- Hardcover: 532 pages
- Publisher: Nelson Doubleday, Inc. / SFBC (October 1, 1975)
- Language: English
- ASIN: B0006CMDHU
- Product Dimensions: 8.1 x 5.7 x 1.5 inches
- Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
- Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,952,616 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Three to Dorsai!: Three novels from the Childe Cycle: Necromancer, Tactics of Mistake, & Dorsai! Hardcover – October 1, 1975
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In Necromancer (1962), Paul Formain is a mining engineer who has an accident that tears off his left arm. Although he has regeneration treatments, the arm does not grow back. He is told that the problem is purely psychological, so he consults a therapist, but only learns something that he already knows: he is unusually resistant to hypnosis.
Taking another approach to the problem, Paul tries the Chantry Guild, an organization created by Walter Blunt after being the only survivor of a hunting party caught by a freak early-winter blizzard. While the others died of exposure, Walter walked out to shelter wearing only the lightest of hunting clothes and arrived warm and rested. Chantry Guild literature claimed successful regrowth of missing limbs even in the treatment of resistant individuals. Paul meets with Jason Warren, the Guild Secretary, and is provisionally accepted into the Guild. He finds the training to be weird, but effective, and becomes a Necromancer.
In Tactics of Mistake (1971), Alliance Lieutenant Colonel Cletus Grahame introduces himself to Dow DeCastries, Secretary of Outworlds Affairs for the Coalition. He also meets Colonel Eachan Khan of the Dorsai Mercenaries and his daughter Melissa, the Exotic Outbond Mondar, and Pater Ten of DeCastries's staff. Then Cletus leads Dow into a conversation and demonstration that causes the Coalition official to lose face to Grahame.
When the ship reaches Kultis, Pater Ten uses the ship-to-planet lines heavily, so much so that none are available to Cletus. When they debark the shuttle, Mondar offers Cletus a ride to the town of Bakhalla in the command car with Colonel Khan and Melissa. On the way, guerrillas ambush the command car and ignore the following bus. Grahame uses a gambit to counter-ambush the guerrillas.
Reporting to the commanding general, Bat Traynor, Cletus offers his services as tactical advisor. When Traynor disparages his usefulness, Cletus mentions the upcoming infiltration of a guerrilla attack group through Etter Pass. While Bat is still doubtful of Grahame's contributions to the Alliance effort, he does send a company of troops under a marginally competent commander to intercept the infiltrators. Captain Athyer is ordered to listen to Grahame's tactical advice.
After Grahame and six men capture more than three dozen guerrillas, while Athyer and his men capture none, Traynor gives Cletus permission to set up a tactical briefing facility. Athyer is reassigned as liaison to the Exotic library at Grahame's insistence. Cletus goes on to capture a large number of men and supplies before they can infiltrate into the town, using the Alliance Navy detachment in Bakhalla harbor. The Navy wants more opportunities to capture guerrillas.
In Dorsai! (1959), one hundred and fifty years have passed since the events of the previous volume. The family name has changed somewhat -- Graeme instead of Grahame -- but Donal Graeme is a true Dorsai. His record in the academy is outstanding, but everyone says that he is a little odd. Maybe it comes from his Maran mother and Grandmother, but he doesn't look at situations in quite the same way as everybody else.
On his way to the Friendlies, Donal encounters Anea Marlivana, a Select of Kultis, in the passageways of his spaceliner and offers to help her. She wonders what he means, but Donal explains the obvious to her. She asks him to destroy her contract, but Graeme knows that such contracts are indestructible with the resources available on the liner. He introduces himself to Marshall Hendrik Galt and later asks his advice about the situation. Eventually, Donal returns the contract to the owner, Prince William of Ceta.
Putting on a veneer of venality and foolishness with William, Donal gains a position as Force Leader in the mercenaries troops on Harmony under Commandant Hugh Killien. Despite the scuttlebutt that the advance will be a cakewalk, Donal insists on maintaining tight security measures in the advance upon Faith Will Succour. He becomes thoroughly unpopular among his own troops.
However, Donal anticipates an attack by Orthodox elite troops in time to set up an ambush with his own command. The other commands, however, are severely mauled. Commandant Killien is tried and convicted under Article Four of the Mercenaries Code.
In this trilogy, the first volume is concerned with the creation of the Chantry Guild, which later becomes the Association for the Investigation and Development of Exotic Sciences -- i.e, the Exotics -- concentrating on breeding and training the human race. The Exotics are best known for the paranormal talents that they produce.
The second volume is concerned with the development of the Dorsai as a military force among the outer colonies. The reputation of the Dorsai mercenaries is established in this novel.
The third volume is concerned with the formation of a supergovernment over all human worlds. Moreover, it presents Donal Graeme as the superman that the Exotics are convinced that they are incapable of producing.
These three novels are the first trilogy of SF works in the Childe Cycle and establishes the basis of the whole Cycle. The introduction also states that Soldier, Ask Not is one of the novels in the second trilogy. The other two volumes in the second trilogy are probably The Final Encyclopedia and The Chantry Guild. The other works in the series flesh out the backstory, especially in the life of Bleys Ahrens.
This trilogy emphasizes the paranormal talents of human beings; this theme occurs in many of the author's works throughout his career. Another shared theme in this trilogy is the tendency for mankind to persevere and overcome despite the odds. Moreover, the author stresses the importance of individual actions within the flow of history; yet he seems to discount the Great Man Theory, showing instead the effects of relatively insignificant individuals upon social forces.
Highly recommended for Dickson fans and for anyone else who enjoys tales of military combat, perseverance and individual influence.
-Arthur W. Jordin
These are all good versus evil tales and it isn't difficult to spot the bad guys. In my mind, these are good books for young adults. Iniative is taken and evil is opposed, all in an entertaining format.
Luckily, the one I purchased on Amazon was in prime condition. In fact, the book had never been read as many of the pages were not cut precisely and were still joined at a corner
Robert A. Maloney