I first gave an overview of the Dumarest Of Terra series HERE. VERUCHIA is the next title in line in my reading of the entire series in order. If possible. One of the later titles is rather high on the used book sites. We’ll see when I get to that point. A long way ahead.

Earl Dumarest continues his quest for his home planet, Earth. He’d left there when ten years old, stowing away on an outbound spaceship. The old Captain, feeling sorry for him, had adopted him and taught him how to survive. Earl became a traveler, one who goes from planet to planet, usually working to build a stake for passage to the next world, exploring what he finds. Biologically, Earl is not an old man, but chronologically, due to the vagaries of the cheaper low passage, suspended animation, and high passage, drugs that turn hours into months of real time, he’s much older.

A clue has led Dumarest to the planet Selend to find the city of Korotya, where connections that might lead to Earth were to be found. he was only fifty-eight years to late. The hidden city had been revealed then by a nuclear explosion deep in the jungles. It would be another hundred years before anyone could get there to explore, not that there was likely to be anything not melted down.

Disappointed, he was leaving when he was suddenly attacked, a dart hitting him in the back of the head. Before he went out, Earl managed to whirl and pluck out the eye of his assailant. The screams brought help.

When he regained his senses, it was in a hospital, Earl found himself penniless. His accounts, accessed by the chip in his arm, had been drained by hospitalization, research to find the poison in his system, and the cost of high passage. You see, the planet of Selend took a dim view of such things and he was being deported the next morning.

Never one to allow himself to be manipulated, Dumarest slips from the hospital, heads to the space port, and buys low passage on a freighter leaving immediately.

That’s how he ended up on Dradea and doing the only thing he could to earn passage to the next world: combat. Well versed in the fighting arts, he found himself facing a crell, an eight foot tall bird bred for size, speed, and ferocity, armed with razor sharp claws and beak. The last five combatants had all died.

They weren’t Earl Dumarest.

After dispatching the bird, he’s hired by a man to protect a woman named Veruchia, a wealthy noble related to the Owner. She’d won a huge sum of money betting with her cousin Montarq, owner and breeder of the crells.

He suddenly finds himself involved in political intrigue when the Owner dies and the question of inheritance comes between Veruchia and Montarq. Both claim it as their birthright. When the First Ship had landed, the owner had claimed the planet as his own and it had passed down through inheritance of the oldest child in the family. The dead Owner had two younger siblings, the fathers of Veruchia and Montarq. As he had no children of his own line, it would fall to one of them.

Montarq claimed it as he was the older, but Veruchia believed she was descended from the real first Owner, Chron, on her mother’s side. Chron was a legend that most people tooka as just that: a legend.

At the claimant hearings, it was decided to Veruchia had one hundred days to prove her claim, otherwise Montarq inherits. She decides they need to find the First Ship, which was lost in the mists of time, if it still existed. Earl decides to help her and Montarq decides to kill them.

And the Cyclans, those human computers, are around as usual. They want Dumarest because he has a secre stolen from them they would give them ultimate power. He knew not that he had it for a long while. But he did now and was determned they wouldn’t have it.

I like these books, science fiction adventure at it’s finest, and look forward to the rest.