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Deathstalker Legacy (2004)

Deathstalker Legacy (2004)

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3.92 of 5 Votes: 4
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0575074523 (ISBN13: 9780575074521)

About book Deathstalker Legacy (2004)

Deathstalker Legacy, by Simon R. Green, is part of a series of books. This particular one, though written fairly recently, obviously owes a lot to classic 1950s space opera, as the setting is a galactic empire (*cough*) in which a reluctant emperor takes over from his father, names his equally reluctant champion (the eponymous Lewis Deathstalker), and prepares to face a massive evil threatening the entire universe.The book actually ends at a most exciting point, as the evil has just been revealed, so I have no idea what happens next. So I won’t say much about the plot but will instead say why I liked this book so much. First, the writing is good: the characters are three-dimensional and sympathetic, even the villains (with the exception of the main villain, a paladin [they're called "paragons" in the text] gone bad).Also, the book has surprising depth. The structure is that of a space opera, but it also satirizes fame, particularly in terms of the paladins/paragons. Each of the paragons has his own website and a huge following of fans, and lives off the money from his merchandising (except for Lewis Deathstalker, who doesn’t feel right about making money from his work). A few other characters also represent fame. Politics gets pretty heavily satirized as well. So does racism, which is presented as Pure Humanism (this is a galactic empire, so there are aliens, AIs, and “espers”, who, I think, are basically humans with ESP). I like the fact that the aliens are presented as having alien perspectives and alien ways of thought, rather than being bumpy-headed humans.The Church, which is specifically Christian, also plays a role in the book, and for once is not evil. Nor is it monolithically good. As the book progresses, it is being undermined by wicked men within its own structure, though the good men who remain are fighting against that.Even more interestingly from my perspective, the author presents the reader with an Arthurian love triangle, which appears to have been inspired by T.H. White in particular. There doesn’t seem to be a Merlin figure, but the emperor, like White’s Arthur, is a fairly ordinary man who is doing his best to do good and live up to his service. And Lewis Deathstalker, like White’s Lancelot, is a very ugly man who is an outstanding fighter, and who falls in love with the woman who is to marry his best friend, the emperor.There’s just so much I liked in the book. I can’t wait to read the rest. I heartily recommend it (though the excessively squeamish may want to steer clear; there’s a definite amount of bloodthirstiness).

"So far, this is one of my favorites in the Deathstalker series. 200 years of a Golden Age have gone by, bought by what Owen and the other Maze heroes did. The true story of the rebellion was erased by the first new King and Queen, who chose to build their Golden Age on legends, rather than people. Douglas Campbell reluctantly becomes the most recent king and triggers the end of that age by choosing Lewis Deathstalker to be his Champion. A jealous paragon immediately begins to plot to bring the Empire down, which turns out to be frighteningly easy. Seems an empire built on illusions is like a house built on sand. The Terror, predicted by Owen 200 years ago, has arrived, and once again a Deathstalker is called by duty to save Humanity. [return][return]Green makes fantastic use of the original Deathstalker series as a rich background for this new story. Readers will feel the thrilling sense that they know things about the past that the main characters do not. It is very satisfying to see how much Owen is admired for all he accomplished, disappointing to see how he had to be simplified for public consumption, and heartbreaking to see how other heroes of that age were erased altogether. Lewis is a great new Deathstalker character (love his "ugly face"), and there is a tense sense of anticipation to see if he will find the truth, meet up with any of the old heroes or reveal any of the hidden identities that surround him. I love the theme of the importance of truth. It may have been easier to build a golden age on simplified legends, but the truth will out, and every kindly-meant lie places a seed of rot which can be exploited by those who find their age not so golden after all. And in the end, the truth of Owen Deathstalker and his heroic companions is far more compelling than the legend. It's so fun to watch Lewis seek out the parts we already know and hope he'll answer the pieces we don't!"

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