A prequel to the Childe Cycle (Dorsai)
"Once, I was a professional soldier....", December 27, 2000
Reviewer: Craig Chalquist, PhD (Bay Area, CA USA)
... nor is this the first of the Childe Cycle (which you can start by reading DORSAI).
When engineer Paul Formain loses an arm in a mining accident, he seeks the help of the Chantry Guild, a secret society whose members believe in what they call the Alternate Laws (read: magick). Though skeptical, Paul is intrigued and joins the group. Their aim: what their leader-prophet Walter Blunt calls "Destruct": the end of a society far gone down the path of cybernetic conformism.
In this book you see, through Paul's eyes, the development of the major Splinter Cultures: the Exotics (from the Guild), the Friendlies (from Butler), and the Dorsai (from McLeod). The ending will surprise you.
i like gordon dickson, but this isn't necessarily a fave although it starts the series