Dirk Grobbelaar's Reviews > Planet of the Warlord

Planet of the Warlord by Douglas Arthur Hill
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's review
Dec 12, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: science-fiction
Read from January 13 to 25, 2012

The conclusion to the Last Legionary quartet is a bit of a pleasant surprise. The story thus far has been rather standard science fiction adventure fare. Admittedly, the fun factor has been pretty high too, with fairly uncomplicated plots and high octane action sequences. While Planet of the Warlord continues in much the same vein, it also offers a few unexpected, but welcome shocks and twists. It stirs the teacup, so to speak. To be fair, it still isn’t exactly complex, but it does tweak reader expectations to some extent, especially concerning the very nature of Keill Randor’s long hinted at nemesis. It is an atmospheric novel, and at times quite creepy. There’s even a bit of philosophical musing. For probably the first time, there is real suspense, and real apprehension. There are still enough fisticuffs to keep everybody happy, especially the arena sequence early in the novel and the explosion of violence that marks the story’s climax, but there’s more to this book than the rest of the series.

I also particularly enjoyed the role Glr played this time round, which was more prominent and important, underlining the nature of her (symbiotic) relationship with Keill. It is perhaps fitting that it is the last in what is actually ‘n very enjoyable little quartet. Some of the same weaknesses of the earlier novels are present here, such as the comic book villains and ‘boss fight’ dynamics, but it actually adds a quaint charm to what is already an entertaining read. Although it was written with a younger audience in mind, there is a lot to be relished here, especially if you like your sci-fi with a bit of a Star-Wars-y vibe and served with a gratifying portion of cheese.

Unfortunately these books are out of print and there doesn’t seem to be reprint editions planned for the foreseeable future. I obtained the omnibus edition used from Abebooks (The Last Legionary Quartet). Recommended.
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01/24/2012 page 33
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