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Summary

The Empress of the Eight Worlds has been assassinated during the Holiday of Life festivities on the planet Salutai. Prince Harivarman, exiled and a virtual prisoner on the Templar Radiant, suspects that he will be the next victim. Help is scarce: Gabrielle, the Prince's stunning redheaded lover, fears for her own safety. Anne Blenheim, the fortress' clear-eyed, fair Commander is favorably disposed toward the Prince, but her first responsibility is to the Templar High Command. Beatrix, the Prince's dark, iron-nerved yet seemingly demure wife, has already left him once. And Chen Shizuoka, the Templar recruit who staged a demonstration on Harivarman's behalf during the disastrous celebration on Salutai, is being stalked by planetary security forces.

When Prince Harivarman discovers an operable Berserker: his first instinct is to turn it in. But then he finds an ancient code that will either allow him to control the dreaded machine or lead him (and everyone else on the Templar Radiant) to certain death.

©1985 Fred Saberhagen (P)2000 Blackstone Audiobooks

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    3 out of 5 stars
  • Vikram
  • 12-07-04

Mystery / suspense, not a man vs machine story

I had to give this book a lower rating than the other Berserker books because it isnt really a Berserker story. This is a mystery / surprise ending type story. Theres little mention of the Berserker machines other than the ones that are involved in the story as characters. There are no great battles with the machines and the entire story is within the Templar Radiant, which is a man made world if it can be called that, made mostly of metal.

This book had nothing to do with the overall battle against the machines but it did focus somewhat on how some humans will do anything for power including siding with the machines.

If you like murder and mystery novels you will really enjoy this. If youre expecting a great Berserker story Id suggest skipping this one.

The best part of this book was the in-depth description of the Templar Radiant

The other Berserker stories took you all over the universe and gave you a feeling of massive space and massive machines. This book gave me a feeling of confined space and I was waiting for the Berserkers to just kill everyone and bring excitement to the story.

Of all the Berserker books Id rate this my least favorite. BERSERKER MAN was by far the greatest of them all. I HIGHLY recommend you download BERSERKERS THE BEGINNING which is a series of collected mini stories.

7 of 7 people found this review helpful