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Thursday, April 7, 2011

Star Soldiers by Andre Norton

Humanity’s aggressive nature causes them to be galactic mercenaries when they burst out of Sol’s gravity well. Molded into a strict regime by Galactic Central Control, man’s creative aspects are ignored as they bleed off their most courageous warriors.

ANDRE NORTON needs to be capitalized for her impact on the entire genre. This book was first printed in 1953 and loses nothing in the ensuing decades. It is a great space opera with extremely humane characters.

Norton does a wonderful job examining motivation and behavior. She paints honorable protagonists and sinister villains. She shows the evils of intolerance and the benefits of integration when racial inequities were still common place in our own nation.

This book follows the initial deployment of Kana Karr an Arch Swordsman. Earth’s mercenaries are divided into Mechs and Archs. Mechs use near state of the art technology while Archs are limited to Roman era weapons with the exception of very basic firearms.

Kana Karr is well characterized as a shiny, new, well trained novice. For military fans, think shiny new 2nd Lt. His growth into a veteran facing not only what he was trained to do but facing Central Control treachery forms the basis of the plot.

Norton always provides wonderful verbal scenery and characterizations. I have read her books for more than 50 years. Arrgghh! I’m old! Gasp!

I strongly recommend the book!

Body of work of Andre Norton

Web site: http://www.andre-norton.org/

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