Ensign Flandry

by Poul Anderson
Series: Dominic Flandry
Reviewed date: 2007 Jun 19
Rating: 3
224 pages
cover art

The Terran Empire is a galactic superpower. So is the Merseian Empire. An uneasy truce has held for years. Now, events on the planet Starkad may change everything. Both the Terrans and the Merseians have established bases on Starkad, and are arming the two local races against each other The Terrans support the Tigeries, the Merseians support the seatrolls.

The conflict is low-grade, as neither side dares escalate the conflict into a full-scale war. The Merseians keep pushing the limits, though, refusing to back down even though Starkad is of no conceivable strategic purpose. Young Ensign Flandry, fresh out of the academy, goes with a diplomatic delegation to Merseia to discuss the Starkad conflict and hopefully reach a settlement.

But there is no settlement. The Merseians are stalling for time. There is something they want on Starkad, and Flandry must find out what it is. Flandry finally discovers the secret, but he is caught in the act. Now he must escape from Merseia and make his way back to a Terran planet to carry the vital news that could mean the survival of the entire Terran Empire.

Problems with this book

  • The first 120 pages are dull as dirt.
  • The pages are falling out.
  • My 1967 Lancer paperback edition is riddled with typos. A typo or two is understandable; they didn't have computers in 1967. But there is no excuse for shoddy work.
  • Anderson uses unnatural word order. Combined with the numerous typos, this made parts of the text incomprehensible.

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