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The Kar-Chee Reign and Rogue Dragon. Mass Market Paperback – 1 Mar 1979

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Product details

  • Mass Market Paperback
  • Publisher: Ace Books; First Edition Thus edition (Mar. 1979)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0441733905
  • ISBN-13: 978-0441733903
  • Product Dimensions: 17.8 x 2.5 x 12.7 cm
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 5,859,361 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Fantasy - For the first time in one book.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 2.0 out of 5 stars 1 review
4 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars conventional mid-60s SF features Davidson's wordy prose 11 Jun. 2010
By J. Higgins - Published on
Format: Mass Market Paperback
This 1979 paperback, with a cover illustration by Olivia, is a rather sneaky effort to repackage two of Avram Davidson's mid-60s SF novelettes (both published in 1966) as modern-day `fantasy' stories. In truth neither `Reign' nor `Rogue' are fantasy tales with spells and wizards and warriors, but rather conventional SF adventures set on a vaguely Vance-ian far-future Earth.

In `The Kar-Chee Reign', Earth is depleted of both population and resources; most of humanity has since left to colonize other systems, and knowledge of the Mother World has long since dissipated. What few people remain on Earth eke out a living in pleasant, if medieval circumstances. Things go sour with the arrival of the Kar-Chee, a race of mantid-like aliens who scour planets for traces of metals and minerals.

The sophisticated mining operations of the Kar-Chee cause the Earth to be continually subjected to massive tidal waves and earthquakes. Unfortunately the human tribes are unable to respond with more than fatalistic acceptance, because the Kar-Chee have brought with them `dragons', another race of alien beasts that are used to snap up any troublesome humans, much as a terrier might be used to keep down the rat population.

Liam, a young man from a doomed settlement in what used to be the British Isles, refuses to acquiesce to the rule of the Kar-Chee. Defying the philosophy of the tribal elders, he embarks on a dangerous journey into the depths of the Earth and a Kar-Chee mining center. Liam simply hopes to learn what the aliens are doing in the bowels of the planet, but when an opportunity to strike back at the invaders presents itself, Liam must make a fateful choice to risk his life and the life of his companions for a blow at freedom.

`Rogue Dragon' is set several generations after the events of `Reign'. The colony worlds have rediscovered Earth and its `dragons', which now serve as the object of elaborate hunting expeditions organized for the entertainment of off-world aristocrats from the Federation. Jon-Joras, a young aide to one such aristocrat, is sent to Earth to arrange for a visit by his employer. However, on an introductory dragon hunt things take an unexpected turn, and suddenly Jon-Joras finds himself alone and unarmed in a hostile country.

Jon-Joras gradually realizes that the native peoples resent seeing their world reduced to a `fantasy island' for wealthy types, and rebellion is in the air. It's up to Jon-Joras to survive the hazards of the wild places where the dragons roam, and return to civilization to prevent more bloodshed as a resurgent Earth confronts the excesses of the Federation.

Both novels suffer (if I can use the word) from Davidson's writing style, which I never have been much impressed with. The narrative is little more than a device upon which he can hang his self-indulgent use of overly wordy prose, repetitive syntax, and clever turns of phrase. It doesn't help matters when the reader is asked to look up words like `mulcted', `epithalamion', and `eructation'.

`The Kar-Chee Reign' and `Rogue Dragon' will appeal to Davidson fans, but anyone else probably won't need to add this volume to their reading list.
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