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Star Soldiers [Kindle Edition]

Andre Norton
4.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (197 customer reviews)

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Book Description

Andre Norton-Grand Mistress of science fiction-presents a grand tapestry of the far-flung interstellar future, in which the first starships from Earth have burst out into the universe . . . only to run straight into the restraining grasp of the stagnant alien federation known as Central Control.

Only as interstellar mercenaries can humans go to the stars; the aliens who already dominate the galaxy allow no other recourse. But when Swordsman Third Class Kana Karr and his comrades-in-arms are betrayed and abandoned on a hostile world by their alien masters, the warriors from Earth begin a desperate but glorious march across a planet whose every sword is against them. Their actions may doom humanity's future . . . or lead the way to an empire of their own!

Four thousand years later, galactic civilization is collapsing, and the underfunded crew of an exploration starship is forced to set down on an uncharted planet: a mysterious, abandoned world that is achingly beautiful-and hauntingly familiar. Ranger Sergeant Kartr, telepath and stellar Patrolman, searches with his crewmates for the source of a beacon which may mean escape for them all. What he finds is far stranger: the first clue to what may become the greatest revelation in galactic history!

The defining events of future historyas only Andre Norton could tell them!

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Editorial Reviews

From Publishers Weekly

Two of SFWA Grand Master Norton's earlier novels, Star Guard (1955) and Star Rangers (1953), offered here with minimal textual changes, should be just as enjoyable to the grandchildren if not great-grandchildren of the original readers. In Guard, around A.D. 4000, humans are valued by Central Control as mercenaries, but otherwise are at the bottom of the galactic hierarchy. Kana Karr, a young swordsman investigating the mysterious deaths of some of his comrades, stumbles on a conspiracy that endangers Central Control and the human race alike. Some 4,000 years later in Rangers, the Patrol cruiser Starfire makes its last landing on an unknown but habitable planet. Three of the crew, the Rangers Kartr (human), Fylh (a birdlike Trystian) and Zinga (a reptilian Zacathan), become a sort of Three Musketeers to save the natives from the ruthlessness of other humans. They succeed well enough to eventually receive a shipload of assorted refugees and discover the secret of this "unknown" planet. The language, plot and characterization are somewhat simpler than we are used to today, but the settings come alive as well as anybody's. Moreover, Norton's handling of ethical issues, particularly the uses of telepathy and relations with nonhumans, is quite complex. This is no less remarkable when one considers that she was writing in the days when telepaths were often supermen and aliens usually depicted as BEMs. (Aug.)Miller; Forecasts, May 21) and Leopard in Exile (with Rosemary Edghill; Forecasts, Mar. 26).

Copyright 2001 Cahners Business Information, Inc.

Product Details

  • File Size: 661 KB
  • Print Length: 480 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Baen Books; 1 edition (August 1, 2001)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,051 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Free in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
39 of 39 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Stellar Stories January 11, 2002
My first encounter with Andre Norton came around age 11 or 12 when I bought "Star Guard," a story loosely based on Xenophon's "Anabasis." It proved a rollicking good yarn. Earthlings had gone to the stars and met with a powerful empire under Central Control. Earthlings being too backward for anything else, they were allowed into the empire as mercenaries. "Star Guard" follows the adventures of a unit of mercenaries sent to serve a usurper on a backwater world. Their boss loses and they have to fight their way to freedom across a hostile world. I read and re-read the story several times, and I still have the old thirty five cent Ace paperback lovingly tucked away on a shelf in my library. "Star Guard" forms half of the book "Star Soldiers."
The other half comes from another novel I read multiple times as a preteenager--"Star Rangers." This book also found its inspiration in a historical incident (or at least a historical legend). During the decline of Rome an Emperor decided to rid himself of a pesky legion. He ordered them to march east; they obeyed; and they marched right off the pages of history. Some 6,000 years after that Emperor's edict, it is repeated by another crumbling civilization. Central Control is losing its grip on its far flung galactic empire. The Star Rangers are somewhat of a nuisance to Central Control, so it sends them off on a fool's errand of exploration. "Star Rangers" chronicles the history of this last mission.
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27 of 27 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Juveniles Revisited September 5, 2001
Format:Hardcover|Verified Purchase
"Star Soldiers" is the republication of two old Norton scifi juveniles: "Star Guard" and "Star Rangers." The books have no connection with each other. I still have the old paperback publications of these books which deal with opposite ends of time: man's conquest of the stars and his retreat. It seems to me that everything from the original publication is here.
"Star Guard" is a book that has stuck in my memory from my youth. It featured Norton's patented great action and strong characters. I hadn't read the book for years and expected it would lose something on this rereading. And it did, to some seemed much shorter now. I realized as I retraveled an alien world with the human mercenary troops of the "Star Guard", trapped, abandoned by "Central Control" and dying but always striving, how sophisticated Norton's juvenile's were and are. A happy ending for the hero, yes, but plenty of trial and loss along the way.
I have a slight preference for "Star Guard" over "Star Ranger." The mercenaries of the first book may be taking their lumps but they're considered a "young" race. The humans of "Star Rangers" seem old and tired. Not so much our young heroes but the civilization as a whole which I found rather depressing when I was a kid and still do now. Still the action and great character development is here. It is in "Star Rangers," I believe, in which Norton first writes about the strong human/alien bonds, team work and tolerance which will become signiture features of her later books.
One thing I did notice as I reread these books was the absolute
gender bias in these early books that I was not aware of as a teen.
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17 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars oldies but goodies November 16, 2001
By Louette
If you haven't got the original books, get this copy. Or if you have more than one child, get one for each.
I grew up on Andre Norton books. Her young adult books have
lost none of their relevance to children today, and I raised
my sons on the very same books I read. Yes, the early books have
male characters, probably because it was hard enough for a woman
to get science fiction published then. Heinlein, if you notice,
managed to get away with writing strong female characters.
I was an oddity for a female in those days - refused to read/
couldn't stand the "Sweet Valley High" type stuff that was
published for girls, and Andre Norton's books, even if they
had male characters, at least dealt with problems of growing up
and with struggles to remain honest, honorable. Star Rangers
gave aliens a fair deal and they seemed alien enough to me then,
but also characters I could understand and admire. Took me years
to realize the message I'd absorbed - judge the person by what
they are and how they act, not by what they look like. That
message still needs to be delivered, and this is a great, enjoyable way to deliver it to young people.
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16 of 17 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Planetary Guardians September 15, 2007
Format:Mass Market Paperback
Star Soldiers (2001) is an omnibus edition of two SF novels in the Central Control universe, including Star Guard and Star Rangers. These stories are among the earliest SF works by the author. When Terrans first learned to travel the space lanes, they discovered that the galaxy was already inhabited by many spacegoing species. These aliens were organized into a great confederacy under Central Control.

In Star Guard (1955), Central Control assigned Terrans to a special role that suited their aggressive temperament and also provided a safety valve for other belligerents. The Terrans became mercenaries of the Galaxy. Arch Hordes served on the relatively primitive worlds and Mech Legions served on the relatively advanced worlds. However, even the Mechs weapons were less advanced than those available to the Galactic Patrol. Three hundred years passed before any challenge arose to this system.

In this novel, Kana Karr, newly graduated Arch Swordsman Third Class, comes to Prime to receive his first assignment. Waiting in the hiring hall, he hears rumors of lost legions and refused assignments. Then, a senior Combatant, accompanied by a Galactic Agent, announces that the troubles on Nevers have been fully investigated, with the assistance of Central Control, and certified that the defeat there was due to local problems. Furthermore, rumors concerning this episode are not to be repeated by any of the Corps. Naturally, this stirs up even more rumors.

Shortly thereafter, Karr is offered a position with Yorke's Horde and accepts the assignment.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
3.0 out of 5 stars I would NOT suggest reading them back to back.
Two fairly good, short novels. The main topics of both are mankind's exodus from Earth. Independently, each is a fun story of one character facing the complete change of the... Read more
Published 1 day ago by Shawn
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent sci-fi fare here
Excellent sci-fi fare here, with two stories that could just as easily been written in the present day, rather than 60 years ago. Read more
Published 9 days ago by Chemgeek1
5.0 out of 5 stars the greatest writer.
the greatest writer ..ranks with heinlien asimove...and if you like mystery, unresolved puzzling situations and dreaming of the stars you'll love Mrs. Norton. Read more
Published 12 days ago by Bruce R. Jankowski
4.0 out of 5 stars Anything by Andre Norton
Andre Nortons writing has always been wonderful. The double novel Star Soldiers was just as I remembered it from 50 years ago. Read more
Published 28 days ago by Theo McConnell
5.0 out of 5 stars Good
Captivating with few slow parts. Would recommend as good read. Will look for more like it. The good experience for me.
Published 1 month ago by julius siren
4.0 out of 5 stars Great read
Well put together tales of rises and falls, integrity and corruption. I definitely recommend this book to anyone. Would do well as a book club title
Published 1 month ago by Gibs Neil
4.0 out of 5 stars An Oldie But Goodie
This was a re-read of a couple of books that I first read as a teenager/young man. I've always like Norton, although she's somewhat dated now.
Published 1 month ago by PabloJ
4.0 out of 5 stars Star Soldiers
Enjoyed the subject , the pace ,the word pictures of the galaxies. Also enjoyed how things slotted in to the world as we know it
Published 1 month ago by Donald McCormick
3.0 out of 5 stars Interesting but not a grabber
I enjoy books about space and other alien life, but Star Soldiers, though interesting as far as the author's imagination, to me was not that exciting. Read more
Published 1 month ago by micharri
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read.
A good read.

Suitable for budding young readers as the language is simple (appropriately so) and has action sequences rather than violence, sex is absent. Read more
Published 1 month ago by Matthew Clarkson
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