E. C. "Scar" Gordon was on the French Riviera recovering from a tour of combat in Southeast Asia , but he hadn't given up his habit of scanning the Personals in the newspaper. One ad in particular leapt out at him:
"ARE YOU A COWARD? This is not for you. We badly need a brave man. He must be 23 to 25 years old, in perfect health, at least six feet tall, weigh about 190 pounds, fluent English, with some French, proficient in all weapons, some knowledge of engineering and mathematics essential, willing to travel, no family or emotional ties, indomitably courageous and handsome of face and figure. Permanent employment, very high pay, glorious adventure, great danger. You must apply in person, rue Dante, Nice, 2me étage, apt. D."
How could you not answer an ad like that, especially when it seemed to describe you perfectly? Well, except maybe for the "handsome" part, but that was in the eye of the beholder anyway. So he went to that apartment and was greeted by the most beautiful woman he'd ever met. She seemed to have many names, but agreed he could call her "Star." A pretty appropriate name, as it turned out, for the empress of twenty universes.
Robert A. Heinlein's one true fantasy novel, “Glory Road” is as much fun today as when he wrote it after “Stranger in a Strange Land”. Heinlein proves himself as adept with sword and sorcery as with rockets and slide rules and the result is exciting, satirical, fast-paced, funny and tremendously readable -- a favorite of all who have read it. “Glory Road” is a masterpiece of escapist entertainment with a typically Heinleinian sting in its tail. Tor is proud to return this all-time classic to hardcover to be discovered by a new generation of readers. (Summary and book cover courtesy of goodreads.com)
This is a traditional adventure novel. Gordan is given an opportunity for an once-in-a-lifetime adventure and he embraces it with open arms. “Glory Road” does so well across generations because it begs the question “What would you REALLY do if you had the opportunity to choose independent of responsibilities and money?”
I think I may have actually read this book in one sitting because once I started I couldn’t put it down. In a way it reminds me of “The Princess Bride” or “The Never-Ending Story” because it is non-stop action to unexpected action. It’s a fantastic read, but in Heinlein’s traditional way, manages to be both a light book while asking moral and philosophical questions. Definitely going to have to read this one again soon. Keep in mind there are plenty of moments for the absurd, this is a fantasy novel that doesn't take itself too seriously!
Note: If you’re not familiar with Heinlein, he definitely has a specific way for writing that some folks don’t like.
Rating: 5 stars!
Who should read it? Heinlein aficionados and science fiction fans.