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Masks of the Martyrs (Rings of the Master, #4)
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Masks of the Martyrs (Rings of the Master #4)

3.87  ·  Rating details ·  737 Ratings  ·  23 Reviews
The renegade pirates of the giant spaceship THUNDER have collected all five of the rings necessary to eliminate the threat of Master System forever. But no one -- not even Hawks -- knows how the rings are used. And with Master Systems space fleet dogging their every step, they better find out fast!
Paperback, 340 pages
Published January 12th 1988 by Del Rey Books
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May 25, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
This was a disappointing end to The Lords of the Middle Dark series. I think I'd just grown tired of the time it took for all the rings to be gathered.

On the plus side this book did feature characters like Hawks, Raven, and China in a more prominent role which was an improvement on the last installment. The story revolved around the gathering of the final few rings of power and the showdown with Master System.

Sadly, the ending, the big showdown with Master System, was a bit anticlimactic.

All i
May 14, 2017 rated it really liked it
The finale to the Rings of the Master Series. It all comes together (at the last minute, of course.) And we see that sometimes we are the ones who create the monster that almost destroys mankind. Of course that plot has been done before, but this is a totally different way of telling it.
Feb 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Just saw this series and it has been years but I was in the mood... so a marathon re-read of the series ensued... and it was fabulous!
We start out many years in the future... Earth is under control of Master System, a computer. The population has been culled, changed, the universe seeded with our oddly changed descendants, and what is left on Earth has been reduced to limited populations of racially distinct groups isolated in area as well as era.
Each generation any who have the potential to cha
Sep 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
Read the entire series. The first book was pretty good with some real imagination -- a powerful computer has killed its creators, shipped off most of earth's population to other planets and has created a zoo like society on earth by sending most cultures back to pre industrial periods, i.e. pre columbian North america, feudal china etc. A group of elites with full technology supervises the cultures, but all under the auspices of the master system. Now, a historian native north american begins a ...more
Sep 19, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi
This book finishes off The Rings of the Master quadrilogy, it's very much a volume of a series than a book that stands up for itself. On the whole I really enjoyed this series, it is very rare to find a set of characters this diverse, both in race, gender, species, sexuality, but it all felt very realistic, even at its most fantastical location. This book had great characters, ideas and a reasonable plot. The writing style is fairly pedestrian, but still very readable and doesn't distract from t ...more
Jun 28, 2013 rated it really liked it
In Masks of the Martyrs Jack Chalker brings his strangely fun space swashbuckler to a close. Hawks and his crew of pirates/revolutionaries must take the last two rings and shut down Master System all while dodging the tyranical computer's minions as well as those who would use the rings to rule humanity themselves. We find out more details about the pirates of the Thunder, Chalker again puts them in a really bizarre situation in order to get ring four, and there is lots of fun to be had in the h ...more
Jul 14, 2010 rated it liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
This is the final book in the Rings of the Master series. This was an ok series. It was good enough not to have any problems finishing the series. The whole series has a Star War feel or influence. Considering it was written in that time frame of the eighties. I would recommend it to Science Fiction fans especially those that like new worlds to explore. Not much suspense in the final outcome of the series. I like the native connection of the main character, Hawks.
Jan 08, 2014 rated it liked it
Finally finished my second read of the The Rings of the Master books with this, book four. It was OK on the second read and I had forgotten enough that it felt almost like a first read. Since I knew the final result, I found myself paying more attention to the characters and I think Chalker does a good job at developing them and making the interesting. And there was enough action to keep me satisfied.
Christopher Litsinger
This series was not well written to begin with, and it hasn't aged terribly well. The technology it describes has limitations that are simply illogical, if convenient to the plot.
I simply don't see how a modern reader could find entry into the series- I only enjoy it from a sense of nostalgia.
The plot is fast and fun, if silly, but in this conclusion to the series it is very rushed.
Michel Clasquin-Johnson
An anticlimactic ending to the series. After all that soul-searching if human control would be superior to computer control over human affairs, we are never really given the answer, only a hint that the original goal was a symbiosis rather than a takeover.
Paul Michael
May 11, 2011 rated it really liked it
Strange that this was never reprinted. The story is kind of dated but still very interesting keeping in mind that this was written in the 1980's. Was hard to find a full set but in the end it was worth it.
Mar 03, 2010 rated it liked it
This was okay and had great characters but this final book in the series felt a bit flat and maybe rushed. There was little suspense And the great world building and sense of a larger universe in the first few books was missing. I enjoyed the series but didn't love it.
Jun 29, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: sci fi / fantasy fans
This is an awesome series. Only 4 books long and a GREAT storyline. I think it's out of print, but if you come across it, definitely pick it up!
Mike S
Apr 16, 2009 rated it really liked it
Surprisingly good.
Aug 09, 2012 added it
can't remember this much, something happened but I'm not sure what..too much drama in this one
Sep 26, 2012 rated it really liked it
May 17, 2009 rated it it was amazing
i could seriously not stop reading this entire series. wonderful.
Jan 10, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Grade A-. Book Rm4.
Great finale! All comes together for the conclusion of an excellent series.
Mar 08, 2008 rated it really liked it
The conclusion of the series. I still find the ending satisfying even after several rereads.

::edit:: reread in October 2014
Kevin Driskill
Jun 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sci-fi-fantasy
I love this series. It was a sad day to finish it. It was very inventive and was written in a way that new races were introduced and explored each time they retrieved another ring, good stuff.
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Oct 06, 2015
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Feb 21, 2012
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Feb 07, 2017
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May 02, 2014
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May 21, 2012
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Besides being a science fiction author, Jack Laurence Chalker was a Baltimore City Schools history teacher in Maryland for a time, a member of the Washington Science Fiction Association, and was involved in the founding of the Baltimore Science Fiction Society. Some of his books said that he was born in Norfolk, Virginia although he later claimed that was a mistake.

He attended all but one of the W
More about Jack L. Chalker...

Other Books in the Series

Rings of the Master (4 books)
  • Lords of the Middle Dark (Rings of the Master, #1)
  • Pirates of the Thunder (Rings of the Master, #2)
  • Warriors of the Storm (Rings of the Master, #3)

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