Legend Of The Duelist

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Author: Rutledge Etheridge
Pub: 1993 by The Berkley Publishing Group
Pages: 245
Ranking:Four Star Rating
Out of Print: Check Price Now!


The first half of this book is absoluting spellbinding!! Then it goes downhill from there... At least that's my take on it... your viewpoint may differ!

The book has an interesting premise... that there are "Duelists" who roam though the many planets that humans have colonized... finding each other to challenge. And the challenges are often to the death. Empty hand, or hand-held weapons... a fascinating description of combat to rival Steve Perry's novels.

The highest rank of duelist is "Master Duelist"... and their idea of a tournament is to go to a planet that has five members of a team that are going to try to kill him... one at a time, or all together, using any handheld weapon they like.

Unfortunately, just as it's getting quite good, the book skips over to the duelists fighting an alien invasion - ship to ship combat - which simply isn't as interesting.

Although this book is out of print, if you enjoy science fiction sprinkled with martial arts, this book would well reward your search for it. Definitely recommend this one!!


Back Cover:


Humanity has done away with war - but there is still a need for violence. That's where Duelists come in...

Trained at their elite academies, Duelists are heroes, rogues, peacekeepers, villains, entertainers, killers-for-hire, bounty hunters. Above all, they are combat artists - the finest ever produced by the human race.

They have to be. Centuries of peace, with no external enemies, have made humanity uncomfortable with violence. Now, at last, the aliens have come. Suddenly, mankind is at war again - and the Duelists are the only killers left...

"If you like your space opera rough and tumble, this one is right up your alley. Etheridge weaves a complex tapestry of politics, war, and religion, all stitched together with plenty of fast and deadly action. Keep an eye on this writer, he's a comer." - STEVE PERRY, author of the MATADOR novels


Inside front leaf:

Slate was ready to be killed…

Slate felt them behind him. Two on his right, two on his left. As he turned to face them - smiling, rejoicing at their nearness - he wondered how they'd known that he would come here. And where the fifth one was.

One of the four - a tall woman with albino coloring - took a step toward him and stopped. In her hands were matching Dueling daggers. She grinned. "I am Kaleen Brady, Grade 2 Expert Duelist. Are you prepared, Master Slate?"

He nodded, surprised at the traditional courtesy. It took only a moment to focus himself completely. In that moment he felt real - alive - again. "yes, since it must be so."

She lunged…



Of the thousand billion human beings living and dying among the fifteen hundred worlds of the Great Domain, fewer than 30,000 bore the title Duelist.

The name was first applied to a small band of men and women who, in the late twenty-second century, fought alongside Admiral Simon Barrow to pave the way for humankind's expansion into an unknown, waiting galaxy. Simon Barrow and his followers were successful; thus was born the Great Domain.

By the twenty-fourth century the original meaning of the term "Duelist" had been lost in antiquity. The name now represented not a quest but a profession. The powerful Duelist Union provided a loose unity for the men and women of this calling - who arose from all of the diverse peoples and the rich variety of cultures flourishing among the worlds of the Great Domain.

But the work of Admiral Simon Barrow was not entirely forgotten. Many of the legends and the traditions which grew around the first Duelist survived him and assumed a life of their own. Perhaps most important was the credo that Barrow had lived by, and which found new meaning with every generation of Duelists: Go. Reach. Do.

Modern-day Duelists were heroes, rogues, knights-errant, Peacekeepers, villains, entertainers, mercenaries, bounty hunters. In a word, they were individualists. But above all, they were combat artists - the finest ever produced, or dreamt of, by the human race.

Of the 30,000 men and women following this way of life fewer than one hundred at any one time bore the ultimate rank: Master Duelist.



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