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RPG Superstar 2015

The Hounds of Skaith (Trade Paperback)

****½ (based on 3 ratings)

Our Price: $12.99

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by Leigh Brackett, with an introduction by F. Paul Wilson

In The Secret of Sinharat and The Ginger Star, mercenary Eric John Stark traveled to the dying world of Skaith in search of his missing foster father, only to find himself hunted by the government and the subject of a revolutionary prophecy. Now, with the help of a beautiful seer, a handful of battle-scarred freedom fighters, and a pack of telepathic hounds capable of killing legions with their minds, Stark must topple the Wandsmen's corrupt regime before they close the world's starport and leave him stranded in a galactic backwater. To do so, he'll have to cross desert wastes where the tribes of the nomadic Hooded Men wage endless war, earn the trust of the winged Fallarin who command the killing winds, and rouse a cowed people to war against their oppressors. But can a motley band of revolutionaries overthrow the government of an entire planet and help its people reach the stars?

Talented enough to co-write The Big Sleep screenplay with William Faulkner and imaginative enough to pen the original screenplay for The Empire Strikes Back, Leigh Brackett is a giant in the science-fiction field, and Eric John Stark is her finest character. An introduction by F. Paul Wilson (Repairman Jack, The Tomb) introduces Stark to new readers and sets the scene for one of the warrior's finest planetary adventures!

"The Skaith novels share [Edgar Rice Burroughs's] muscular protagonists and headlong pace, but Leigh Brackett's style is head and shoulders above."—F. Paul Wilson, bestselling author of the Repairman Jack series

224-page softcover trade paperback
ISBN-13: 978-1-60125-135-0


About the Author

Though Leigh Douglass Brackett (1915–1978) was one of the most prominent science fiction authors of her time, she was equally adept in both crime fiction and westerns. While many of her early stories, beginning with "Martian Quest" in 1940, were science fantasy with a strong adventure theme, her first novel, "No Good From a Corpse"(1944), was a hard-boiled detective mystery that so impressed director Howard Hawks that he had his staff call in "this guy Brackett" to help William Faulkner write the script for The Big Sleep. The film, starring Humphrey Bogart and Lauren Bacall, is considered a shining example of film noir, and launched Brackett's scriptwriting career, which would go on to include such notable pictures as Rio Bravo, The Long Goodbye, and the first draft of The Empire Strikes Back, which was written shortly before her death and later revised significantly. During this time, however, she maintained her status as a pulp science fiction icon, writing numerous stories and occasionally collaborating with protégé Ray Bradbury or husband Edmond Hamilton. It was during this busy period that she created her most famous character, criminal and wild-man Eric John Stark, an anti-hero who allowed her to explore colonialism's affect on native cultures, a theme that pervades much of her work. Despite her death from cancer in 1978, Brackett's works live on today as some of the most important in the genre.

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Product Reviews (3)

Average product rating:

****½ (based on 3 ratings)

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The Menagerie Strikes Back!

*****

Having struck at the heart of power on Skaith, Stark spreads revolt, collecting an alien menagerie of allies along the way. This volume is dominated by the great battles, and is more action-packed that the first volume, building to a victorious crescendo. The characters continue to emerge, and more contemporary commentary becomes evident (Farers/Hippies; the worship of charismatic leaders), as does Brackett's latter influence on the Star Wars universe. This has turned into a must-read series for me...in other words, you must read it!


Let Slip the dogs of war

****( )

The Skaith series heats up in the second installment as the power of the Lords Protector unravels and civil war begins.
Well worth the read and those that read the first book will not be dissapointed as Brackett rachets up the stakes. Stark continues to be embroiled in the politics of Skaith, a reluctant pawn of prophecy. Very much looking forward to how this will wrap up and the other forthcoming Brackett titles. Its not revolutionary SF adventure but it remains well above the average of the genre.


*****

Fire and Sword.

Stark already has released the Hounds, and he puts them to very good use in this battle of progressive and conservative forces across the planet.

Under siege, the forces of his allies need help, and he can find them some. With his friend Simon's political influence, getting some technological assistance from a ship in the area could make raising a siege like bullseyeing womp-rats in the T-16 back home.

A somewhat more powerful set of events than in the first novel, I think.

Really excellent, and definitely better than the first of the trilogy.


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