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Paperback The Mercenary Book

ISBN: 0671809032

ISBN13: 9780671809034

The Mercenary

(Part of the CoDominium Universe Series and Falkenberg's Legion Series)

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Format: Paperback

Condition: Good

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4 ratings

Do NOT Buy This Book. Buy The Prince Instead.

When I say not to buy this book, it's not because there's anything inherently wrong with it. The Mercenary is actually a great book. It's just that its content has been collected in more complete editions. The first two books in Pournelle's novels of John Christian Falkenberg were The Mercenary, followed by West of Honor. Those two books were eventually stitched together into Falkenberg's Legion, which is now considered the first book in the series. There were three later books, Prince of Mercenaries, Go Tell the Spartans, and Prince of Spartans. The last two books were co-written with S.M. Stirling; all four were eventually collected as The Prince. Thus my advice, if you want to read Pournelle/Stirling's tales of John Christian Falkenberg - and you should, they're some of the best military SF ever written - pass on the individual books and buy The Prince instead, to have the complete series in one volume.

A superb military science fiction novel

The Mercenary tells the story of two of the campaigns fought by Falkenberg's Mercenary Legion, during civil wars that erupted in the wake of a retreating space empire, Earth's CoDominium.This book is intelligent and well written science fiction - it is an entertaining and satisfying story, with credible characters and a rich and well crafted future setting.It distinguishes itself, however, in its portrayal of soldiers, military culture and battle. It is a real treat for those serving and retired military fans of science fiction.The soldiers in this book are professionals, whose competence, bravery and fighting spirit are put to the test in brutal combat. The battles and combat situations show an unusual understanding of warfare, human nature and the unique psychology of the profession of arms.The author clearly doesn't believe that wars of the future will be bloodless, sanitized contests won by wise cracking amateurs.Overall, a good read, and highly recommended.King David's Spaceship, also by Jerry Pournelle, and Robert Heinlein's Starship Troopers (the book, definitely not the movie) are also recommended.

Perhaps the best military sci-fi book ever written.

The Mercenary is perhaps the best military sci-fi book ever written. Excellent plot, less-than-perfect heroes, and superbly crafted battle scenes make it a pleasure to read. The plot moves along nicely and while the character development could be improved upon, lets face it, thats not why any one reads these books. This is a superb "ripping yarn" and one that assumes that the reader has a functioning brain and uses it.Dr. Pournelle is particularly good on the training and motivation aspects of the military and what makes the true professional soldier (as opposed to the testosterone-driven idiots of Hollywood fame and the military bureaucrats of the US Army) do what he or she actually does. Dr. Pournelle has been unfairly characterized as a fascist, or worse, based upon what he wrote here. To describe him as such is to betray one's own ignorance since it clearly misses the whole point of the book. I won't spoil the plot by going into further details but I think its safe to say that Dr. Pournelle is not advocating martial law.If you haven't read it yet, I would urge you to do so posthaste. Unfortunately, with the possible exception of West of Honor, Pournelle's later Falkenberg's Legion books are not in the same class as The Mercenary. They show clear signs of hasty writing and insufficient attention to detail. I suppose Dr. Pournelle's growing fame and time-commitments are to blame for this detectable drop in quality. In any case, that should not prevent you from reading this book.

Classic Military Sci-Fi

The Mercenary is a classic work of Military Science Fiction. The first of its' kind that I read, I have repeatedly returned to it and re-read it. It forms the basis of many of the Falkenberg's Legion books that follow in Pournelle's universe. Highly recommended
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