This was a fun book. Published in 1966, it was about the same time as he began his Agent of T.E.R.R.A. series. It fits into that mold of story called Sword and Planet. You have the adventurous hero, big and brawny, a sword with a name, No’ondo’or, the sidekick, a fat, oily priest, a beautiful young Princess, a quest, battles with pirates, a tribe of Amazons.
Thuron of Ulmekoor had only been in the city of Taveesh a few hours and an eventful time it had been. In a tavern, he gets drawn into a fight between a rotund, furry individual with whiskers and a tail and eight blue skinned guards. he rescues the fellow and they beat a hasty retreat before reinforcements arrived.
Gaar is a Tend, a member of a feline species. He claims to be an Oracle and something of a conjurer who’d made things disappear. He revealed a ring, a purse jingling with coin. “I was going to return them!” So, something of a con man as well.
When the pair are set upon by a dozen ruffians with a net, he goes into a trance-like spiel about Thuron being the True Son of the Battle God, Wabbis Ka’arbu.
You see, a tournament was about to start to find the True Son and it’s being controlled by a golden globe that had floated down from the heavens, conversing with the priests three times a day. It declared he’d sent his son down years before and he didn’t know his true identity. A large number made the claim and the tournament was one of those last man standing was the True Son. A large field: the Taveeshians were blue-skinned, the barbarians grey, a few of the feline Tendians, and Thuron was the only golden hued participant.
Gaar took their combined funds to bet on Thuron.
As these things go, our hero won and was resistant to head priest Yang T’or’s “advice,” preferring not to be a figurehead.
His quest was to the Isle of Crystals whwere he was to harvest a ship load for his father. Pirates attack, they are marooned in the land of Amazons.
Who is controlling this ball from the heavens? What kind of power enables the father to talk to Thuron in his head? Why does he want the load of crystals? How does his sword suddenly have the power to slice through anything as if it was so much cheese? Why does his power not seem all-controlling?
The answers are all in the book. And found only one small error. A case of a captured sword suddenly back in the hero’s hand only to be gone again a few pages later. Didn’t detract from my enjoyment though.