The eighth book in the Dumarest of Terra series, this finds Dumarest stuck on another dead end planet, hoping to find scraps of information that might lead him to his homeworld, lost Earth. I’m curious about this one. I wonder if maybe author E.C. Tubb was thinking about ending the series. It plays out in an odd way, not really wrapping up his building plot, but putting Dumarest in a spot where he might not go on.
As is often the case with the series, there is a sinister member of the Cyclan. Here the villainous plot seems to be focused on destabilizing the culture by introducing and cultivating cruelty, sensitivity to violence, and bloodlust. It’s an interesting condemnation of blood sports I think you could easily translate to the morally questionable “sports” of boxing or bullfighting (or American football), where pain and suffering are used as entertainment.
There’s local politics and a not especially interesting woman who falls for Dumarest, as there often is. Like most of the Dumarest books, Tubb does some solid worldbuilding and universe-building without dwelling on it. How could he? The danged book is so short, he doesn’t have time to dwell on anything.
The sixth book, Lallia, remains my favorite to date, but each book is entertaining and enjoyable. It’s weird that I’m not even a third of the way into the series and it feels like Dumarest is getting close. How does this stretch out for twenty five more books?
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