Ring of Swords Hardcover – 1 Aug 1993
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But, it is also about the Hwarath, a culture where the women stay home and have babies (oh? Really? Are you sure that's all they do?) and the men are off looking for an enemy. They badly want to find an enemy and when they find humans, yipee!!! Except, humans don't understand the rules of war. I have never read a book where an alien culture is so carefully drawn that you start thinking you are reading something that involved anthropological research, not dry research, but research. Wait a minute, these guys don't exist.
By the time you finish reading Ring of Swords, you will know what the Hwarath consider ethical and honorable, who really calls the shots, what is sexy, what is going on that Hwarath hide from other Hwarath, what they think is exceptable human chow, what their music sounds like (ouch), a touch of their mythology, what they wear when they aren't trying to impress humans and what their theater is like. Especially their theater! I know more about the Hwarath now than I know about Canadians, and I live in Minnesota and have Canadian cousins. And Canadians really do exist.
And by the way, the plot of Ring of Swords is pretty cool too.