been decimated by a massive earthquake.
Ah, but its all in the details. Exactly HOW California is destroyed and the results thereof, is fascinating to read about - really imaginative. Sure, the science is a bit suspect (or is it?), but that doesn't detract from the entertainment value. The characters are extraordinarily well-developed and engaging; the author is not afraid to delve into the background of minor characters to make them more sympathetic to us when they meet their inevitable end.
Ravensmith's nemesis, the psychotic Colonel Fallows, is a great, menacing villain, as is his henchman Cruz.
Something interesting I noticed: there is a character named Grimme who happens to be a physics graduate student working as a janitor at the university where Ravensmith's band makes it headquarters... wonder if Affleck/Damon read this book before writing 'Good Will Hunting'? :) Just a thought...
Great book overall, highly recommended. Its too bad Zebra published it; otherwise it might have the recognition it deserves. I can only hope that a more worthy publisher attains the rights.