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Far-future interstellar war yarn from the author of Of Tangible Ghosts (1994), etc. The planets of the Eco-Tech Coalition are under siege by the teeming, lower-tech, religious-fanatic Revenants of the Prophet. Some advanced aliens, the Farhkans, are beginning to wonder whether peaceful coexistence with the human race is possible. On Mara, a Coalition planet being terraformed, Lieutenant Trystin Desoll has charge of an outpost where, single-handedly, he must repel the incessant ""rev"" attacks; he's also being observed and prodded by the Farhkans. Having survived Mara, Trystin accepts pilot training, and serves several tough years as a key element of the Coalition's space defenses. Later, visiting home, Trystin sees the dreadful toll the war is taking--in xenophobia (he has the blond, blue-eyed looks of a Revenant) and general malaise. Finally, the Coalition bigwigs propose to send him to the Revenant capital, Wystuh, as an assassin; he accepts, and moves among the Revenants with ease. But the Farhkans have given him the entry codes to the Revenant's mighty Temple, so Trystin arranges a convincing demonstration as a new Prophet bringing a message of peace and cooperation. With echoes of both Joe Haldeman's The Forever War and Robert A. Heinlein's Starship Troopers: dense, gritty, strong on technical detail if rather predictably plotted, and certainly worth a try for star-warrior types.

Pub Date: Feb. 1st, 1996
Page count: 384pp
Publisher: Tor