THE WINDS OF GATH+DERAI [d1,2]
(reprint) omnibus: 1973
Ace-Double (1 author)
Charles Lilly; Jeff Jones
Ace Double (#89301) July 1973 paperback. Condition is near-Fine: tight and almost square (top is square, bottome has slight tilt - storage warp?) with flat spine; age tanning is mild and uniform; bare trace of overall wear. No stamps, marks or writing - a clean copy that looks unread.
The Dumarest series lasted about 30 books, and I would recommend most of the early ones (particularly the Ace-Doubles) as good reading. If you're not familiar with the premise, Earl Dumarest was born on Earth, but wandered so far from it in a crowded galaxy that people in the region he is currently in think that Earth is but a legend, like "El Dorado." (The Traveller gaming system, with High and Low Passage, quicktime and basic, is loosely based on the very populated galaxy Dumarest travels in.) He picks up friends and enemies, and occaisionally a clue pointing towards Earth.
An Ace Double with both sides by E. C. Tubb, containing The Winds of Gath and Derai. These are the first 2 "Earl Dumarest" novels - in a reprint edition. (Each side states "2nd printing" and gives dates for original appearance, but the first printing dates don't match - because each of these books was originally paired with a different book by Juanita Coulson in 1967, and 1968.)
The Winds of Gath (151 pages; cover by Charles Lilly?): First in the series. Dumarest is stranded on the planet Gath - having traveled Low Passage, and without the price to leave. Gath had a special attraction for which people would travel from far worlds: during a storm in the mountains of Gath, the combination of buried crystal and harmonics of wind produced strange effect - people claimed that the dead rose and spoke to them. He becomes involved with the affairs of three who had come to Gath: a man named Sime, who brought with him the body of his dead wife; the Matriarch of Kund, come to choose a successor; and the Prince of Emmened, looking to win either a world or a moment's special pleasure. The Matriarch has a Cyclan for an advisor (their aim is to become indispensible, and thus in control.) After seeing Dumarest's ability in a fight for the price of Passage, the Matriarch hires him as bodyguard and companion for the Lady Seena. When all parties reach the mountains at the time of storm, everything falls apart - or comes together. This is probably my favorite of the series.
(Bound with) Derai (153 pages; cover by Jeff Jones): second in the series. Dumarest gets a comission to escort a Lady of the House of Caldor to the world of Hive. Hive is a world kept poor by inter-House war. Earl is urged to pay for the escape of stranded travelers by Lady Derai, but then she takes off when she meets her brother - leaving Earl unpaid, and stranded himself. The Cyclan are involved in the House-Wars, always looking for ways to control those they serve. Dumarest is drawn into the struggles, and set up to enter a contest on Folgone to win a place of eternal glory for the ancient master of Caldor. The prize: wealth, power, and a lovely wife. But the wealth was confined to the restricted economy of a feudalistic planet, the power would be the privilege of walking a tightrope between assassination and warfare, and Derai, the lovely heiress, was a psychotic telepath. Also, the contest was "fixed." Yet Dumarest really had no choice, and he was very good at finding an "edge" if one was to be found...