When I was about 10 years old I read Douglas Hills’s The Last Legionary and thought it was fantastic.
Now, 20 years later, I was pretty excited to spot a signed copy of the book on eBay. A quick bid later and it was in my hands.
Would Keill be as awesome as I remembered, or would he be reduced to quaint dullness by watching too many blockbuster movies in the intervening years?
Would the Warlord still be as despicable?
Would I still be entertained by a book written for young adults?
My hopes were high.
Galactic Warlord is the first book in The Last Legionary science-fiction series.
It introduces Keill Randor, a martial warrior whose home planet Moros has been made lifeless by an unknown radiation, and the Overseers, a group of benevolent scientists who have discovered a galaxy-wide threat that may be linked to Moros’ destruction.
Even though he doesn’t believe the Overseers, Keill agrees to investigate a moon base purportedly home to other surviving legionaries. He is accompanied by Glr, an extra-galactic telepathic alien, who wins his trust and gratitude.
During a fight with the base commander and false legionary Thr’un, it is revealed that everything the Overseers had said was true and that Thr’un is part of a grand plan to plunge the galaxy into war. Keill is shocked but eventually wins the fight and agrees to work with the Overseers to find those responsible known only as the One and the Master.
He gave no hint or warning, did not tense or poise his body. He simply dropped, full-length, to one side. His right hand met the plasticrete, the arm rigid to take his weight. On the pivot of that hand, his body swung in a horizontal arc, legs scything.
Although a bit short – 114 pages compared to the usual 350 – the book’s story remains as strong as I remember and the action fast-paced. Glr’s humorous quips counter-balance Keill’s intensity, although the Overseers can come across a bit flat through overuse of the group’s secrecy to not detail the characters. The bad guys so far are a bit generic, being used as cannon fodder to demonstrate Keill’s skills.
Overall a cracking start to the series that remains as good as I had hoped.
Other posts in this series:
- Galactic Warlord: The Last Legionary Book 1
- Deathwing Over Veynaa: The Last Legionary Book 2
- Day of the Starwind: The Last Legionary Book 3