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The Steel Of Raithskar (1981)

The Steel of Raithskar (1981)

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4.15 of 5 Votes: 1
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0553249118 (ISBN13: 9780553249118)
bantam books

About book The Steel Of Raithskar (1981)

Ricardo Emilio Carlillo wakes up in the desert thinking he must be in hell. His last memory is as an older man, dying of cancer, standing on the deck of a ship with a beautiful young woman watching the swift approach of a meteor. But he's in Gandalara, in the body of Markasset, a young 'man' (Gandalarans are not quite human), and psychically linked to a giant shu'ma named Keeshah. Taking the name Rikardon, he soon finds himself embroiled in the politics of his new home city, Raithskar, the theft of a mysterious jewel called the Ra'ira and must make sense of the memory of his previous life with the memories inherited from Markasset. He can't be sure about what kind of person Markasset was, or if he is even innocent at all.This is a fun science fiction novel that reads more like Fantasy, the SF elements become more clear as the series progresses. I remember liking this a lot when I first read it and it still holds up ten years later. There are a few troubling elements, the strictly masculine attitudes in particular, but that was corrected as the series went on, if I remember right. Ricardo also has a pretty good grasp of the hard sciences for a linguist, but I'm probably just jealous.Garrett was sick himself (and would die in 1987 after a long coma) while writing this series and for the last few books, so I understand, Heydron had little input from him other than outlines.My Review of Gandalara Omnibus 1

As far as I know, this book was planned and drafted mostly by Randall Garrett (a writer of long experience), but it was finished off and published by his wife Vicki Ann Heydron after he was incapacitated. I suppose the plot and characters are mostly Garrett's, but the writing style seems more thoughtful and better than in his previous works, and I suppose Heydron made at least some contribution to it.The scenario is imaginative and original, and the book is pleasant and readable, although characterization is fairly simple and male-oriented: there are only a couple of peripheral female characters. The seven-book series has a prominent female character who's merely mentioned in this first book.The men in the story tend to be somewhat macho. This is a low-technology scenario in which the sword is the primary weapon, and a special class of men ride around on big cats with whom they have a telepathic bond.The plot of this first book is quite intelligible and satisfactory. Later on, the series becomes perhaps overcomplex and overlong, but this is a review of the book not the series, and I haven't read the whole series recently. In case you're wondering, you can read the first book on its own: it comes to an end of sorts, and you don't need to read on unless you want more.

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