Cole, Allan & Chris Bunch. The Wolf Worlds.

NY: Ballantine, 1984.

This is the second volume in the mostly military adventures of Karl Sten in the 40th century, and it’s very well done space opera. The Eternal Emperor controls a vast amount of space and several thousand inhabited planets and that requires not only a huge army but the much smaller Mantis teams for quiet surgical operations.

The Lupus Cluster is home to a fanatical religion, which the Emperor chased there a few centuries before, hoping they would fade away or at least keep to themselves. They’ve since split into two violently rival factions, however, each with its own Prophet, and one of them is now becoming dangerous to its interstellar neighbors. Lieut. Sten and one of his colleagues are sent in to do something about the problem, and he refashions himself as “Col. Sten,” mercenary commander, and starts making a nuisance of himself to the militarized Jann and their leaders. Even though his 300 or so professional soldiers are outnumbered several thousand to one, Sten knows how to apply leverage and how to recruit local assistance. The result is an enjoyable yarn filled with firefights and bloody duels, but which also has something to say about religious extremism. It’s not an easy series to find these days, but Inter-Library Loan is a wonderful thing. (Especially since the Kindle conversion appears to have been messed up.)

Published in: on 23 October 2016 at 9:04 am  Leave a Comment  
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