The Cardinal of the Kremlin Book Summary and Study Guide

Detailed plot synopsis reviews of The Cardinal of the Kremlin

CIA analyst Jack Ryan tries to save the top agent the U.S. has planted in the Soviet government, even if it requires the cooperation of the head of the KGB. Colonel Mikhail Semyonovich Filitov is a legendary Russian hero of the Great Patriotic War (World War II) and a trusted adviser to the Defense Minister. He is also the most highly placed agent the CIA has ever had, codenamed CARDINAL. For decades in the Cold War, he has provided utterly invaluable intelligence. In the course of his duties, he is briefed about a top-secret research installation near the border with Afghanistan, where a laser system is being developed that is designed to shoot down nuclear missiles. (The Americans are working on their own version, led by Dr. Al Gregory.) However, CARDINAL's luck finally runs out. The courier bearing this information is spotted and arrested, and the trail eventually leads back to Filitov.
Click here to see the rest of this review

Jack Ryan, a top-level CIA analyst and hero of many of Clancy's other novels, seeks to rescue him by blackmailing Gerasimov, the Chairman of the Committee for State Security (better known as the KGB). In the novel The Hunt for Red October, the crew of the advanced nuclear submarine Red October had defected to the West. The KGB had been fooled into thinking that they had managed to have the sub sunk. If knowledge of this colossal failure became public, Gerasimov would lose his position. Desperate, Gerasimov counters by having Dr. Gregory kidnapped on American soil, a major violation of the unwritten rules of Cold War spycraft. Fortunately, the Americans are able to track down and rescue the irreplaceable scientist unharmed. With no other alternative, Gerasimov is forced by Ryan to defect to the West, bringing Filitov along with him.
Best part of story, including ending: It's another of Clancy's well-constructed spy thrillers.

Best scene in story: Filitov holds imaginary conversations with a long-dead comrade in his dreams. One day, while he is safely in the United States, he hears his comrade much more vividly ... because he is dying. It's a very elegant way of depicting it.

Opinion about the main character: Jack Ryan's too good to be true. Blackmailing the head of the KGB takes unrealistically gigantic cojones.

The review of this Book prepared by J. Lee a Level 10 Peregrine Falcon scholar

Russia and America are developing new satellites and will do anything to get the others secrets.
The review of this Book prepared by Matt Parker

In The Cardinal of the Kremlin, Jack Ryan has to save a CIA intelligence source in Russia, and in the process he forces the Director of the KGB to defect. Also, there is a parallel plot about the development of American and Russian laser-based Anti-Ballistic Missle systems, and the espionage that surrounds their development.            
The review of this Book prepared by Matt Line

CIA employee Jack Ryan becomes involved in a race to rescue a long time undercover spy located in Moscow code named Cardinal.As Cardinal loses his cover and is captured and interrogated, Ryan developes an intricate plan to not only rescue Cardinal, but also to affect the defection to the West of the head of KGB to save the current Soviet government. Included are vivid descriptions of Afghan rebel attacks against Soviet Star War sites.
The review of this Book prepared by John Juergens

As the Soviets invade Afghanistan, they begin work on a laser-based defense system. Meanwhile, a top aide to the Union's Defense Minister is leaking secrets to the United States. If the Soviets are successful, they will throw the world back into the chaos of the Cold War...But this man has seen the horrors of war, and will betray his own country to keep the world at peace, even at the cost of his life...A spy thriller...
The review of this Book prepared by Jacob Hurt

The United States has a highly placed spy in the Russian Government and must try to beat the KGB to him. His codename is CARDINAL. It is during the peace talks of the Cold War, and as the raveling plot unfolds, you'll see that there is more to the story than rescuing an agent.
The review of this Book prepared by Anthony Selbe

Chapter Analysis of The Cardinal of the Kremlin

Click on a plot link to find similar books!

Plot & Themes

Composition of Book descript. of violence and chases 20%Planning/preparing, gather info, debate puzzles/motives 58.3%Feelings, relationships, character bio/development 11.7%How society works & physical descript. (people, objects, places) 10% Tone of story    -   suspenseful (sophisticated fear) Time/era of story:    -   1980's-1999 Spying/Terrorism Thriller    -   Yes Cloak & Dagger Plotlets:    -   main char. spying/sabotage Kid or adult book?    -   Adult or Young Adult Book Search for technology?    -   special war tech.

Main Character

Gender    -   Male Profession/status:    -   spy Age:    -   20's-30's Ethnicity/Race    -   White/American


United States    -   Yes Europe    -   Yes European country:    -   Russia Asia/Pacific    -   Yes Asian country:    -   Russia    -   The 'stans Misc setting    -   fort/military installation

Writing Style

A lot of techno jargon?    -   Yes Kind of jargon?    -   military technology Amount of dialog    -   roughly even amounts of descript and dialog

Books with storylines, themes & endings like The Cardinal of the Kremlin

Tom Clancy Books Note: the views expressed here are only those of the reviewer(s).
2 Ways to Search!

Our Chief Librarian