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A Knight of Ghosts and Shadows Hardcover – Unabridged, 1974
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Top Customer Reviews
Before this book, Flandry, while a brilliant secret agent for the Terran Empire, always was a bit juvenile, and reveled in it. He figured that if he was going to die soon anyway (as secret agents rarely live long lives), why not make the best of it? So, he slept with many lissome women, ate lots of good food, and drank lots of great liquor along the way.
His other attributes, of loyalty, self-sacrifice, intelligence, a certain type of shifty honesty unusual in a secret agent -- well, they always were underplayed, partly because Flandry was an interstellar James Bond and that might not have been "sexy," and partly because Flandry looked at them as bad qualities.
Well, no wonder. The Terran Empire was in decay, and only people like him were holding it together, before the advent of this book. At the start of this book, Hans Molitor has seized the throne -- with Flandry's blessing, as at least he was a strong military man, and as he was better than any of the other contenders for the throne. And trouble's brewing all over the Empire . . . .
Without the trouble, there's no way Flandry would have been able to go off on his own. He's now in his 40s, and although he's still an international bon vivant, he's not the same man he used to be. He's found out he has a son, Dominic Hazeltine, by Persis D'Io (the dancer in "Ensign Flandry), and he's starting to perhaps slow down a bit in his travels.
But his mind is as keen as ever, so when an exotic, aristocratic slave girl from Dennitza shows up, his interest is piqued. The more he finds out, the more upset he gets.Read more ›
But sometimes the stories cut a little bit deeper. It's that heavier philosophical foundation, a little more self-reflection, that mark the very good Flandry stories from the merely decent ones. "Ensign Flandry" is one, if only because its the innovator. "The Rebel Worlds" is another, showing what happens when Flandry decides to get as serious as the universe around him, and quits playing around. The stark inevitability of it all feels realer, the stakes slightly higher.
This is one of the better ones. We have an abrupt shift into the Latter Days of Flandry, where suddenly our old friend has a son (probably more than one, the book realistically admits, as Flandry is a fan of the ladies and there's rarely time to ponder about birth control . . .Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Excellent story line, with charming nuances of moral corruption regretted. Chaste hero and heroine idealize the golden age of Sci-fiPublished on June 30, 2013 by Experience
Part of the Imperial Terra series, which takes place after the
Polysotechnic League, Dominic Flandry is an agent of Naval Intelligence
during the last days of the Empire. Read more